SIM­PLE PRAYER

Activated - - NEWS - BY MARIE ALVERO MARIE ALVERO IS A FOR­MER MIS­SION­ARY TO AFRICA AND MEX­ICO. SHE CUR­RENTLY LIVES A HAPPY, BUSY LIFE WITH HER HUS­BAND AND CHIL­DREN IN CEN­TRAL TEXAS, USA. ■

Sev­eral years ago, my life was very un­cer­tain. And in the mid­dle of that loss, cri­sis, and stress, I be­gan to ques­tion ev­ery­thing, down to the very foun­da­tion of my faith. I’d been very com­fort­able with prayer be­fore, but then it be­came a strug­gle. Some days I was an­gry with God, some days I didn’t feel like I could trust Him, some days I just didn’t know what I felt.

Then I got the idea to read some of the book of Psalms first thing each morn­ing. I didn’t get very far be­fore I re­al­ized it’s a book of pray­ers. King David shared all his un­cen­sored thoughts and emo­tions with God. He didn’t wait till he could present him­self “prop­erly.” If his heart was bro­ken, he spoke as if it was. If he was over­come with joy, he shared it with God in praise.

1 In Psalm 139, David says to God: “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your pres­ence? If I go up to the heav­ens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I set­tle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”

2 When he was sure he needed help, he prayed: “To you, Lord, I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy: ‘What is gained if I am si­lenced, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it pro­claim your faith­ful­ness? Hear, Lord, and be mer­ci­ful to me; Lord, be my help.’”

3 Doesn’t that sound like the com­mu­ni­ca­tion of a heart that knows God? It’s in­ti­mate and con­fi­dent, authen­tic, bro­ken, and grate­ful all at the same time. David brought be­fore God what­ever he was feel­ing. He asked for what­ever he needed. I de­cided to take my cue from him.

I let my pray­ers lose all for­mal­ity. I voiced my des­per­a­tion, hopes, hurts, pe­ti­tions, joys, rage, fears, and needs us­ing what­ever words and feel­ings I had. Above all, I just kept talk­ing with God. Even though I didn’t un­der­stand. Even though the an­swers were slow in com­ing.

Prayer is sim­ply talk­ing with God. “You know what I am go­ing to say even be­fore I say it, Lord,”

4 David noted. God al­ready knows what’s on your heart, no need to “dress it up” for Him.

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