When thou prayest, rather let thy heart be without words than thy words be without heart.
Sometimes we react by a kind of religious reflex and repeat dutifully the proper words and phrases even though they fail to express our real feelings and lack the authenticity of personal experience. Right now is such a time. A certain conventional loyalty may lead some who hear this unfamiliar truth expressed for the first time to say brightly, “Oh, I am never lonely. Christ said, `I will never leave you nor forsake you,’ and, `Lo, I am with you alway.’ How can I be lonely when Jesus is with me?”
Now I do not want to reflect on the sincerity of any Christian soul, but this stock testimony is too neat to be real. It is obviously what the speaker thinks should be true rather than what he has proved to be true by the test of experience. This cheerful denial of loneliness proves only that the speaker has never walked with God without the support and encouragement afforded him by society.
We are all hiding from each other with big fig leaves, but God says, “You could stop because I am a way better covering. I have an actual payment for all the sin you are hiding. But it will take coming out from behind your leaves. It will take humility to see that you need me”
Gut-wrenching questions honor God. Despair directed at God is a way of encountering him, opening ourselves up to the One and only Someone who can actually do something about our plight.
When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability… To be alive is to be vulnerable.
You teach what you know… but impart who you are.
I always try to turn my personal struggles into something helpful for others.
If we don’t come to Christ as we are (with our baggage, bondage and brokenness), then we never experience His unconditional love. This leaves us feeling like we have to perform for His acceptance. However, if we come to Christ as we are, and He loves us in the midst of our sin, then the shining light of the Lord brings wholeness to our entire life. Fear of rejection and the shame that once took us hostage will be broken off of us as we embrace His incredible grace and our new nature in Christ.
God’s program for reviving His people is definite and clear. First Elijah ‘repaired the altar of Jehovah that was thrown down.’ That is the place to begin. All the ruin that sin has wrought must be cleared away by confession. Things must be made right with God; restitution must be made where it is due. Unless this is done definitely and thoroughly, prayer for reviving is vain…. Too many are praying today without repairing the altar by confession of sin, without digging a trench of separation from the world and without a surrender that is even unto death. No wonder such prayer is fruitless.
Heartfelt prayer is the source of peace of heart, whilst insincere, superficial, inattentive prayer wounds the heart.