Polite prayer versus honest prayer

By Dave Henning / December 3, 2021

“Polite prayer poisons our relationship with God.  Honest prayer involves stating our doubts and disappointments, our anger and resentment, our loneliness and grief. . . .  the purpose of being transparent with God is not to give information to God.  The purpose is to develop intimacy with God.”- Trevor Hudson, Beyond Loneliness

“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.  For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”- 2 Corinthians 3:18 (ESV)

Ruth Graham concludes Chapter 6 of Transforming Loneliness as she cites three examples from Scripture of what God might transform our loneliness into.  For example, God transformed the loneliness of:

  • Noah into persistence to build the Ark
  • Daniel into trust in God’s provision
  • Job into intimacy with God

Above all, Ms. Graham exhorts, in our aloneness, it’s imperative that we express our feelings to God Himself.  Let it all out.  Because God desires that we fully and completely share our hearts with Him, holding nothing back.  For God already knows what we’re thinking and feeling anyway.  Hence, we cannot hide our true feelings from Him.

Yet, in the meantime periods of loneliness still may occur.  But we must not forget that this earthly condition is only temporary.  And when we place our trust in Jesus, we look to a glorious future.  Thus, Ruth underscores, it’s vital to keep eternity in view when you’re lonely.

In conclusion, the author offers these words of hope:

“Young Jane Merchant . . . made [the choice] to partner with God. . . .  That is the choice before you as well.  You can choose to do the same.  You can choose to receive loneliness as a red flag that something’s got to change, as a gift that will surprise you, as a pathway to holiness that will draw you closer to God and even . . . draw you close to others.”

So, keep your eyes on Who transforms your loneliness.  Instead of the why.

Today’s question: Do you tend to gravitate to polite prayer or honest prayer?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Your solitude into prayer”

About the author

Dave Henning

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