Prayer. Just the thought of it can make some people stand frozen in fear. For others, praying seems as natural as breathing.
Once, after praying, a friend made the comment to me, “I don’t know how you pray like that. You always seem to have the right words. It takes me forever to think of something to say to God.”
I was a bit taken aback by his comment.
My prayer wasn’t meant to impress him or provide an opportunity for comparison. It was simply a prayer from the depths of my heart on behalf of him, my friend.
Here’s the thing: I don’t have a unique ability to pray. Nor do I have special words arranged and memorized. I just talk to God. I thank Him for what He has done in my life and for what He has promised, according to His Word, to do in the future. I praise Him for who He is… faithful, loving, forgiving, generous, and kind. And then, I share my heart, every part of it. I reveal my dreams and desires as well as my struggles, hurts, and disappointments.
During prayer, I approach the Lord in humility.
He is, after all, God. But I also approach Him with confidence as Hebrews 4:16 commands. I come boldly to His throne of grace, not because of anything I have done to deserve an audience with Him, but based on what His Son has done for me. Jesus laid down His life for me; He paid the price for my sin; He opened the door for me to come freely into the presence of His Father.
And His Father, my Heavenly Father, waits with His arms wide open inviting me, and all who believe, to come and fellowship with Him.
So, I come.
Finding comfort in the truth that God isn’t concerned with my words, only my heart. One read through the Gospels proves this point.
Remember the Pharisees? If anyone had words, it was this group of men. From the outside looking in, the Pharisees could out-pray anyone. But their words, according to Jesus, were empty. They were lifeless.
Void of power. Void of love.
God wasn’t looking for impressive, refined words then, and He’s certainly not looking for them now. His only desire is intimacy with our hearts. Lay aside any notion of your words having to be perfect and just talk to God as you would a friend. The truth is He is your friend. (John 15:15)