Sweating in Church
“And when you pray, do not keep on
babbling like the pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their
many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you
ask him.” Matthew 6:7-8 (NIV)
Recently, I was studying what causes people
to feel spiritually frustrated. The two top reasons? Bible study and prayer. I
I clearly remember being a young girl sitting in church sweating.
People around me knew what they were doing! They instantly flipped to every
verse in the Bible the preacher man referenced. But not me. I was more
interested in counting the spit droplets that came flying out with his
I respected that man. But boy, could he get fired up
and entertain this lost girl.
Others seemed all wrapped up and excited in
what this preacher man and the Bible had to say. They’d shout loud, “Uh-huhs”
and “Amens!” What was I missing?
And then there was my prayer life. Or
the lack thereof. It’s not that I didn’t want to pray, but the whole concept of
talking to God felt strange. I tried to copy the prayers of those who seemed to
know they were doing more than talking to the air.
But then my quirky
self would sneak in and leave me feeling foolish for what I’d just said to God.
“Dear Lord, take this food to the nourishment of my body. (Good so far.) And if
you could change the molecular structure of these cheesy fries to be like carrot
sticks that sure would be the bomb-diggity.” (Huh?)
Yes, I’ve come a long
way since those days, but trust me when I say I’m still a work in progress. You
could still trip me up in finding certain passages in the Bible. And I’m pretty
sure you might still hear me say “bomb-diggity” in my prayers. But according to
what Jesus taught in our key verse, Matthew 6:7-8, I think He’s okay with
“And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like the pagans, for
they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them,
for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
For me, there
are two keys to unlocking spiritual frustration with both my Bible study and my
Sincerity — coming to God without an agenda and honestly wanting
Him to teach me.
Simplicity — talking to God as the loving Father He
Why do we make it all so complicated?
I think honest moments
spent with God reading His Word, sharing our hearts, and listening for His
instruction are quite perfect. No “just right” words or having to know exactly
where every book in the Bible is. Just a pure heart simply and sincerely longing
to know her God. Jesus might even say that’s the bomb-diggity.
thank You for hearing what is on my heart in the midst of both happiness and
frustration. I don’t want to make my relationship with You complicated, God, so
please help me to come to You with honest thoughts and prayers. In Jesus’ Name,