Censorship. I was talking with a new believer about prayer.
“You know, I don’t pray for myself. I just pray for my family and people I love.”
“Why not?” I asked. “You know, God tells us we can come to Him with everything.”
Oh, I spoke so confidently, with such conviction and wisdom. Of course, I believed it when I said it but later I realized that sometimes I am guilty of my own censorship when it comes to praying to God. It goes something like this.
“Hey, Jesus, I know you’re busy, got a lot a stuff goin’ on up there, so I am only going to bother you with the big stuff. I’ll take care of all the small stuff.”
“Lynne, I’m big enough, I can handle the small stuff, too.”
“It wouldn’t be right to ask you for help with something I can do myself, Jesus. I should be able to handle it, so I won’t even ask. After all, you help those who help themselves, right?”
“Lynne, I help those who ask.”
“Love you, Jesus, and I appreciate the offer to help, but I got myself into this mess, it is my responsibility to get myself out.”
“Lynne, the mess you are in is so great that you could never get yourself out. That’s the reason I died for you. I love you.”
It is a sly thing, this subconscious censorship, this idea that I know what is and isn’t important enough to bring before the Lord. I hate to use the “h” word, but I am feeling a bit hypocritical. Do I somehow think that as someone who has followed Jesus for a while, I no longer need to rely on Him for everything, big and small? Do you ever censor your prayer life? Thankfully Jesus is merciful and patient and He loves us enough to give us His Word, not ours, to be the final authority. And as I shared with my new believer friend, Jesus does indeed tell us to come to Him with everything. Uncensored.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.