[b]Repudiate Pretence in Prayer[/b]
The true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him
Let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth (1John 3:18).
A spiritual writer of unusual penetration has advised frankness in prayer even to a degree that might appear to be downright rudeness. When you come to prayer, he says, and find that you have no taste for it, tell God so without mincing words. If God and spiritual things bore you, admit it frankly. This advice will shock some squeamish saints, but it is altogether right nevertheless. God loves the guileless soul even when in his ignorance he is actually guilty of rashness in prayer. The Lord can soon cure his ignorance, but for insincerity no cure is known.
The basic artificiality of civilized human beings is hard to shake off. It gets into our very blood and conditions our thoughts, attitudes, and relationships much more seriously than we imagine.
The desire to make a good impression has become one of the most powerful of all the factors determining human conduct. That gracious (and scriptural) social lubricant called courtesy has in our times degenerated into a completely false and phony etiquette that hides the true man under a shimmery surface as thin as the oil slick on a quiet pond. The only time some persons expose their real self is when they get mad.
With this perverted courtesy determining almost everything men say and do in human society, it is not surprising that it should be hard to be completely honest in our relations with God. It carries over as a kind of mental reflex and is present without our being aware of it. Nevertheless, it is extremely hateful to God. Christ detested it and condemned it without mercy when He found it among the Pharisees. The artless little child is still the divine model for all of us. Prayer will increase in power and reality as we repudiate all pretence and learn to be utterly honest before God as well as before men.
A great Christian of the past broke out all at once into a place of such radiance and victory as to excite wonder among his friends. Someone asked him what had happened to him. He replied simply that his new life of power began one day when he entered the presence of God and took a solemn vow never again to say anything to God in prayer that he did not mean. His transformation began with that vow and continued as he kept it. A. W. Tozer*
I often say my prayers,
But do I ever pray?
Or do the wishes of my heart
Suggest the words I say?
Tis useless to implore,
Unless I feel my need;
Unless tis from a sense of want
That all my prayers proceed.
I may as well kneel down
And worship gods of stone,
As offer to the living God
A prayer of words alone.
For words without the heart
The Lord will never hear;
Nor will He ever those regard
Whose prayers are insincere.
Lord! teach me what I want,
And teach me how to pray;
Nor let me eer implore Thy grace,
Not feeling what I say.
Prayer should be just what one feels, just what one thinks, just what one needs; and it should stop the moment it ceases to be the real expression of the need, the thought, and the feeling. Beecher
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon