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Prayer Is Honest

Have you ever prayed out loud with other people? Have you ever had that strange fear creep up that your prayers aren’t going to be good enough? And then someone prays a really lovely prayer and you have to go next and you don’t know what you’re going to say? So you try to make your prayers sound fancy or something, but you end up just heaping up spiritual-sounding phrases that don’t really mean anything? Yeah, me too.

It’s easy to “over-spiritualize” prayer and turn it into a performance. Like you’ve got to have all the right words and phrases in just the right order and all that. And then sometimes you even find yourself doing this even when you’re alone.

But, you know, God doesn’t really like that very much. In part because it makes him out to be a stuffy old man caught up in formalities. But also because it’s not honest. It’s not you.

One of the most freeing things you’ll realize along the way of this prayer journey is that God wants you—the real you. In other words, you’ll really learn to pray when you stop trying so hard to get it right and just start being yourself with God. God wants to hear from you in your own voice. And that’s good news because, when we’re honest, none of us is as spiritual as we might otherwise pretend to be.

Pray with me. Father, thanks that we don’t have to get it “just right” to come and talk to you. Thanks for hearing us even when we don’t really know what we’re saying or what we’re doing. And thanks for making it easy for us to come to you and pray. Sorry for making it so complicated sometimes. Please help us to let our guard down with you and to just be ourselves. In Jesus’ name. Amen

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