The truth of the matter is we all come to prayer with a tangled mass of motives – altruistic and selfish, merciful and hateful, loving and bitter. Frankly, this side of eternity we will never unravel the good from the bad, the pure from the impure. But what I have come to see is that God is big enough to receive us with all our mixture. We do not have to be bright, or pure, or filled with faith, or anything. That is what grace means, and we are not only saved by grace, we live by it as well. And we pray by it.
I find those words hard to believe. I want to come to prayer pure and perfect and clean and with everything well thought out. I don’t want to be too greedy or too needy. I don’t want God to think I am asking for too much or don’t appreciate what I have enough. After all pissing off God is a decidedly bad thing.
But the fact of the matter is I almost never feel those things and therefore I find it hard to prayer a lot of the time. I don’t feel worthy of prayer. But how opposite is that from everything that Jesus talked about! He said to come like a child to its father – open and honest and with everything out in the open with the full expectation of beign met. He said that prayer should be simple and that we should do it. He said prayer was life.
I need that life and so today…I’m going to try praying honestly, openly, and unselfconsciously – I am going to try and pray as a free man. I hope.