Most of the posts that I write on my blog are things that I need to hear myself. This one is no different. For the past few weeks, my prayer life has really been a struggle. So much has been going on in my life, both externally and internally, and I’ve been feeling like it’s not right for me to sit before the King. I’ve been feeling unworthy, unmotivated, and unforgivable. I KNOW that none of that is true, but I’m sure there has been at least one time in your life when you have felt this way too. It’s that feeling of uneasiness when you stop what you’re doing to turn and speak to the Lord.
“He’s going to see right through me, and I’m not doing so well right now.”
“What if He is too mad to listen?”
“I don’t deserve to ask for help with the way I’ve been living lately.”
I’ve got some good news for you (and me). None of those thoughts are placed in our minds by God. Those insecurities and doubts are placed in front of us by Satan. He is the one who doesn’t want us to turn to the Lord. He wants us to feel inadequate and ashamed. He wants us to feel this way in the hopes that we will be too scared to turn to the One who can redeem us. God, however, does not deal in fear, doubt, or insecurities. He loves us and wants us to spend time with Him – not because we are frightened, but because we need Him and because He loves us.
In this difficult season of my life, I’ve been thinking a lot about prayer lately. In fact, I’ve been thinking about it more than I’ve been doing it, and that’s why I wanted to put together this post. I’m starting to see past the enemy’s lies to the truth that can be found in spending time with God. When going through something particularly difficult, I often find myself making excuses for why I can’t stop to pray right then. I’ll come up with things like…the timing isn’t right, I don’t know what to say, I’m not “feeling it”, or I’ll start to feel like I’ve been too horrible to even think about talking to God about it. If you’re in the same boat as me right now, I want to chat with you about three things that you don’t need in order to dig deep with God in prayer. Hopefully this post encourages you to go to God as you are, and get the rest and guidance from Him that we all so desperately need.
You don’t need a ton of time
Nowhere in the bible does it say that we need to spend our entire day in long, drawn-out prayer each day. It would be glorious to have that much to say, but if you’re like me, you just don’t have enough words to fill all that time! Not to mention, you may not have a ton of time on your hands at the exact second that you need to stop and pray the most. Instead of putting it off until later, take the 30 seconds that you do have, and pour your heart out to God. Those quick prayers can often be the difference between a total meltdown and keeping your cool in a tough situation. We aren’t required to pray at the same time each day for an allotted amount of time. The important thing is that we spend time with God and put Him first in our day to day!
Matthew 6:7-8 – And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
You don’t need the perfect words
In fact, sometimes you don’t even need to say anything. Ever had one of those moments in which you’re hurting so badly, but you don’t know what to ask for? You’re just so pained, and the words just don’t come? I’ve been there, and it’s okay!
Romans 8:26-27 – In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
We can see in the verses above that the Holy Spirit is with us when we pray. The Holy Spirit hears and understands our wordless groans, and He intercedes on our behalf to make them known to the Lord! Our prayers don’t have to be eloquent or wordy; they only need to be heartfelt. We can come to God just as we are and lay down all that burdens us. That may be through resting with Him in silence because we don’t know what to say, talking to Him like a friend about the things we are dealing with, or crying out to Him in a time of deep pain. It’s not the words that matter, but the action of seeking God and turning to Him in our time of need.
you don’t need to be perfect
This is the one I really need to remember. It is a horrible habit of mine to turn from prayer and time with God in times of trouble. I feel unworthy and unlovable. I don’t know what to say. Sometimes, prayer is the last thing on my mind. Sometimes, it’s right in the front of my mind, but I don’t want to turn from my sin enough to even pray. #justkeepingitreal
Whatever your road block is, I hope that you’ll join me in realizing that we don’t need to be perfect in order to have an open relationship with God. He already knows everything about us, everything that we have done, and everything that we might do in the future. He knows us completely, so it’s silly to hide or shy away from that. God doesn’t want or need a different version of you. He loves the imperfect version of us all, and only asks that we come to Him, trust Him, and seek His forgiveness.
Satan wants us to feel like as if we shouldn’t go to God in prayer when are going through a rough time. He wants us to feel distant from God in the midst of sin. He wants us to feel like God won’t understand or that this is the time when God will turn his back in disgust at what we have become. Satan wants us to feel those things because he knows that prayer, faith in God, repentance, and forgiveness is the only cycle that will redeem us. That scares the devil. He wants us to believe that a cycle of giving in to temptation will be the key to our spiritual success and happiness. He wants us to believe that God can’t give us all that we need. And he’s so dead wrong.
Look, I’m still figuring this whole thing out. I’ll probably have to fight with myself today on this exact topic. Am I good enough to be in His presence? Will He hear me? Do I have time? Will I say the right words? Does He get me? Girl, He gets you. He loves every little hair on your head, and He knows you inside and out. We are not enough on our own, but through Him we can be made into exactly what we were meant to be. We don’t need anything special or the perfect situation in order to come to Him in prayer. We just need to meet Him there.