“Elijah was afraid and fled for his life. He went to Beersheba, a town in Judah, and he left his servant there. Then he went on alone into the wilderness, travelling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died.”
1 Kings 19:3-4
What does prayer look like for you? Do you even know what to say to God? Well you are not on your own. The greats of the Bible also have struggled for what to say during their prayers. Yet what God desires from us in our prayers, is honesty and a true heart. He doesn’t need to hear eloquent rehearsed prayers or superficial words of praise. No, God wants to hear what is on our hearts. He is our Father, Friend and King. Jesus often rebuked the Pharisees for their long, false and dishonest prayers. “God loves us to talk with Him. He can cope with our temper, frustrations…everything we throw at Him. That is why He is such an amazing God!”1 God wants a relationship with us. That is why He sent Jesus.
Sometimes, as is it says in Romans, we don’t even know ‘what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words’ (Romans 8:26). God hears our hearts when we pray, not just our words. He knows what we are going through. He knows when we need His comfort. When Elijah was threatened with death by the evil king Ahab’s wife, Jezebel, he fled out of fear, even though he had just witnessed two huge miracles through his faith. He wanted to die; and he told God that. Yet God in His grace comforted Elijah, gave him divine rest and food and empowered him to carry on with his commission.
God too wants to hear your heart, to hear your words and even to hear your cries when you have no words. He is gracious and kind and always welcomes His children into His presence. Talk to God from your hearts.
1Carolyn De Souza, in reply to Monday’s Devotion