A Closer Look at Our Prayers

A Closer Look at Our Prayers

Prayer is a wonderful thing. It is communication between us and God. It is amazing that, by His grace, we have direct access to such a loving Father who actually wants to hear from us. He wants to speak to us, too.

Why do we look up?

I have noticed that I often tend to look up when I am talking to Him. I notice this especially when I am alone. There is nothing inherently wrong with me doing this. It’s possible that when we look up in prayer, we are doing it out of worship and praise. However, I have caught myself looking up because that’s where I think He is. Wait, He IS in heaven right? Yes and no. He’s omnipresent, or “present everywhere all the time”. The most important place to know and believe that He is……..is right here with me (and right there with you). When we look up, let us remember that He is not far off in the sky, just looking down on us. In truth, He is in and around you…all the time. The only thing that makes us feel different is believing otherwise.

Why do we look down?

I have also noticed at times that I tend to look down when I talk to Him. This happens mostly when I am with others in prayer. As with looking up, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this. When we bow our heads, we may do it out of honor and respect of the One we speak with. However, there can be sinister lies at work that cause us to do so. If we look down because of shame (due to something we’ve done, or feeling ashamed of ourselves in general), we are believing something that is not true about God. He is NOT ashamed of us. He loves us unconditionally. He doesn’t require us to behave perfectly. He wants us to trust Him and rest in His love…even when we feel really messed up for some reason. Trusting Him includes relying on His grace and believing that we are a new creation in Christ. HE is why we are not defined by what we do or what others do to us. So, if we bow our heads in prayer, let it be a result of us believing what is true of Him, NOT based on a lie that shames us and tells us He is ashamed of us, too.

“God please be with us.”

Have you ever taken time to think about what we say to Him in prayer…or what we ask of Him? “God, please be with me” is a prayer I’ve said a million times. Its sounds good, right? We definitely want Him with us, right? The problem with that prayer is….well, it fails to acknowledge a very important fact: He is with us…all the time. He never leaves or forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5). So, why would we ask Him to be with us (or to be with someone else)? Perhaps, sometimes, we fail to perceive the truth that He is right there with us, no matter what…even if we don’t feel like He is. I think a better prayer might be, “God help me to see you in and with me right now…I am feeling like you are a million miles away”. That is an honest communication, and it’s based on truth…even though I’m acknowledging that I am struggling with a lie.

We will do, think, say, and ask for the wrong things…but let’s pray anyway.

So, is it wrong to pray this or that, or to do it in a certain way? I’d be hesitant to say ANY dialogue with God is “wrong”. If we are communicating with Him, even if we fail to say and ask the right things, He will reveal the truth to us in time. Our prayers are likely a part of that process. Plus, the Spirit will translate what we say. He will know what’s really on our hearts, even if we fail to see it and communicate it well. God loves us so much. He longs for us to talk with Him about anything and everything. He doesn’t care if we “get it right” when we pray. Proper religious behavior didn’t seem to impress Christ too much when He came to earth and interacted with the religious people of that time period. I doubt He’s changed His perspective on that. He much prefers His children (us!) to be authentic and humbly talk with Him than to rely on elegant speech and mannerisms.


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