Is Anything Out of Bounds for Prayer?
When I was a small child, I wasn’t quite sure how to pray. In our family, my dad prayed out loud before all meals, but when we were in restaurants, we bowed our heads and prayed silently. I was never quite sure what to pray in those circumstances. So I would close my eyes and silently say the following words, “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven”-- I discovered that the count of seven was the length of my parents’ prayers.
As I look back, I don’t think I did this because I thought I couldn’t talk to God. I think it was because I wasn’t sure how to choose the right words for God. After all, this is THE God we’re talking about! I think the sacredness of the moment overwhelmed me.
What I now realize is that the sacredness of prayer is created through our honest sharing with God. It’s not a time to hide who we are or pretend everything is ok. It is a time to express whatever is on our hearts and mind. The Bible is filled with prayers that express sorrow, anger, disappointment, frustration (even with God!), hopelessness, etc. Prayer is an opportunity to open ourselves to God so that God can meet us wherever we are. Nothing is out of bounds in our prayers.