Give Up the Act and Pray Alone

Sitting here today, trying to think about what to write, well, it just wasn’t working. My brain was full of too many thoughts and none involved words worth printing. I prayed and read my Bible because I knew God would reveal Himself.

Matthew 6 is very well known so I looked at it from the perspective of the Message translation. I like how the Message words verse 6: “Here’s what I want you to do: find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense His grace.”

God knows our tendency to put on a show. “Oh Lord Jesus! Come down here! We need you!” (said while falling down in a heap.) “See look, I am holy! I did all of this for You, and only a little bit for the people who saw me!” God also knows our reality. He knows what is really in our hearts and the motives behind our actions. I love how Jesus wants us to get by ourselves and offer whatever pieces we have. Stripping off our pride, embarrassment, and fear is the only way to truly see what is underneath.

Jesus wants us to be humble and honest. He wants our presence and our honest, heart-felt words. Nothing has to be prettied up and shiny. In fact, God works best with raw because that means we haven’t been trying to do things in our own power. He prefers we bring our dirty, beat up hearts for Him to heal. I think that sounds much easier than being on my own!

The last part of the verse is my favorite. My sentences are way too cluttered with “I” and have too little focus on God. Rather than be ashamed of that fact, I should deal with it. God knows that happens, so I need to let Him change my focus to Him. If I ask Him to help me, He will never deny me. While I sit and wait, He will speak to me with His grace and wash me over in peace.

Giving God time when I am busy is the best thing I can do. He will show me His priorities and move my heart the way He wants. It may take longer some days to clear my mind and shift my focus, but if I am willing, God will do the heavy lifting for me. All I have to do is get alone and be honest, and He will reward me with His grace and peace.

Sounds like a plan to me!

Linking with Holley Gerth!

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20 thoughts on “Give Up the Act and Pray Alone

  1. The Message makes God’s Word come alive to me, Sarah. I’ve been reading the Bible my whole life … and to see the familiar words presented in a fresh way makes me sit up and take notice again. He has so much to speak to us …

    Hugs to you this evening, Sarah!

  2. Hi Sarah. I love that verse from the Message. I don’t read it all the time, but some of the passages have such an impact. I can relate to having sentences way too cluttered with the word “I.” My Salvadoran husband helped me see that. In his country they use “we” a lot more. More humble. But of course the one we should really be focusing on is God! 🙂 Blessings.

  3. Love the idea of letting God do the heavy lifting! I need to trust him to do that more- thanks for this 🙂 and for your honest post- so often( usually!) I feel i have nothing to write too- but He is always faithful to fill the page – 🙂

  4. Raw is for sure! He loves the raw and the authentic. To be transparent with God, even though He clearly already knows what’s inside, is a putting down of our pride. Very thought-provoking. Thank you!

  5. Wow – I love the way The Message phrases that verse! I’m in the middle of prepping for a conference about “Be Still” and was working on an intro to a silent listening prayer exercise. Couldn’t be a more perfect verse for it! Better than anything I could explain. No mistake that I happened to read this tonight. Thanks!

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