Saturday, November 14, 2015

Are your prayers truthful?

The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. 
Psalm 145:18-19

Psalm 145 is a great psalm to read when discouragement, disappointment, anxiety, and other such feelings are overtaking my heart. Just reading the words can bring a lot of hope and comfort to my weary or anxious soul. I am in the habit of reading a psalm every day, and many of them are like that. But as I came to Psalm 145 this week, I decided to take more than a day before moving on to the next, and I'm not sure what day this is, but I know I've been hanging out for a while.

The above verses reflect the heart and soul of this psalm. It's all about crying out to God, and yet the majority of David's words cry out to God in praise, not despair. He calls God KING, GREAT, MIGHTY, GLORIOUS, MAJESTIC, WONDERFUL, POWERFUL, AWESOME, ABUNDANTLY GOOD, RIGHTEOUS, GRACIOUS, COMPASSIONATE, LOVING, and EVERLASTING. And then he goes on to say, He is NEAR to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth.

I wondered about that word truth and how we call on God in truth. What does that mean? The word itself means "firmness, faithfulness, truth". It expresses the idea of something that is sure, stable, and ongoing. Something that doesn't change—like God, and the truths about Him that remain the same: His love, goodness, mercy, and might. These are the things we can count on as unwavering. Our circumstances change at the drop of a hat, and our emotions often go with them. But God is unchanging, and this is what David is focused on. This is where his praise stems from: God's faithfulness.

I know from personal experience that God feels much closer when I am trusting Him. I think David knew this also, and in times of confusion, despair, and fear, he knew the best thing to do was cry out to God. God would be faithful. He would save him. He would keep His promises. He would keep him from falling and lift him out of whatever had brought him down.

When we call on God in truth, we are trusting Him to provide what we need. And when we trust, God feels much closer to our hearts because we believe He's actually with us. And when we share our honest desires with God, we will never be disappointed. These desires should not be mere whims or thoughts of fancy but the deepest cry of our hearts.

I encourage you to call on God today in truth. To be truthful with Him about what you need and what you may need to confess, including any thoughts of doubt you may have about God's love for you and His ability to meet your need (and the needs of others you are praying for). Sharing your deepest desires with God, along with the belief He will be faithful to give you what you need—whether it be your desires or something He knows you need even more: This is crucial to being close to Him. These desires should not be superficial, watered-down, or limited to what you think you deserve, but the deepest cry of your heart. What do you need to cry out for today? What do you need to ask for, in truth?