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Another "unsafe" prayer

Are we guilty of praying 'safe' prayers? Prayers that are kind of mamby-pamby at best - working our way AROUND the real need without ever really hitting the nail on the head! These types of prayers are prayed more times each day than we might realize - with some of them coming from our own mouths! Why? "Safe" prayers are easiest because we don't have to 'expose' too much - we can just 'hint' about the need and hope God gets the point.

And when you pray, don’t be like the people who don’t know God. They say the same things again and again. They think that if they say it enough, their god will hear them. Don’t be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. So this is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, we pray that your name will always be kept holy. We pray that your kingdom will come—
that what you want will be done here on earth, the same as in heaven. Give us the food we need for today. Forgive our sins, just as we have forgiven those who did wrong to us. Don’t let us be tempted,
but save us from the Evil One.’ (Matthew 6:7-13)

Jesus didn't just tell us to pray, he gave us specific examples of how 'not to pray' and then told us how we should pray. In the opening verses of this chapter, he tells us not to be like the hypocrites that pray those 'big wordy prayers' that really say nothing - just bringing attention to how 'theological' our prayers can be. They don't win us any points with God because he'd rather we get alone and just share our hearts with him.

He also remind us of the importance of knowing God himself - of being in relationship with him - because that is the real reason for prayer - to relate! God knows our need, but we are still to talk with him about it. It is quite possible that in the intimate sharing of our hearts, God is doing the work of purifying our hearts just a little bit more. We don't know if our need is pure or not until we submit it to God himself. In those 'risky moments' of praying 'unsafe' prayers, we are opening ourselves up to what may become the 'best prayers' of our lives!

Notice our passage begins with an expectation - "And WHEN you pray..." There is no option in prayer. It is necessary for two people to talk - to share openly with each other - if they are to grow together. Even deaf and mute people talk! Even blind people use their other senses to explore what they hear. Don't think you can bypass being open with God - it isn't going to allow growth if you just put those 'safe' prayers and never really get to the 'juicy' stuff you are keeping all bottled up inside.

"Safe" prayers are simply prayers that should remain unspoken. They are idle words - empty and devoid of substance. Get specific about your sin and see what God will do with that honesty. Get down to the nitty-gritty about your desires and see how God begins to unfold how he plans to fulfill those desires. Get real in sharing your hurts and see how God's grace can bind up those wounds. It is the 'unsafe' prayers that open the door of God's heart. Just sayin!


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