Thursday, January 23, 2014

Praying Honest Prayers

Annabelle being honest with her feelings...
You know when you are at a job interview, and they ask you that dreaded question, "What are your strengths?"

You muddle through it until they throw the MORE dreaded question at you... "What are your weaknesses?"

I hate that question as an interview question. Mostly because every answer will always be something GOOD in excess that makes it seem like a weakness but really makes you look more appealing.

"I really like things done right, so sometimes I get a little overboard and am too picky..."

or

"I am just SO punctional, I really need to learn to be more flexable."

The point of an interview is to sell yourself. No normal person is going to give the REAL answer to this. "Uh, yeah, I have a habit of being late for work every day" or "I have no respect for authority so will probably not listen to a word you say" or "Details just aren't my thing..."

I realized lately, that I do the same thing in my prayers to God.

I try to make myself look good. As if he can't see the real me, the real motives behind my prayers. I present myself, especially when I WANT something from him, in the best light possible to try to achieve my desired results.

Case in point.

Last weekend, we went on a trip. Annabelle was "Patient of the Year" for a company called Vapotherm, and they flew our whole family up to New Hampshire to take part in an annual banquet. We had a great time, but the caviet was that yours truly had to make a speech at the banquet about Annabelle and her experience with Vapotherm.

I had NO problems telling her story---except for this little fact that I HATE public speaking. I am not good at it, and I was nervous out of my mind.

Life has been so busy lately (thus the missed post on Monday....) and I didn't even get a chance to write said speech until the plane ride there.

I was fretting a little, to say the least.

So the day off, Scott took the kids to go have some fun while Annabelle napped, and I stayed in the room to practice my speech while Annabelle napped.

After my 5th time rehearsing it... I realized something. I'd spent a lot of time worrying, and very little time praying.

So I dropped to my knees, and started to pray.

It went a little something like.... "Lord, please let me be able to deliver this speech and give you glory through---"

And that's when it hit me.

Yes, I DID want God to receive glory through my words. That is ALWAYS my heart.

But my motives for wanting to do well were not all that "Christian".

Honestly, I didn't want to look like a blubbering idiot up there. The human in me wanted to do a good job, to receive praise, to feel like I'd accomplished something that I've never felt good at.

In fact, my "nice" prayer to God was a wee bit fudged.

I felt like God was saying, "Krista... It's me. I'm not stupid. I know your heart already. Let's talk this out. TELL me how you're feeling. The truth. Then we'll figure it out."

So.... I let down my guard. The conversation went something like,

"Fine. I don't want to sound stupid up there, God. I don't want to look like an idiot and have everyone thinking about that nut job up on stage that can't put two words together. I DO want to give you glory God, I really really do. But if I'm honest, sometimes I want us to both look good. Is that so bad?"

He smiled and said, "Nope."

Then I remembered something I used to tell my employees back when I worked as a manager pre-Annabelle. I would always tell them to take credit for what they did, even if they had to have my help. Because when THEY looked good, that made ME look good too. MY JOB was for THEM to do a good job.

I think we're that way with God, too. God doesn't want us falling flat on our face to humble us every day. Yes, occassional we need a good trip and dose of humility, but He doesn't joy in it. He wants us to do good, to look good. He wants us to succeed just as much as we do.

And when we DO succeed... well, he's our proud Papa that created us, that gave us new LIFE. That makes HIM look good too... He's saying, "Yeah, that's MY girl up there!!"

So yup. I learned a little something by giving God my honest struggles and insecurities.

What about you? Do you need to learn to pray a little more honestly to God? Is it hard to let your true feelings blurt out when you're chatting with Him?

6 comments:

MisMisWilson said...

I need to pray more and more honestly. I love being in controller, major weakness. I try to handle things myself. I received one of the most dreaded calls for a parent at 6:20 this morning. My son calling to tell me he had a wreck. He is okay, sore but his vehicle is a total loss. I stopped and "Thanked God" right then. I do not chat to God nearly enough. God has blessed us, we really need to Bless him with our love. There is so many little things we take for granted in life. Sometimes God gives us a little reality check. I am so happy your mom is coming to help you soon. Moms are the best!

Gwyn K. Weyant said...

Krista, great post with the words you just wrote you helped me through a couple of things. Truth is I never learned how to pray for me. I can offer up good ones for someone else. The idea that I needed to praise him and then do my praying. Gave me trouble because I felt like a phony. So I don't pray at all. Truth is your right. He knows our heart and until I work through the problems of how to ask him for me. I can't be honest to him I. Pray or praise.

Megan Besing said...

""I felt like God was saying, "Krista... It's me. I'm not stupid. I know your heart already. Let's talk this out. TELL me how you're feeling. The truth. Then we'll figure it out." " So true. Except... for me it's "Megan" :)

Krista Phillips said...

Oh my goodness, I'm RIGHT THERE WITH YOU on wanting to be in control... God and I fight over it all the time! He wins though....

And I am SO SO SO thankful your son is okay as well! How scary!!!

Krista Phillips said...

There is no right and wrong when we pray... except when we pray arrogant prayers, only to boast ourselves up in other's eyes... and I would add, even in our own eyes too.

God wants to hear our honest prayers... After all, prayer is a conversation, and even the good King David had some pretty honest prayers to God.

Krista Phillips said...

:-) Isn't it cool how God does that???