And when you pray, you are not to be as the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners, in order to be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. (Matthew 6:5 NASB)
I have known many folks who are reluctant to pray either in a group setting, or even in their own quiet place because they have heard some other Christian pray, and they don’t feel they can make it sound like that.
Have you been there?
You hear some 30 year prayer veteran using Thee-ses and Thou-ses and making it sound so eloquent and beautiful and well – religious, and you feel like if you stood up to pray it would be more like “Yo God – what were You thinking when You let that guy…”
We read David’s eloquent prayers in our carefully edited Bibles (that is not to say they are inaccurate, they are just not written in the original language) and think – I could never pray like that. Just for the record, remember, poetry starts as emotion – passion – inner noises that need words – it does not start with rhyme and meter (correct me if I am wrong here all you wonderful poet friends of mine) so in my mind David started with a cry in his heart to God, and turned it into poetry so others could sing along.
My point is that true prayer is unrehearsed. It may be coarse and rocky. It is probably not ready for Prime Time. It might include some anger, frustration, sorrow, even laughter, BECAUSE IT IS A RELATIONSHIP not a speech!
So PLEASE do not hold back from prayer just because you don’t know what words to use. There is nothing that you can say to God that will shock Him or hurt His feelings, if you come to Him in prayer.
Here are some perfect times to talk to God.
- When you are angry.
- When you are sad.
- When your feelings are hurt.
- When you just got a raise.
- When you need a raise.
- When you lost your keys.
- When your best friend betrayed you.
- When your best friend went to be with Him.
- When you are losing.
- When you are winning.
- When you are afraid to join the game.
Paul said it like this “Pray without ceasing.” I don’t know what translation this is, but in Jr High I learned that verse like this: “Constantly maintain the habit of prayer.” (1 Thes 5:17)
Don’t hold back today – talk to Jesus!