Today is Day 3 of "how to pray'"s 21 days with Pete Greig via Bible.com. Read highlights from this reading at the end of this article.
The subject is about being real with God. And, God does want us and our prayers to be real. God wants us to be deeply intimate with Him. Intimacy requires being real, being honest. Prayers hit home when it expresses your very heart. The most meaningful prayers are not mechanical. It's not rehearsed. It's unguarded.
Pete Greig shared one of the most honest prayers he has ever prayed. It made me think a bit. Some of his prayers went along lines that didn't sit well with me. It's something I have to look into more, 'cause you know, how honest and direct can you be with your complaints and "tantrums" with God? All the way? No holds barred? Can you be 'out of line'?
Indeed, the Bible shares those types of prayers. From Elijah, from Jonah, from Abraham, and more.
True. "Prayers are deep expressions of the heart." And the "honest moments are the most important prayers you can ever make". God invites us to be real, He wants us to be real. But in being real with Him, I ought to be mindful of who my God is and regard Him as I should. That's how I feel at this moment. We can be as real as it gets, but, reverent still. 'Cause, yeah, prayer is having a CONVERSATION with God. But, prayer is having that conversation with GOD.
Moving forward, let's look at the passage required for reading.
Religiosity does not hold water.
In Luke 18:9-14, Jesus tells the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector as a lesson specifically for those who:
- "trusted in themselves
- were confident that they were righteous
- looked down on everyone else."
The Pharisee deemed himself better and more righteous than other people, because he wasn't doing what criminals and sinners were doing; and also because, he was doing godly things, following Scriptures, and presenting offerings before God.
Humility is paramount.
You can't have the right prayer life without being marked by humility. In this parable, the tax collector guides us into the kind of humility we need to nurture.
Right humility keeps you self-measured.
The humble is not preoccupied with thoughts of how one is better than others. He does not busy gauging himself or his spiritual maturity by comparing himself with others.
Right humility makes you self-aware.
The humble is focused on himself and his journey. He is busy keeping tabs on himself, watching out for weakness, and strengthening and guarding himself against them.
When we leave 'religiosity' off the table and when we approach God in true humility, then we can expect our prayer life to enlighten and deepen us in the most amazing ways. We will understand and sense more and more of God. And, we will also discover and understand more and more of ourselves.
Highlights from the book
- The Bible is full of honest, gritty prayers that are deep expressions of the heart.
- Sometimes these honest moments become our most important prayers.
- "It was one of the most honest prayers I’d ever prayed."
- Spend some time telling God what is really on your heart.
photo credit to Jills