How is that we can come to God boldly and admit our issues if we cannot be honest with Him in the first place?
In our age and time what we usually tend to do is only give a brief synopsis of what we are going through, or what we want, need, and not pour out our hearts to God, as though He doesn’t know us. Our thoughts and hearts are so corrupt that we would wish He wouldn’t know about us. And times we try to hide with fake lifestyle. All this is to make ourselves feel better and make others think great about our Christian life, while all the while we would have the best hidden darkest Christian life ever.
With that best darkest life of ours, "if" we feel like praying, we only pray about things that we need, things that WE THINK will please God and make Him happy. Sometimes we pray for the sake of formality.
We try to avoid talking to God about the most important issues in our lives. Why? Because we justify some of our life issues that they are fine without God's help; He doesn't need to know. In other words, we do need any help from God. We will compromise and live with it.
This is NOT how prayer works!
For prayer to work, we MUST be transparent and be honest with God!
Can we hide our hearts from God? It will be foolish to think that we can hide our hearts from God.
1 Samuel 16:7 reminds us that God looks at the hearts! “For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
When we have something in our hearts, whether it is for our good or bad or others good or bad, admit that to God. We should not be praying to God when our hearts are dark and miserable (figuratively speaking), and then act as if nothing is wrong.
When we do this, we are lying to God. It doesn't matter what "kind" of a lie it is, whether it be white life, dark like, red like, etc. All lies are lies. And we know that the Bible condemns lies. There is no "better lie," or "somewhat OK lie."
Numbers 19:11 states it clearly - "Do not lie." No, this is not a "plea" from God; it is an absolute command, meaning - Do. Not. Lie.
Notice what Proverbs 12:22 states: "Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, But those who deal truthfully are His delight."
Look at what Jesus said in John 8:44 -
"You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it."
Who is the father of lies? The word for resources is not in the Greek text but added for clarity. NIV adds "language" instead of "resources." ESV add "character." HCSB adds "nature."
Colossians 3:9 states - "Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds."
Look closely at this verse. IF we put away our old lifestyle, we will not have a need to live that old lifestyle, right? If we are still living that old lifestyle, it only means that we honestly did not give up on that old way of life.
We try to keep things away from God because we do not want Him to know about them.
We forget that God is Holy! We approach Him however we want. What we need to remember is, when we come to Him we must come with utter reverence and with the knowledge that He indeed knows our hearts inside out! Remember, God, answers to our lives, and how we live, not just to our requests.
Here are some points to think about:
God already knows the truth. We cannot fool Him like we fool our friends or families.
Remember what Jeremiah 23:24 says? “Can anyone hide himself in secret places, So I shall not see him?” says the Lord; ‘Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the Lord.’” Here the text in Jeremiah is saying that no one can hide from God. In other words, God sees EVERYTHING, that is, including our hearts!
You may wonder what this has to do with anyone's heart. It has something to do. Our heart goes where we go. We cannot leave our hearts in one room and take our bodies into another room (physically speaking), so they go together. If one can hide somewhere and God can see him, then God is seeing him as a whole person.
Remember Hebrews 4:13? “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”
Think about it. Where can we hide? We cannot hide from Him, and we cannot hide ANYTHING from Him.
Did you ever put yourselves in a position where you prayed to God, but then you know that in the back of your mind, you were not completely honest with Him?
Avoid those kinds of prayers! They only make your life miserable.
We need to pour out our innermost desires, doubts, worries, hurts, complaints, and questions to God!
Sometimes we pray for ourselves and sometimes for others. But, how honest and sincere are we when we pray? Sometimes we ONLY give God what WE THINK is enough. Is this the right thing to do?
Sincerity and transparency with God are two vital things in prayer life.
Look at Moses, for example. In Exodus 32:31, Moses said to the LORD: “Then Moses returned to the Lord and said, ‘Oh, these people have committed a great sin, and have made for themselves a god of gold!’”
He could have said, oh LORD; these people did something wrong, but, you know, they are having a tough time. So, please take it easy on them. But, did he? No. He was honest with Him and said exactly what He needs to say! He spoke the truth!
Look at Jeremiah, on the other side. In 20:12 he cries out to God saying “But, O Lord of hosts, You who test the righteous, And see the mind and heart, Let me see Your vengeance on them; For I have pleaded my cause before You.”
The point here is that Jeremiah is acknowledging that God knows the mind and heart, and he gave his issue completely to God by saying “For I have pleaded my cause before You.”
The Hebrew word for pleading is gālâ. It means that whatever the cause is, it is “uncovered,” or “revealed.” The verb pleaded is in Piel stem, that is, it indicates an “intensive action.” Now, take this into consideration. Jeremiah was NOT simply saying here is my problem and I brought that to you. No. He utterly revealed every aspect of the issue before God. There is nothing else for Jeremiah to hide from God!
What is my point? PLEAD with God with complete HONESTY!
Layout your concerns and He will answer!
The result of casting all of these concerns upon God is comfort and peace.
What happens when you pour out your heart to God who sees everything and who knows your heart? We will have comfort and peace.
Say, for example, we are purposefully hiding something in our hearts and do not want to bring that into prayer. But then we spent some time praying about many other things. We also know that God sees our hearts EVEN if we do not bring that concern to Him. Do you think we will have peace in our hearts? No. Because, in the first place, this is utterly wrong, and second, we belittle God by in some way indicating - well, I do not know you so I cannot be honest.
By not being honest with God we are in some ways insulting Him.
A.W. Tozer in Faith Beyond Reason states:
You cannot come to God with bargaining and with promises. But if you will throw yourself recklessly upon God, trust His character, trust the merits of His Son, you will have the petition you have asked of Him.You can have this confidence in God, and you can have this respect for His will. Do not expect God to perform miracles for you so you can write books about them. Do not ever be caught asking God to send you toys like that to play around with.But if you are in trouble and concerned about your situation and willing to be honest with God, you can have confidence in Him. You can go to Him in the merit of His Son, claiming His promises, and He will not let you down. God will help you, and you will find the way of deliverance.God will move heaven and earth for you if you will trust Him.
In Evenings With Tozer, the author says:
This advice will shock some squeamish saints, but it is altogether sound nevertheless. God loves the guileless soul even when in his ignorance he is actually guilty of rashness in prayer. The Lord can soon cure his ignorance, but for insincerity no cure is known.
Question: Will you be honest with God in your prayers? Because God answers sincere prayers.