Why You Should Stop Sugarcoating Your Prayers

When something truly, deeply hurts, open up to God about it in prayer. Only then can healing begin.

Posted in , Oct 15, 2018

Pray with honesty

Today’s guest post is by Jeanette Levellie, author of Touchable God: Finding the Lord's Friendship Through Prayer.

We caught our daughter, Esther, in her first lie at the venerable age of three. When I confronted her with “Is that the truth?” she chirped, “It’s my truth!”

Honesty is a quality we all applaud. According to a recent Psychology Today article by Dr. Barton Goldsmith, “honesty can make or break a relationship.” Yet when it comes to our relationship with God, we might be tempted to hide our true feelings.

Psalm 139 tells us that God knew us before we were born. He knew every word we’d speak, every thought, every intention of our hearts. Yet how often do we pray and say things we think God wants to hear, rather than what’s bothering us?

God isn’t shocked by anything we say, do or think. We can’t take Him by surprise or ruin His day by our honesty. He wants us to be completely open with Him, so He can heal us where we hurt and fix what’s broken in our lives. Forthrightness in prayer is the best way to achieve the intimate relationship with Him that we need and want. Here are some examples:

--When we’ve been unemployed for months it’s okay to ask, “What’s up, Lord? I don’t understand why this is taking so long! I need some answers!

--When a close relationship crumbles, our soul will heal faster if we cry out to God, “I don’t understand what happened! How can I go on without this person?”

--When others unjustly accuse us, our distress might sound like this: “Lord, this isn’t fair.  I’ve been serving you with my whole heart, and people are criticizing me right and left. Won’t you do something to vindicate me?”

--When our kids make choices that break our hearts we can pour out our grief to our Heavenly Father by saying, “Good Lord, this should not be happening! Do something before they destroy themselves and me along with them! I don’t know how much more of this I can take!”

All the people in the Bible who walked closely with God were also brutally frank with Him. Abraham argued with Him over destroying Sodom and Gomorrah. Jacob, as he wrestled with God, said, “I’ll not let you go until you bless me.” Moses told Him to find someone else to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. David accused Him of not keeping His word. Even Jesus cried, “Why have You forsaken me?” as He hung on the cross. And God never rebuked one of these for their raw, human attitudes.

We cheat ourselves out of fellowship and life-changing insights when we sugarcoat our prayers and only tell God what we think He wants to hear. God wants to be your best friend. But He can’t give you the answers you need if you are hiding behind false feelings and worthless words. You have to be honest with God. You have to be real to be healed. 

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