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What Prayer Scares Me?

“Search me, O God, and know my heart, test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”

Psalm 119:23&24

NLT


If you have ever been through a 12 step recovery program before, you know that there are some steps that are harder and scarier than others. Each step builds on another, and so if you get stuck on one step, it is hard, or almost impossible, to complete the rest of the steps. It is interesting that most people that I talk to get stuck on the same two steps. These are the complete, honest, and fearless self-inventory, and admitting the complete nature of your wrongs to someone else. These two steps are where most people get stuck and give up on the program. Why is this? Being in the program itself means admitting that you are not perfect, so why is being honest with ourselves and with others so hard? Why is it, that the scariest prayer in the Bible for me to pray is the one recorded in Psalm 199:23&24


“Search me, O God, and know my heart, test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”


In this prayer we are asking God to search out whole hearts, to know everything that is going on in our hearts and minds, to point out to us what is wrong, and to lead us away from those things. This is a hard prayer! Just like admitting to ourselves everything that we have ever done wrong, and then admitting it to someone else is difficult, and seems impossible. Why? Why is it so hard for us to acknowledge the things in us or about us that aren’t perfect? I think that there are at least four reasons why this prayer is the scariest prayer to pray.

  1. When we keep things to ourselves and ignore things about ourselves, we can pretend that we are fine, and that nothing is wrong. We can pretend that it doesn’t affect us, and that we aren’t as broken as we really are.

  2. If we admit these things to ourselves, to others, and to God, we fear rejection, shame, and isolation.

  3. The enemy wants us to keep the broken things about us in the dark, because when they come into the light, he no longer has power over them. He will tell us the lie that we are not as broken, and that people won't understand, because he knows that when we admit these things to ourselves, God, and others, that we will find healing from them.

  4. We know that, if we bring our brokenness into the light, that we will have to give it up and turn away from it. There are some things that are broken in us, that we don’t actually want to get rid of, even though they are cancer to our souls.

All of these things are lies. Even if we bury our brokenness, it still comes out in our poor decisions and poor mental health. God already knows our hearts, and will never reject us if we turn to Him. The enemy is a liar, and only wants our destruction, and keeping our brokenness will not satisfy us. Only healing from the Lord will.

My Prayer For You

Search us, Father, and know our hearts, test us and know our anxious thoughts. Point out anything in us that offends you, and lead us along the path of everlasting life.”

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