Prayer is a change agent if I will let it. As I’ve been praying for certain people lately who are going through some excruciating circumstances, I’ve been surprised to see some things in my own heart.
But maybe I’ve always known they were there, but never looked at them squarely in the eye. Do you do this — pretend things are fine with God and with your heart?
It’s the same lie we tell others though. You know the one when you cross paths with another person and they ask, “How are you?” You reply, “Fine.”
You can’t do that with God. Not with the One before whom we are so exposed. “And no creature is hidden from His sight, but we are all naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” Hebrews 4:13
When I was sick a couple months ago I was desperate for someone to tell me what I had. I needed a name for this malady, this illness my body was fighting. The moment the ER doctor told me I had C.Diff I was so relieved. There’s a name for this thing!!!
Why was I so happy? C.Diff is a terrible thing and left untreated it can be fatal. I was happy because now the doctors could treat me with certainty. There is a drug that will kill off this bacteria. We were no longer shooting in the dark trying to figure out what was wrong with me.
What if we were really honest about our hearts? What if we were brave and looked at our soul entangling sins right in the eye and named them? Would this be so bad? No! Not at all! For there is a ready cure for this malady, this perversity called sin which so blinds us and deceives us.
“And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God…for by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.” Hebrews 10:11-12, 14
The act of prayer, this conversation with the Holy, draws out fears, sins and unbelief. I don’t like to look at it, but I must. For it is an act of grace that He opens my eyes to these things. He wants me to be free of them. It may take a while to deal with them. Perhaps a lifetime for some of the deeply entrenched ones. But it’s okay. He has paid the price to accomplish this task of sanctification (see Romans 8:28-39) and I don’t have to pretend.