As I sat in traffic on my way to Atlanta the other day I thought about prayer. I started playing back prayers I have heard and even spoken. What I heard was audacious. I have come to prayer instructing God who I was, where I was failing and to complete it with a big cherry on top, I’d say over and over, “I am so sorry!” A very bold move towards Someone who knows me so far beyond my knowledge of myself.
So let me paint a scenario and see how you would respond.
There is this man who is smitten with a woman. She is exquisitely beautiful to Him. He has made all sorts of preparations and plans to wed her. He proposed and she said yes. Oh how exciting! Then she proceeds to berate and belittle herself in front of him. Every time they get together she tells him how ugly she is. She points out all her flaws and apologizes he is stuck with her. She looks at herself almost exclusively with only a token glance at him. What a buzz kill and more than that an insult to him. The statement is clear, “How stupid you must be for choosing ME!”
It is very similar when we stand before the All-Mighty and instruct Him about ourselves. Grievous because He really needs no help in seeing us for who we are. He knows us so intimately. Our continual focus on our wrongs will not work up a solution only produce a separation. He is the Only Solution!
I believe it is about source; either my prayers plop out of my head or they rise from my spirit. Oh what a difference in quality! The only source of rich, meaningful and answerable prayers are the ones that emanate from my heart not my head. Prayers that spill out of the thought-life are usually telling-prayers. Instructing the Most High! This is wrong, this is right and this is clearly what YOU, God, should do. Oh how repulsive, but really isn’t self-focused prayer just accusatory whining after all?
My telling-prayers to God, cause me to resist HIM, His work and sovereignty in my life. All telling-prayer does is cage my spirit, preventing my heart from speaking. The prayer of my heart is free, even when it petitions God about self.
I want to proclaim that the Creator of all is the Living Solution to our frailties and failings. He doesn’t need to be TOLD. He needs to be heard in all His wonder and love and plans. Here is what He wants us to ask of Him:
Jeremiah 33:3 HSCB
Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you
great and incomprehensible things you do not know.