I’ve been throwing this question around in my head over the past few weeks. Am I honest with God? So often, I think it’s easy to assume that I have to have things together before I pray, or that I should have some idea of a right answer or perspective, so I can pray in light of that. Recently through various sermons, personal reading and Bible studies, I’ve recognized that this isn’t the pattern of a heart trusting in God.
Here are a few examples of personal prayers of honesty to God:
She was deeply distressed and prayed to the LORD and wept bitterly. And she vowed a vow and said, ‘O LORD of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.’
-Hannah in 1 Sam. 1:10-11
Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went away full, and the LORD has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi, when the LORD has testified against me and the Almighty has brought calamity upon me?
-Naomi in Ruth 1:19-21
Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.’
– Job in Job 1:20-21
I know, O LORD, that your rules are righteous,
and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me.
Let your steadfast love comfort me
according to your promise to your servant.
-David in Psalm 119:75-76
And this is Jesus’s response to his people about this:
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. (Matthew 11:28-30)
You see, Jesus’s words are powerful. “Come to me.” Come to Jesus. Trust him personally; don’t just believe in who he is, but trust in Him! He will give you rest. His rest encompasses all the emotional labor and toil that we exhaust in our minds. Jesus wants to know those things. Instead of trying to earn a relationship with Him, or figure out his plan for your life, tell him those thoughts, tell him those fears, tell him your desires. Surrender those things to him and trust that he is at work. He is faithful to those who seek him. You will see his great purpose for your life: to draw you near to him in troubling times.
When we’re not honest with God, we can’t truly see his grace in our lives. We’re blinded to the ways he’s working in us, because we guard our minds and emotions from acknowledging the pain we’re dealing with. When we give those things to him, we are more open to his plans and purposes. An honest heart sees that clearly.
Draw near to God honestly.