Truth. You’d think it was reasonably easy to figure out!
When it comes to truth and lies Pinocchio had a bit of an unfortunate problem (a nose that grew every time he lied) but I think it would be so helpful I had his nose. If every time I lied my nose grew I’d be very motivated to be truthful; but it doesn’t seem to work for me like this. I can tell lies and get away with it or not even know it. In the same way I can pray with great sincerity but not be honest with God.
Maybe you know someone like me. Here are some of the lies I say in prayer (thanks Oswald Chambers):
* “I don’t really prayer for anything.”
* Blessed are the poor in spirit. Only the poor ask (beg). Only those who ask receive. The Lord has things he wants to give you, if only you’d humble yourself, realize your poverty and ask. Luke 11.
* “I’ll pray about that.”
* I actually have no plan or intention to even think about the situation. Fact is, I’m not even sure I know how to pray about this. James 2
* “I will pray for you.”
* I feel really bad about this but I’m a little uncomfortable and I’m not even sure that God will do anything about this situation. I’ll probably even forget. Mark 11
* “God really answered my prayer this time”
* The Lord always answers prayer. Jesus had no provision for unanswered prayer – when things turn out the way we wanted them to, we call it answered prayer. We presume to know what the answers should be. Rather than presuming, let’s start listening in prayer first and praying the prayers of heaven – they’re always heard and always answered. Revelation 8
Other times in prayer, I limit God because I only believe half the truth. It’s time to become fully honest, and become more effective in my prayer:
* “God, I really want this gift (spiritual, physical, healing, provision)”
* In asking for the gift, I can bypass the gift giver. Rather than desiring a spiritual gift, to desire the giver of the gift will go so much further. If I get the giver, I also get the gift. Jesus encouraged us to seek the Kingdom and its righteousness; and all these things (gifts, headings, provisions) will be added to our account. Matthew 6
* In my life of prayer, I often only pray until I feel better.
* Rather than quitting when my spirit feels better, I should realize that this is just the beginning. The Lord invites me to walk through the open door and hold on to God until he brings justice to the people I’m interceding for. Colossians 4
I remember talking with a friend who was feeling rather dry spiritually. Her prayers were hitting the ceiling and bouncing right back (or so it felt). She couldn’t even pray for more of God. Her prayers became, “Lord, I want to want more of you. Just start to put a desire to desire your kingdom in my heart, because I don’t even want to want it.”
This honesty in prayer is the beginning of intimacy with with Christ and the beginning of communication with our Maker. Are there any lies I missed that you’ve heard or said? I’d love a longer list!
- Prayer as an occupation (lifeonthefrontporch.wordpress.com)
- Faith and Work in Prayer (lifeonthefrontporch.wordpress.com)
- What does it take to perform like a pro? (lifeonthefrontporch.wordpress.com)