I think as Christians, we would all agree that praying is important. We know we should be praying each day. Sometimes we even look at those who pray a lot as “more holy” than us. I am confident that most Christians pray at different points throughout their days and lives. Right?
But what about praying in public? Do we duck our head and refuse to make eye contact with our Life Group leader when it is time to close in prayer? Do we quickly put our finger on our nose to say, “not it!”, when it is time to pray for dinner when with friends? Do we feel like we aren’t good enough at prayer to lead anyone else? Have you ever sat in a circle of other Christians and listened to crickets when a leader asked, “Who would like to pray?”
Some of our fears come from a mistaken concept of prayer. Prayer is not about big words, showing off, or being eloquent. Simply put, prayer is conversation with God. God never intended it to be something flashy. In Matthew 6:7, Jesus tells us, “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the gentiles do, for they think they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
God desires to hear from us. He wants to talk to us and teach us. God wants to be intimately involved in every aspect of our lives. Prayer allows us to share all with God - the good, the bad, and the ugly. And this is what He wants us to do!
If you are a parent, what do you do when you see your children after school? I would bet that not long after seeing them, you ask, “How was your day?” As a parent, my desire is for my children to be so comfortable with me, and so confident in my love, that they will feel free to open up and tell me about everything about their day. When my kiddo says, “Good,” as a response, I am disappointed and immediately start asking more questions to dig into what happened while we were apart. Because I love my children, I want to celebrate the good and help in the hard.
God is our Heavenly Father. He wants to talk to us about all the little and big things in our lives. He is there to offer comfort in the hard things, cheer us on in the good things, and give us wisdom in ALL things. God wants to hear from you and talk to you. James 5:13 says “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.” Will you give it a try this week? Spend some time in prayer. Share your heart, your day, your good and bad with God. Then listen to what he says to you. I promise it will be worth it!