Look at what, you may ask? What is it I may be afraid to look at while I pray? Yes. On the surface it may seem like a strange question. However, it’s not only look at, but also look to. Are you afraid to look to God when you pray?
On the surface you may say, “No. Of course I’m not afraid to look to God when I pray.” That’s as it should be. But, what does it mean to look to God?
Do you have confidence or are you afraid to look
First of all, it means trust. To look to God when you pray is to pray with full confidence in God, that God will answer prayer and that God has your best interest at heart. Thus, even when things don’t go as you desire, even when God seems to be ignoring your requests, you pray on with full reliance on God. You pray on expecting that God will do what is best for you. Otherwise, are you looking to God or simply praying to the vague unknown?
To do look to God with confidence when you pray requires that you are cultivating your relationship with God and growing in the knowledge and grace of God. It’s hard to trust without knowing someone and being in a growing relationship with them.
Are you looking to Jesus Christ?
What else does it mean to not be afraid to look to God when you pray? It means looking to Jesus Christ. At this time of the Christian year the church is more sharply aware of Jesus Christ. Beginning today, Palm Sunday you’ll be looking at Jesus’ last days on earth. But on what will you focus? Will you just go observe this Holy Week with Good Friday because it’s the thing to do? Will you do it for the good feeling that comes from doing the familiar rituals? Or, will you be looking for fresh meaning in the familiar, expecting that God will speak to you once again even though you have heard the stories before or will you be afraid to look lest your neat world is disturbed?
When you pray, will you looking once more to Jesus to learn what it means to love and serve God in prayer? Will you be looking to Jesus to learn how to pray even when it means bloody sweat and a full turning from self to God whereby you say, “nevertheless, not what I want but what you want?”
Are you afraid to look at you?
Without trust, youwill be afraid to God, for God demands all—all of you. Can you give all of you to God? This means taking a good hard look at you. Thus, the other question is, are you afraid to look at you or are you ready to be honest with yourself about who you are? Can you recognize not only your strengths but also your limitations and place these before God and allow God to fashion you?
When you’re afraid to look to God you are not ready to leave the outcome to God. Your knowledge of God is not mature and thus your faith in God is shaky. You are not ready to offer up yourself to God. Certainly, you are not ready to offer up surrendered prayers to God and experience God more fully.
As you go through this Holy Week, spend some time knowing God more. Look to Jesus Christ and learn from him. Look at yourself and let go. Unless, when you pray you are afraid to look.
Removing your boundaries to a full and free life through honest, whole-hearted praying.
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