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Prayer Is Messy


If you have little kids, you know that they’re messy. But that doesn’t stop you from holding them and listening to them and loving them.


While we may like to pretend that we’re all done-up and well-put-together, the truth is we’re far more like those stinky little toddlers than we’d care to admit. It takes just a little bit of honesty and humble reflection to see that, actually, we’re kind of a mess.

But if our earthly fathers don’t reject us for being messy, how much more will our heavenly Father receive us—even when we’re a mess? Jesus even said to the disciples, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for such belongs to the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 19:14)


And really, what that means for our prayers is that, well, they can be messy, too. We don’t have to have exactly the right composure or exactly the right tone of voice or exactly the right words. We can actually just cry out to God from right where we are, feeling exactly what we’re feeling. (It’s not like we can hide these things from God, anyways.) In other words, whether we’re sad, angry, or confused, whether we’ve done something we shouldn’t have or are feeling things we probably shouldn’t be feeling—we can come to God exactly the way that we are.


God already knows we’re a mess. He isn’t going to reject us on account of it.


Pray with me. Father, we can’t hide anything from you even though we sometimes try. Thanks for loving us through our mess and for inviting us to come to you even when we don’t have it all together. (When do we have it all together!?) Lord, we pray that you would help us to stop pretending and to just be honest, to talk to you honestly about how we feel and what we want and how things are going and everything. Help us to get comfortable being our messy selves with you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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