Read: “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” Jeremiah 29:12 (NIV)
Reflect: As I listened to this weekend’s message I was reminded of a time several years ago when I dreaded prayer (that may sound odd coming from someone who works in ministry). Each weekend, my ministry team would take turns praying for the kids and families who would walk through our doors.
I worked with a ministry leader who had the gift of prayer. When she prayed it was as if she were singing a beautiful song with the perfect words, tone and passion. There was no pretense about it. She was truly gifted in prayer. I, in total contrast, am a person of few words, so anytime I found myself having to pray after her, I was intimidated. I would fill with dread; my palms would sweat and I would fumble through.
One day as I found myself trying to avoid standing next to her, I realized how absurd I was being. I was talking to God–God, my father, who knows me intimately. He knows my giftings because he gave them to me for his purpose. He would not want me to pray to him using someone else’s words. He wants to hear my words, as plain and boring as I may think they are. They are beautiful to him because they are mine. In that moment as I waited my turn I no longer felt dread. I felt excited to talk to my father about the families that we would encounter that weekend.
React: Are you intimidated by praying out loud? Don’t be. Remember that God loves you as you are and wants to hear from you in your own words…not in the words of others.
Pray: Lord, thank you that you love us unconditionally and know us intimately. Help us this week to feel free to be our authentic self in your presence.