Prayer Part 1: The Need for Real Pray-ers
In their article 'The Need for Real Women', the Lovely Commission editors wrote,
“There is an urgent and desperate need for real, radical, radiant women in the world—women who will hold nothing back from the Lord, who will do anything, learn anything, and go anywhere for Him!”
This current article you are reading is about motivation for personal prayer, personal prayer being one key element to becoming a real, radical, radiant woman of God. I hope to share some thoughts to encourage you in your personal prayer life!
KEEPING IT REAL
One thing that has struck me over the past while is that personal prayer keeps us real. Unless we are real with the Lord, all else is for naught! When I asked the Lord about what to write for this specific article, he kept giving me this verse:
“My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise” (Psalm 51:17).
I had to stop and think. What did this mean in relation to personal prayer? Here’s what I’ve come up with so far. Perhaps you have more insight. This verse comes from Psalm 51. In this psalm, David is real, about as real as one can get, with the Lord. He’s honest about where he’s at in his relationship with the Lord. His open admission of his missteps but also, his worship of the Lord is honest and whole-hearted too. To me, this psalm and this particular verse reminds me of the truth that God is after the human heart as it is, imperfect though it may be. The psalmist gives the Lord his heart in its current state, not as he would wish it to be. He gives the Lord all of his heart, as it is, and worships him. It’s a stunning scene, and one that is pleasing to the Lord, I believe. It also reminds me of the woman at Bethany, smashing her perfume on the Lord Jesus’ feet (Luke 7:36-50).
Focusing not so much then on the repentance aspect of David’s psalm, but more so on how honest David is with the Lord is what I want to reflect on. In today’s society, it’s easy to hide or show only certain aspects of our lives to others. We may be tempted sometimes to filter, tweak, edit, and engineer how we come across to our families, friends, communities, employers—everyone—for the sake of our image—our pride—as well as for the sake of seeking love and affirmation. While it’s not surprising that we wrestle with this, as we’re surrounded by this tendency in our culture, what we need is the Lord’s love and affection.
So praise the Lord, there’s no filter that works before his gaze, and no filter necessary. He loves us! The real us. How healing and encouraging. His gaze is so loving, so searching, so gentle and merciful, so desiring that we surrender all that we are to him: we are acceptable to him. God wants so much more than a heart of stone or a heart that has been tweaked and filtered. He wants our whole, beautiful, real hearts, just as they are. This is the one thing he lacks and the one thing he gave his life for. Our hearts, as they are, are beautiful to him.
This is the truth, and while we may know it, it’s easy to forget it. We have an enemy who is trying to help us forget. That’s one reason we come to the Lord daily: he reminds us of what we already know and deepens our understanding of this truth and increases our confidence in it. When we come to the Lord daily for personal prayer, we do more than just fulfill an obligation or do something out of a sense of guilt or anxiety. We have the chance to set aside our cell phones, computers, and all else that might tempt us to focus on the world instead of on him. We give the Lord a chance to make us whole, to restore, refresh, and renew us—to bring us back into reality, his reality.
By: Lynne May