March 14, 2018 | David A. Dein

Spiritual Growth

“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’” – Luke 18:13

“Why did I not die at birth,
    come out from the womb and expire?”  - Job 3:11

Here’s three words that might change your Christian walk forever:  Prayer is Ugly.  Prayer is a very act of being vulnerable and broken.   So why is it that we have such a hard time praying? I’ve been thinking about this for a while and I’ve come to a very simple conclusion.  I learned from the wrong examples.

I learned from the countless Pastors, who are so good at prayer it puts mine to shame.  They know how to talk to God in higher ways than me.  I learned from my Christian heroes.  I learned from Billy Graham.  When I should have learned from the tax collector who couldn’t even look up he was so ashamed, or from Job who gets so mad at God he screams “out why was I even born.” 

Imagine if you brought every grievance to your boss.  Imagine you told them everything you felt was wrong, and then admitted every wrong thing you ever did at work.  Odds are they’d show you the door, or even if they didn’t, there would always be a piece of that nagging and criticism left, you’d become a lesser in their eyes.   

But for some reason when you bring everything to God, not only will he forgive every one of your grievances against him, but all the more he’ll forgive you, understand you, and show you the truth for every sin you’ve ever committed.  But the best part and the one part I have the hardest time with is that because of Grace he wipes it all clean. Meaning  that he won’t ever again hold it against you, EVER! WOW!! 

Recently we started playing a song called Broken Prayers by Riley Clemmons that is a great inspiration on getting better at prayer, but also allows you to fight through some of the awkwardness of talking to God in a vulnerable and ugly way.  The next time you pray have it out with God, question him, challenge him, and then be honest where you fall short.  See grace in action in your ugly prayers.


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