Daring Greatly author Brené Brown described authenticity as “the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we really are.” In your prayer life, there is no reason to wear a facade or to try to present yourself as anything more or less than who you are – a struggling soul in need of God’s grace, mercy, forgiveness, wisdom, provision, healing, and protection. The Lord is your Creator. He knows you intimately which means He knows your weaknesses, failures, flaws, and vulnerabilities. Instead of spending precious prayer time trying to justify your behavior, it’s better to confess your wrongdoing and seek God’s help in those areas where you struggle.
Some people believe their prayers aren’t as effective because they don’t use the same descriptive language or dramatic tones as people whose prayers they admire. The Lord is not judging your ability to coin a phrase. He’s interested in whether you approach him with humility; acknowledge your dependence on him; are aware of the rich promises in His word, and trusting Him to be present as He resolves challenging situations in your life. God loves you so deeply and completely, that you cannot fully comprehend it. The enemy works around the clock trying to hinder your relationship with the Lord. You are able to enjoy a relationship with your Creator that the enemy can never have again. As a result, he wants to ruin that sacred relationship for as many others as possible.
To pray with authenticity, you should acknowledge:
- Who God is to you – Psalm 18:30 says “This God—his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.”
- Thoughts, words, and actions that you committed outside of God’s will – Romans 3:23 says “ for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”
- Your need for God’s forgiveness – Matthew 6:14-15 says “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
- Areas where you struggle to be the person God has called you to be – 1 Corinthians 10:13 says “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
- People and situations that trouble you or burden your heart – James 5:16 says “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”
- Your need for God’s intervention in every situation that concerns you – Isaiah 63:9 says “Through all that they suffered, he suffered too. The messenger sent from his very presence delivered them. In his love and mercy he protected them; he lifted them up and carried them throughout ancient times.”
- Your faith in God to resolve every situation in the manner that is ultimately most beneficial for you – Hebrews 11:6 says “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
Authenticity – opening our whole heart – is the key to an intimate and fulfilling relationship with our Creator.