Why Do We Pray? - February 26, 2020
Written by: Micah Hilbert
I was raised in a Christian home.
My parents were awesome.
I grew up praying before bed, learning who Jesus was, and singing Jesus Loves Me.
This was my life.
Throughout my life, prayer was just something that we did. We’d pray together before meals, bedtime, and for nearly every other reason. Sadly, though, I never truly understood WHY.
As a “good Christian kid,” I simply prayed because I felt like I was supposed to. I bowed my head, folded my hands, and said the words that I knew were supposed to make me “right” with the Lord. As I got older, the cycle continued; go to my room, bow my head, fold my hands, and pray.
And ya’ll, I think that this view is just fine.
However, I want to dare you to ask the Lord if this is all he wants for you in your relationship with him.
The last time I checked, a relationship doesn’t grow if neither party opens up to the other one. And, frankly, the Lord already has opened up to us…baring his heart and soul when he sent his Son to die on the cross. So, my friend, I think maybe it’s your turn to open up to him.
In my experience with people and relationships of all sorts, something incredible happens when we allow ourselves to be honest with someone. This honesty breaks down barriers between us, allowing for real change and real relationship to be cultivated.
What might it look like if you allowed your heart to truly open up to the Father? What if you were to speak to the Lord, open and honestly, with no holding back?
For me, this changed my relationship with the Father COMPLETELY.
After my second year of college, I’d been deeply hurt by some of my dearest friends, I’d lost a relationship with a significant other, and my relationship with my parents was rocky. I remember coming home from college that Summer feeling broken, used up, and truly like I was wearing a scarlet letter on my forehead for the world to see.
Then, one morning, out of that brokenness, I grabbed my unused journal and sat outside. I began to write down EXACTLY how I felt on the pages, no fancy words, no faking it, just simply the TRUTH. I cried. I finally bared my soul to the Lord, hurts and all.
And, you know what? It was there that the seed that my parents had planted actually began to grow. The comfort and growth that I experienced over the next few months was completely uncanny, the beautiful result of total honesty and vulnerability with my Father.
This isn’t something that only the “Christian elite” experience, either. I believe that this was the desire of the Father from the day that he first created Adam: honest, intimate, and deeply personal relationships with each of us. We were CREATED for companionship with the Lord.
And, friends, the beginning of this companionship for YOU, starts with complete honesty.
So, the next time that you pray, let it not be about saying all of the right words or having the most perfect posture. Rather, let it be about a time of open honesty in which you can connect to your loving Papa, being held in his arms, no matter what state you’re in.
“The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.” Psalm 145:18