December 29, 2015 – The Realness of Prayer


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“The fewer the words, the better the prayer.”–Martin Luther

     Author Philip Yancey was teaching a Bible class at his home church in Chicago when a young lady raised her hand and said, “I’m not always sincere when I pray; sometimes it seems forced, like a ritual.  I am just repeating words.  Does God hear those prayers? And should I keep going even though I have no confidence I am doing it right?”

Everyone in the room became quiet as they pondered the raw honesty of the question.  Yancey replied, “Do you notice how quiet it is in here?  We all sense your honesty.  We are tuned in, listening, respectful, because you are being authentic.  And I imagine it’s the same with God.  More than anything else, God wants your authentic self.”

If you are like this young lady I am sure you have experienced the same situation in your prayer life.  “What do I say? What does God expect me to say?  What is really being accomplished during this time of seemingly frivolous babble?”  The truth is God wants you to be authentic.  Just like the people in the class perked up when they felt the raw emotion of the young lady’s honesty, God, too, senses and knows our emotions, intents, and thoughts.  Jesus cautioned us about monotonous religious rhetoric in times of prayer.  Just be real, be honest, and be heard.

Daily Reading: Revelation 13-16

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