When I began my walk with Jesus my prayers were more journal entries of my thoughts, reflections, struggles and confessions. I would write out my cries before the Lord instead of speaking them with words.
Then I was told I needed to pray for people, for request and through a prayer list. This was often done in church, at prayer meetings and during my own prayer time. I understand that we are to take our request before God in prayer, but why were these list made up of peoples illnesses, job losses, and Suzy’s great-aunt’s neighbors friend’s broken toe. :) Yes they are important and God does care about those things…even a broken toe. I am not saying we should NOT pray for these things OR that God does not care about them. But what about the deeper struggles of life?
I am not saying we shouldn’t pray about health issues, broken pipes, needing a new car or Aunt Matilda’s cat, but there should be more to it than a list. Shouldn’t prayer be a conservation between God and His children where together we can pour out our heart to Him? Talk to Him about those things we struggle with, sin, wrong attitudes and temptations we face. Shouldn’t prayer be a pouring out of our heart and soul before God? Crying out to Him in humility?
Why don’t we pray as a church for that couple whose marriage is about to fall apart? Or that man/woman struggling with pornography? What about the woman who feels lost, alone and wondering if she can even go on? A prodigal children or church member? Most church prayer list do not reflect anything to do with praying for the deep spiritual issues, but why?
I want to learn to pray in a way that is real, honest and transparent with others. Not is a gossipy way or a way that brings dishonor to those I am praying for, but a way that truly seeks their best interest spiritually. I want to focus on spiritual healing not just physical healing.
The problem(for me) is over time I have become discouraged in my prayer life. I haven’t stopped praying. But what I long for is to be able to pray with one another as a community in a soul bare, naked sort of way. Without fear of judgment or condemnation. To pray with compassion and in tears over the burdens and sin struggles of my brothers and sisters. But maybe I ask too much? Maybe it’s asking others and including myself to be TOO real?
What do you think? Do you have a community or person you can pray “naked” with? I am praying that God would bring that into my life. Not only bring those I can pray with…but a real willingness of myself to open up and pray with total honesty.
Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. …Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. James 5:13-16Oh Father I pray that you would open my heart to be willing to pray in such a raw, real way. Bring those into my life that are willing to pray on this level with me. Amen.
Linking up with….
Hey there! came over from WIP. I understand some of your feelings/concerns. I have journaled my prayers for so long I can't remember when I started. Sometimes it does seem like we are going through a laundry/grocery list when there are several things to pray about. And, while it might seem that some things are more preferable to pray about when praying for others, we don't always know about that couple falling apart because they haven't told anyone- and no one's noticed. Sometimes a "community" consists of only two- you and one other. We pray as a group to show our concern for other folks' situations and to bring their petitions before the throne. For some, that lost job or illness is the most important issue in their lives at that moment and they've perhaps lost the ability to pray for themselves-needing the voice of others. All prayer is acceptable to God when brought before the throne by the sincere heart; the things that are mundane as well as the heart-wrenching issues. I think the form of the prayer is less important than the purpose of the prayer. If we pick and choose what is worthy of praying about we miss the blessing of prayer-knowing that He knows our helpless estate and He can and will act. Please continue to pour your heart out before the Lord. He hears. He knows and He answers. May I suggest the book of Nehemiah? His prayers and his actions have impressed me like no other in his example of his cries before the Lord. My prayer for you is this: that He that made this universe, who carved out the canyons and gave flight to the birds, bring to you today a peace about your prayers and may you see what He wants to reveal to you through your prayers for yourself and for those around you. May His comfort and His love lift you up and hold you close as you walk His purposed path today. In His Precious and Holy Name and may He cover you with His nail-scarred hand as you go your way today. NReplyDelete
His Nancy, Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I totally agree with you.Delete
We should never pick and choose what is worthy of praying for...God desires us to pray for all things. To ask Him for the big and small concerns of our life.
I am just asking God that I would have more opportunities for "naked" prayer.
Oh and LOVE the book of Nehemiah I studied it inductively several years ago and currently our pastor is preaching on it...
Wow. Naked prayer is something I think all believers should aspire to, Sharon, but it's developed through trust in the people we pray with. We need both the one-on-one time with God in prayer and the "two or three are gathered" times of prayer too.ReplyDelete
I do have a prayer list, and there were days (many years ago) when I felt compelled to pray for everyone on the list. Thank God I've moved on from that sort of pressure! I ask God to show me the people or groups whom I should keep in mind and prayer that day. He always does. And as we keep our ears attuned, He leads us to people who have an equal desire to pray "naked" to Him.
Thanks for stopping by Alison! I think I am just longing for a group or person I can pray "naked" with.Delete
It is equally important to pray like this Centurion when we don't have that certain one to pray with.ReplyDelete
I have a friend I can pray this way with - we mostly pray for our kids but also other things. I would encourage you to ask some friends and get a group together or even just one friend. I'm terrible at initiating things so I know how hard it is to ask - my friend got our little group started - but I bet you would find others who wanted to pray if you gave it a try.ReplyDelete