It was sweet summer, and I was tucked away among the tough, strong trees at my church's summer camp, loving life and needing Jesus. It was evening, and we had the daily campfire and Jesus stirred in my heart. In the quiet and the darkness, I stepped forward to the benches up front closest to the campfire, and the speaker's wife sat near me and held me as I cried, not understanding why the tears ran.
"Don't be afraid to be honest with Him, danae. Be honest with Jesus."
I haven't forgotten her words.
Be honest with Jesus, danae. Be honest.
This seems so obvious. Of course we should be honest before the all-knowing God, yet my natural instinct is often to shirk behind the curtains in His throne room. I know He knows me (whether I tell Him all my secrets or not), but how often do I open myself to Him? How often do I undress the deepest, most vulnerable pieces of my broken soul before Him? How often do I put words to my embarrassing situations, the shameful sins, and silly fears and give them to Him in their rawness?
How often do I tell Him when I'm angry, when I'm excited, when I'm hurting, when I don't understand what He's doing but that it hurts intensely? How often do I tell Him what I'm struggling with and let Him in to the areas of my heart where I store the deepest treasures of my dreams and the darkest depths of my fears and failure scars? Do I tell Him when I don't feel like loving Him (but want to!)? (Forgive me, Jesus. It's good for me to say that sometimes, isn't it? After all You know it anyway. Sometimes I don't.) Sometimes, I just need to be honest with myself and in so doing, be honest with Him.
One thing I'm trying to figure out as I desire to learn how to pray more is even what I should be praying about? God tells His people to pour out our hearts before God like water. One lady illustrated this idea so well by sharing a literal visualization of pouring out a pitcher of water. If we pour ourselves out, we are emptying ourselves of us. I want to do that when I pray, friends! I want to empty everything before Jesus, and I think this happens when I'm honest with Jesus, when I'm brave enough to put words to the darkness in me and the fears and the sin. Let's do it. Let's let Jesus conquer our darkness by His marvelous light. It's okay to be honest. :)
The prayer for day 10: Self-Control.
You are Mighty and Worthy! I am unworthy. Thank You for loving me here in my brokenness. Please, Lord, teach me to be honest and open before You. Help me to verbalize when I don't understand, to be courageous enough to put words to my feelings. You already know. Teach me what this means to be honest with You and yet to continue to show You respect as God. I don't want to forget who You are.
And Lord? Please anchor me in Your self-control. Help me to be a person who knows that the most important things are those which are unseen, and it is worth it for me to wait for these things instead of indulging in the useless trappings of earth while I'm here. Break me, Jesus. You know my heart. I worship myself. I give in to myself. You know. Oh You know. Please make me more like You.
I love You. Let me love with everything.
In Jesus' name.
Oops! Sorry guys . . . I technically put down the wrong prayer for day 10. The Day 10 prayer is actually for patience. Sorry 'bout that! Maybe Jesus knew I need a lot of prayer for self-control! :) Smile. It's true . . . :)