Keep praying

How many of you have heard these phrases---"God knows my heart. God knows my every move. God knows what I am thinking." Most people have probably heard these phrases often and have likely said them many times. Many of us have probably even quoted and referred to parts of Psalm 139 that begins with, "O Lord, you have searched me and known me."
While I believe all of the phrases and Psalm 139 are absolutely true, I find it interesting that I have uttered and used these phrases during troubling and uncomfortable times as a means to avoid true intimate prayer with God. Let me explain... Rather than truly praying while watching the health of a loved one diminish, or during times of rejection, or while experiencing failure, or in dealing with disappointment, I admit that I have tried to emotionally and spiritually shut myself off from God because I was too hurt. I was too sad, upset, and at times the situation was just too hard to deal with and I couldn't bring myself to pray. I couldn't pray because honest prayer with God requires one to feel and be completely vulnerable to the power and work of the Holy Spirit. Because I was aware of the power of prayer, I had gotten the place where I didn't want to feel or deal with my emotions. Therefore, rather than having the strength and boldness to pray, I have often just said, "Well, God knows my heart."
But I realize that understanding that God knows our heart is not enough and true intimate prayer should not just happen during times of praise and thanks. Honest prayer should happen even at our lowest moments. Praying our way through tough situations strengthens our faith and enables us to fully humble ourselves before God by being truthful to God and ourselves about the root of our pain. Praying requires vulnerability, humility, authenticity, and truthfulness. So as I encourage myself, I encourage you to keep praying. Keep praying even if it hurts. Keep praying and open your heart to the power of God which will ultimately be the source of your strength. Amen.      

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