Sweating in Church   by Lysa Terleurst....A Devotional on Prayer
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If my people, which are
called by my name, shall
humble themselves, and
pray, and seek my face, and
turn from their wicked
ways; then will I hear from
heaven, and will forgive
their sin and heal their land.

2 Chronicles 7:14
Pray for Israel
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May 23, 2013

Sweating in Church
Lysa TerKeurst


"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 get it.

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 punctuated words.

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 that.

"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 prayers:

Sincerity — coming to God without an agenda and honestly wanting Him to teach me.

Simplicity — talking to God as the loving Father He is.

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.

Dear Lord, 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,
Amen.
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