Monday, July 12, 2010

Week 3, Day 1 - Honest Prayer

I Samuel 1:1-20

I look at my emotional journey from my childhood until now, and I have changed a lot. There are things that haven’t changed about me except to grow more such as the gift of music God gave to me. I still enjoy music and I use it as a language of worship to God. There are other things that have changed tremendously about me since childhood; however, and one of them is my honesty of who I am in my relationships. When I was an adolescent, I had a background of abuse that I was ashamed of. That shame spread to other things about me until I believed no one would like the real me and I would have to play a role of a person they would like. I was a people pleaser to a very unhealthy extreme. I wanted people to like me so desperately, I was willing to be someone I was not. I never shared my fears or weaknesses with anyone because I was sure that I would not be accepted. Over time, God showed me that He made me the way I am because that was who He wanted me to be. It was okay to enjoy classical music and have fun babysitting kids. I also learned that I needed to surround myself with friends that would like the real me. As I have learned to become honest in my relationships, I found my relationships with people growing deeper and more intimate. God wants that from all of us when we come to Him; He wants our prayers to be open and honest and He wants us to let Him know how we really are. Please turn to 1 Samuel 1:1-20 and see how Hannah prayed an honest prayer.

Hannah was a desperate women; she was unable to bear children and her husband’s other wife had many children and taunted Hannah. Hannah had a husband who loved her dearly and wanted her to be happy; however, Hannah felt that she was incomplete without a child. Have you ever had a longing and desperation like that? Have you ever hurt so deeply that you were sure there was nothing else other than the pain you were feeling? When the whole family went to sacrifice to the LORD, Hannah went and prayed in the temple. Please look again at her prayer in verse 11 and try to feel the honesty that was expressed in her prayer. She did not use fancy words, but she expressed her “misery” to God. She bore her soul to God.

God wants that from us; He wants honesty in our relationship with Him. He is honest with us and we can be honest before Him. He already knows what is in our hearts, we read about that last week in Matthew 6:7-8. We don’t need to make it fancy sounding or mechanical; we need to be honest with how we are feeling at that moment. Some of my greatest moments of growth have come from the times when I was feeling a very strong emotion and I brought it to God. Those moments have become such intimate moments between me and God because I was open and completely honest. We don’t have to be someone we are not when we are with God. In fact, God wants us to get rid of all the pretenses and politically correctness. If we are not honest with who we are when we are before the very One who knows who we are, how can we ever expect intimacy in that relationship?

Do you come to God with honesty? Do you lay bare your very soul to Him?

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