“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.” (Matthew 6:7 ESV)
When I read the passage above it reminded me of how all too often I come to my eternal Father in prayer, and halfway through our dialog I can’t even remember what I’m talking to Him about. Being routine in prayer for the sake of making it a habit of conversing is wonderful, but being routine in the words we use is empty and shallow.
At times it is because I am struggling with trials in my life and I apparently think that I can manage them better than coming to Him. At times it is because I’m frustrated with individuals in my life or myself. Also there are times when it’s simply because I’m tired. Whatever the reason, He is not asking for us to check a box, but for us to share our heart. Yes He knows what we ask before we say it, but we need to talk to Him about it.
Imagine going to a counselor and telling him you worked it all out in your head but you just don’t want to talk about it. Do you think he can help you!? Do you really think it’s worked out!? This is for our benefit, not His. He knows and understands all. Our prayers need to be genuine and from the heart.
I’ve been much better at catching these shallow moments in my prayer life, but they still find me all too often. I have never (yes never) pulled myself away from what I was doing and opened my heart to God and walked away feeling like it was a waste of time. Every single time he has met me, and every single time I have been blessed. You think I would know this by now, but no, I still have to force myself at times to pull away from my ‘busy’ day and come to Him in prayer.
It bothers me how shallow I can be sometimes, but it delights me that I see it, and that He continues to call me to deeper waters …