Our friendship with God deepens when we risk being open and honest as we talk with Him.
When we become convinced that God is really our friend, we really know how He feels about us and the we can talk to Him about anything.
Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV) Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
One of the things that keeps us from being bold is the common misconception that believers should be perfect. We fake it pretending to have our lives in order, smiling and saying all the right things. At times we’re ashamed to admit our shortcomings.
When we’re born again, God forgives us and sees us as righteous. Salvation through Jesus, however, doesn’t change the fact that sin is present in our lives. Striving for perfection actually can be a trap. The world sees successful individuals as powerful and self-sufficient, but Jesus didn’t care about these qualities. Instead, He wants people to be aware of their own brokenness.
We shouldn’t cover up your emotions in order to look like a “good Christian.” Without becoming open we are unable to rely fully on God. When we realize this we can passionately seek Him, obey Him, and confess and repent when we miss the mark. So if we want our prayer life to go beyond where we are now we are going to have to risk opening up to our friend, God. We are going to have to be bold.
What if we boldly acknowledged our feelings before God—even the aching questions and the deep hurts—and asked Him to help us understand what we were feeling?
What if we were truly honest with Him about our lack of emotional zeal and instead said, “God, help me to celebrate You with joy, not because of my earthly emotions but because of my faith-based, confident trust in the truth of who You are”?
After all, God created every part of us, including our emotions.
As a good God who uses everything for His purposes, don’t you think He can use our most troubling questions and deepest pain to bring testimonies of great glory and power (that goes beyond our in-the-moment feelings)?
I’m Scared to Pray Boldly
by Lysa TerKeurst, from Embraced
The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. — James 5:16
Sometimes I’m scared to pray boldly. It’s not at all that I don’t believe God can do anything. I absolutely do. I’m a wild-about-Jesus girl. Wild in my willingness. Wild in my obedience. Wild in my adventures with God.
So my hesitation isn’t rooted in any kind of doubt about God. It’s more rooted in doubts about myself and my ability to absolutely discern the will of God. The reality is, sometimes God chooses not to do things. And if His will is “No,” while I am boldly praying for a “Yes,” it makes me feel out of step with God.
Can you relate?
I so desperately want to stay in the will of God that I find myself praying with clauses like: God, please heal my friend, but if it’s Your will to take her, I will trust You.
I wonder why I don’t just boldly pray: God, please heal my friend. And then stand confidently knowing my prayers were not in vain — no matter what the outcome.
Praying boldly boots me out of that stale place of religious habit into authentic connection with God Himself.
Prayer opens my spiritual eyes to see things I can’t see on my own. And I’m convinced prayer matters. Prayers are powerful and effective if prayed from the position of a righteous heart (James 5:16).
Prayer opens my spiritual eyes to see things I can’t see on my own.
So, prayer does make a difference — a life-changing, mind-blowing, earth-rattling difference. We don’t need to know how. We don’t need to know when. We just need to kneel confidently and know the tremors of a simple Jesus girl’s prayers extend far-wide and far-high and far-deep.
Letting that absolute truth slosh over into my soul snuffs out the flickers of hesitation. It bends my stiff knees. And it ignites a fresh, bold, and even wilder fire within. Not bold as in bossy and demanding. But bold as in, I love my Jesus with all my heart, so why would I offer anything less than an ignited prayer life?
Jesus speaks specifically about igniting our prayer lives in Matthew 6:6-8:
When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.
So let’s ask. And ask again. Not because we can cause God to move, but so we’ll position our souls to see our sweet Jesus move in any which way He pleases.
Dear Lord, I’m so grateful for the opportunity to bring all my worries and cares to You. Thank You for providing me with exactly what I need. I trust You have my best interest in mind today. In Jesus’ Name, amen.
Excerpted with permission from Embraced by Lysa TerKeurst, copyright Lysa TerKeurst.
Four Steps To Boldness
Here are four steps to take that will help you in becoming bold in your praying.
1. Authentically share with God all that you’re feeling, including your doubts and fears.
He tells us to give Him our cares and to trust Him with every part of our lives.
1 Peter 5:6-7 ESV Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
Matthew 11:28-30 ESV Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
2. Believe the truth that He is not far off, regardless of what your emotions tell you.
Sometimes life is incredibly hard and there seems little relief from the pain. My family and I are going through a season like that right now. It is tough, to say the least!
But during these times, we must not let our emotions take over and nullify the everlasting truths of God.
God is close to the brokenhearted and will rescue those with crushed spirits.
Psalms 34:18 ESV The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
He keeps us in perfect peace when we keep our eyes on Him and not on our circumstances
Isaiah 26:3 ESV You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
He will not reject a broken and repentant heart
Psalms 51:17 ESV The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
He restores the crushed spirit of the humble and revives the courage of those with repentant hearts
Isaiah 57:15 ESV For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: "I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.
The Lord is close to all who call on him in truth
Psalms 145:18-19 ESV The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them.
He will never leave us or give up on us
Hebrews 13:5 ESV Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."
3. Ask Him to reveal anything in your life, including sinful habits, thoughts, or patterns, that may be separating you from Him.
Spend extra time reading the Bible and allowing the purity of Scripture to bathe your heart with what He calls “pure and righteous.”
Ask Him to show you areas where you need His help to live differently so that nothing can hinder your connection with God. Listen for his conviction and not the condemnation.
If He reveals things to you that need to change, be quick to repent and to change patterns in your life so that you can find healing and restoration.
4. Keep seeking, keep believing, and watch His promises still come true (despite your waxing and waning emotions).
Be still and let Him do the work to heal and bring answers. Continue to believe in His trustworthy, never-failing promises.