Real Transparency

 "Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results." James 5:16

 

Transparency is a kind of "buzz word" in the church today. We say we want leaders who are human and transparent before the people. We say we want a safe atmosphere, where we can be open and honest with one another. There is nothing wrong or harmful in this except it seems we put a great deal of emphasis on what we want, and so reduce His role to being the means of getting what we want. Secondly, with all of our stressing of transparency with each other, we seem to easily put aside our need of being so with Him. Think on that a moment. How much of our prayer life is based upon saying either what we think He wants us to say, or simply laying out a detailed scenario of what our need or problem is, and then expecting Him to come through and make it all better? Either way we don't really connect with Him, and very often, seem to go nowhere in prayer, that nothing happens. Why?

 

I don't think this is a matter of God demanding that we get everything just right before He moves. I think it is far more our coming to understand what true prayer is all about. I recently heard James Robison and John Eldredge discussing prayer and Eldredge shared how he had been praying for his son concerning some great needs in his life. He began to recite to God all the things he felt his son needed and had to have happen in his situation. He sensed he was getting nowhere. He stopped and said to the Father, "Lord, what does he need?" God answered back, "He needs Me!" Could it be that simple? Will we ever see that our greatest need is not having Him make sure our lives go well, but that He is our life? When was the last time we were that transparent with our Father? Have we ever been? 

I have been spending time in the Lord's Prayer of late, and just asking Him to reveal to me all that it entails. Many of us have prayed it times beyond counting, but have we ever allowed Him to reveal to us all that it holds? James Robison says that one thing he experiences in his prayer life, even when praying with others, is the Father talking over his prayer. That is, Robison has a level of intimacy with the Father where He is able at any time to enter into that prayer and lead it in the direction He desires, or give insight as to how he should pray. This is the kind of prayer life and relationship that Christ had and has with Him. It is one that is available to us as well. It comes through intimate connection with Him, and that intimacy takes real time to develop. Do we desire that intimacy? Will we invest such time? Do we seek such transparency, or is that just a little too transparent and real for us?

My needs and those of the ones I pray for are many. Yet over all of them is our deep need of Him. We need Him. Desperately. And He will never fail to meet that need. Jesus said that we ask and don't receive because we ask in order to satisfy our own desires. If we truly examine our prayer lives, how much of what we seek has ourselves as the main beneficiary, either directly or indirectly? I don't think such prayers are really prayers of surrender, and that a whole lot of our flesh is involved in it. Robison said that we need to "get on our knees, not be knocked onto them." We need to do this in surrendered brokenness, knowing that our deep need begins and ends with Him. As He meets that need, all others are met, and we discover that so much of what we thought we needed, wasn't needed at all. We finally understand what Jesus meant when He said we were to "seek first the Kingdom of God." We also start to understand and receive what "all these (other) things" really are.

 

What do we need? We need Him. We all say that. Do we pray that? Do we live that? Are our lives an ongoing experience of that need being met? When we begin to understand the depth of our need for Him, we will also begin to realize what an infinite Resource He is in meeting that need in our hearts and lives....and in the lives of those we pray for.

Blessings,
Pastor O

 

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