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Emails to God – Too Much Vulnerability? (Matthew 6:5-8)

23 Aug

5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Dear God, I think one of the areas where I get myself into difficulty is that I don’t like to put a gloss on how things are going. When people ask me how things are going at work, I never want to just give a nice, “Oh, just great,” unless things are going great. Same thing for my personal life. My experience is that people get more out of my vulnerability and confessions of weakness as opposed to me trying to make everything look perfect.

So why does that get me into difficulty? Well, there are times when I think I might make things sound worse than they really are. There are also times when the people around me are expecting me to lead them through a difficult time and they need me to display confidence and a positive attitude. I know there have been times when I shared too much of my fears with my children—such as when I was unemployed back in 2003 and 2005. They needed to feel a little more security through those times than I gave them. In an effort to be vulnerable and transparent, I think I shared too much.

How does that fit with this passage? Because the way I can justify praying to you through this blog and sharing it with the readers even though this verse discourages it is because I am not trying to impress anyone with what a grand prayer or Christian I am. I try to mention my faults in here. I try to mention my fears and vulnerabilities. But then I think people sometimes read it and start to get worried about me. I had a friend one time stop and ask me if I was okay. I said, “Yes. I’m really doing well. It is actually very therapeutic to journal prayers this way.” I then said, “You should try it some time. You’d be surprised by what comes out.”

Father, I don’t want to be a babbling pagan. I just want to have a life that is open to you in prayer. I want to find time in my day to stop and listen to your still small voice. I want you to use this blog to let others know that they are not alone. There is a fellow sojourner who struggles, questions, cries out, overcomes, and lives in victory with you. I want people to see something in Scripture that they might not have seen before. And I want others to have a look inside me and see beneath any veneer that I might intentionally or unintentionally put up around me. Be glorified through me in this process. Help me to decrease as you increase.

 

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