What should I say...

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“Oh Lord, you have searched me and known me!  You know me when I sit down and when I rise up: you discern my thoughts from afar.”

Psalm 139:1

“If you really loved me, you would give me what I want”, shouted our 12 year old son over our decision not to buy an expensive toy. That conversation took place several years ago, but I often wonder if my prayers to the Heavenly Father aren’t offered with a similar motive—getting  what I want—not necessarily what is best for me. 

Prayer is my personal communication with God for myself and/or others. It is not informing God of my needs since He already knows them according to Matthew 6:8. My total dependence on him and his character bring me into deeper relationship with him. The true purpose in prayer is intimacy with God. Although I know this, prayer is often the most difficult thing I do. If he knows everything about me—even before I was born; my thoughts, my dreams, my fears, and even those secret sins that I don’t want anyone to know about—what will I say to him?

My enemy (Satan) would like me to believe I’m not important to my Father God and the time I spend with him in prayer is a waste of time—especially since some of my prayers remain seemingly unanswered. Satan’s purpose is to steal, kill and destroy anything that God intended as a blessing in my life; including prayer. My sin will separate me from God and prevent an open, intimate relationship with him. The only way to break down that barrier is to confess the sin and claim his forgiveness offered through the cross. 

God’s grace and mercy toward me, teamed with my love for him, creates a level of intimacy that draws me into his presence. I can express all those felt emotions and the desires of my heart. An intimate relationship with God brings contentment and a sense of purpose to my life. Regardless of my bumbling, awkward approach to prayer, I imagine him leaning forward and waiting patiently while I share my heart with him.  Sometimes, I abandon the prayer protocol and come racing to him like a child needing immediate help with a crisis. He doesn’t scold or withdraw from me and I can be absolutely transparent and honest with him without fear of losing our relationship. 

There are times when prayer is difficult because the burdens are so heavy. God knew there would be times like these, and provided the Holy Spirit to intercede for me in a language without words. (Romans 8:26-27)  Jesus also prayed for us just before he went to the cross. He knew there would be times when prayer would be difficult and I would question whether it made any difference. What should I say to God who already knows my circumstances? The Answer is simple: Everything and Anything

Think About: Do you find prayer time difficult? Why? Are your prayers hindered by unconfessed sin?

Prayer: Dear Father, I praise you for loving me and wanting an intimate relationship with me.  Help me recognize Satan’s attempts to hinder our time together.   Please teach me to pray.


River Community Church