Flourish in Prayer
Article

Authentic Prayer

11.9.2020
5 min read

Hear me, Lord, and answer me,
    for I am poor and needy.
Guard my life, for I am faithful to you;
    save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God; have mercy on me, Lord,
    for I call to you all day long.
Bring joy to your servant, Lord,
    for I put my trust in you.

You, Lord, are forgiving and good,
    abounding in love to all who call to you.
Hear my prayer, Lord;
    listen to my cry for mercy.
When I am in distress, I call to you,
    because you answer me.

Among the gods there is none like you, Lord;
    no deeds can compare with yours.
All the nations you have made
    will come and worship before you, Lord;
    they will bring glory to your name.
10 For you are great and do marvelous deeds;
    you alone are God.

11 Teach me your way, Lord,
    that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
    that I may fear your name.
12 I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;
    I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your love toward me;
    you have delivered me from the depths,
    from the realm of the dead.

14 Arrogant foes are attacking me, O God;
    ruthless people are trying to kill me—
    they have no regard for you.
15 But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
    slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
16 Turn to me and have mercy on me;
    show your strength in behalf of your servant;
save me, because I serve you
    just as my mother did.
17 Give me a sign of your goodness,
    that my enemies may see it and be put to shame,
    for you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

Psalm 86

There’s nothing we can’t bring before the Lord in prayer. There’s nothing He can’t handle. Nothing! The reality is, He knows all of your cares and worries, all of your secrets and fears – so that should provide the courage to just share freely! Every thought, every action, and every emotion can be brought before Him with full assurance that we will be met with grace, goodness, and love.

All throughout the Psalms, King David models this freedom for us through a full range of emotions. There are times when talking with God that he is extremely angry at his enemies, in deep distress, full of sorrow, repentant, filled with joy, overcome with praise, and everything in between. He knows and trusts the goodness and faithfulness of God so completely that he is completely confident in simply being authentic and vulnerable before the Father.

We have that same freedom. There is actually so much peace available from this position as his children: Give us this day our daily bread. Forgive our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors [Matthew 6:11-12]. To stand in both of these postures and give full access of our hearts to God is the greatest gift of freedom. We can ask freely for our daily needs to be met, and we can confess freely with the fullest assurance of the goodness of God for our lives.

Is there anything holding you back from approaching God in prayer with complete freedom? Make today the day you talk to Him about it. Because of His nature, you can always know that He is safe and will always be for your good!

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