How would you describe your prayer life? A drudgery? A duty? A delight? Too often, we view prayer as a task on our list rather than an invitation to experience God. Our feelings toward prayer have everything to do with our perception of God. Is He kind? Or impatient? Does He treasure me? Or merely tolerate me?
As Christians, we must not let our misconceptions of God linger beneath the surface for very long because they’ll skew our perspective and diminish our potential for a thriving, beautiful relationship with a Father who loves us.
Recently on Susie Larson Live, I spoke with Kyle Strobel, co-author of “Where Prayer Becomes Real: How Honesty with God Transforms Your Soul“. In it, Kyle writes:
Prayer isn’t a place for us to be good or right. It isn’t a place for us to perform or prove our worth. It’s a place for us to be honest, present, and known—a place for us to offer ourselves and receive God.
Think about that for a moment. How often do you self-edit when you pray? Do you find yourself in a one-way dialogue where you lament over all of the ways you fall short? Are there many “ought to’s” and “should do’s” in your prayers? Or maybe your mind wanders when you pray. Kyle suggests that all of these heart issues are treasured information. It’s in these places where God invites us to be honest about our hearts so God’s love can heal our hearts. If we perceive God as constantly angry or impatient, we’ll never really get anywhere in prayer. But when we’re willing to be honest about where we find ourselves at any given moment, we find a Father who loves us and whose presence changes us from the inside out. Kyle writes:
It wasn’t until I realized how much of my prayer life had become wrestling with myself and my guilt that I was finally able to receive the good news of prayer. It was in that place, feeling like a failure at the Christian life, that God revealed my strategies of hiding, failure, and sin. In pouring out my heart to the Lord, I came to experience the love of God in a way I had never known.
Want prayer to be a delight? Come as you are and trust God to be who He says He is. A loving, kind, involved Father who knows what you need when you need it. The Holy Spirit is with us in our prayers, guiding us into all truth. When you’re honest about who you are and have a proper view of who God is, your conversations will become the most precious part of your life.
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.How to enjoy prayer