Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Praying Boldly

"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:16, KJV)


Prayer is the lifeline of every believer. It allows us to approach the Father's throne of Grace. It allows us to come boldly before Him to plead our case. 

Prayer is our way to communicate with God directly and pour out all of our heart before His majesty and sovereignty. It is through praying that we bring Him praise and adoration, worship and thanksgiving as we spend intimate moments with the Lord our Savior.

I have always known that as a child of God I can come boldly with my petitions and lay them down before His feet. I regularly bring requests before Him knowing that He listens to every plea. However, it wasn't until recently that God taught me about a more intimate level of praying and petitioning. 

I was reading from the book of Psalm tonight and God reached out to show me and teach me more about praying. You see, for years I have been used to praying and bringing my general petition to God. Yes, I bring my heartaches and my tears, and of course my joys and my victories before Him, but I never really learned how to honestly lay bare my heart before Him. It seems like I wasn't really honest about what I feel in my heart and what thoughts I have running through my mind. 

I have come to realize that most of my petitions were somewhat "guarded". I never heard myself cry out to God about something and asking Him to intervene in very specific ways! But when I read the words and the emotions that flow through the Psalms of David, I realized that his heart was totally exposed before the Lord.

He wasn't holding back any requests for vengeance on his enemies, for example. His words weren't sugar-coated to make them sound "safe" and "godly." Some of the words in David's Psalms even sounded like praying a curse over the ones that bothered him! I have to admit, I have never been THAT honest with the Lord.

I admit I used to feel uncomfortable and feel guilty if I find myself or anyone else praying in a manner that would say "let them be condemned!" But that's exactly what David asked from God when he came before him in troublesome times. David, the man after God's own heart, was very honest with the way he felt about his enemies that he was able to write down the transparent, unsugar-coated Psalm 109. 

Maybe that was what God acknowledged when He called David as a man after His own heart. David's total honesty and transparency before the Lord allowed his relationship with Him to be more than just the formal God-Man relationship. David's many psalms show the very wonderful, intimate, honest and open relationship he had with His Maker. His words flowed from a heart that knows exactly WHO HE HAS IN HEAVEN! His words were the words of a heart of one who truly comes boldly before the Lord, not thinking about what God might judge him to be, but confident that God understands every single weighty issue brought before His very throne of Grace!

It doesn't necessarily mean that when we are troubled by something or someone that we will go ahead and ask God to send fire and brimstone upon those causing us grief or concern. That is not my point at all. What I learned is the fact that when we do pray, we must realize that coming boldly before the throne of God is an invitation to present our heart's cry with all honesty and transparency. No matter how ridiculous, how stupid, how unrealistic we feel our petitions may be, our hearts should learn to lay EVERYTHING DOWN before the Lord Jesus' feet.

God's will always prevails, and praying honestly doesn't necessarily mean that we get what we want. But it does mean that when we rely FULLY upon the Grace of God, for Him to look upon our circumstances with love and compassion, we know that HE will work out everything for our good in the end. God doesn't want us to hold back anything when we approach His throne of Grace. He wants to have EVERYTHING laid down before His feet. May we not cower and prevent ourselves from turning our relationships with God into the deeper, more intimate one that He so wants us to have with Him!

Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. 
(James 5:13)

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