How Do You Come Before God?
Therefore I desire that the men pray everywhere,
lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. (1 Tim 2:8)
Imagine this: you have just
stormed off in frustration from an unresolved argument with a friend. Your
heart is filled with pain and anger as you kneel down and pray. You think that
prayer will make the problem disappear, but you feel no peace and frustration
builds the more you pray. Worse, the problem stays with you.
Praying is supposed to comfort me and help me through this. Why am I
still feeling this way?
Yes, praying is good when a
personal problem arises, but exactly how do you come before God? Let’s say you
are chatting with your best friend in the park on a beautiful day, and you are
pouring out the anger and anxiety that is in your heart. The more you talk, the
angrier you get.
What can your friend say while you
are in this state of mind? He or she can probably say nothing because you would
be too overcome by your emotions to let him or her edge in a thought or two.
This is the same with God.
We must not pray with anger, or
while we are still holding a grudge. If the resentment lingers in your mind
while you pray, there is no room for God to advise or comfort. We must
reconcile and make friends with our enemies. Our conscience must be clear
before we face God in our prayers.
It is important to remind
ourselves that it is by grace that we are able to pray. Everything we have
comes by His grace. God has chosen us and wants us to pray and communicate with
Him. Therefore, we must grasp every opportunity to pray, as prayer is a gift
from God. Knowing this, we ought to examine ourselves before we kneel before
Him, and we should think about what kind of prayers we are offering to God.
We should give over our anger and
frustrations to the Lord rather than complain and focus on how we had been
wronged. If we fixate on the other person’s fault, this is our haughtiness and
pride. We know that “God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble” (Jas
4:6). It is better for us to learn to focus on our own mistakes because that
will be the beginning of our humility.
Yes, He desires that we pray
everywhere and come before Him. But His conditions are that we are holy and
humble; without wrath and haughtiness.
Questions for reflection:
Have you ever prayed to God for
comfort but received nothing? If so, was there a problem or argument on your
mind at that time that was disturbing you?