I have heard it said somewhere that if we look at our prayers we learn a lot about our view of God. Many times the last thing we want to do is to look at how weak we are in certain areas. We focus on strengths and refuse to expose our deepest vulnerabilities. While I certainly identify with these feelings, I value growing closer to God more than I value my own comfort.
In many ways, we have been taught how to approach God. Whether through the reading of scripture or through witnessing our uncle pray at family functions, we learn how somewhere. What if we revisit that concept of prayer in hopes of learning how to draw near to God? In verse one of Riley Clemmons’ song Broken Prayers, we see perhaps the most accurate depiction of our prayers.
“I’ve been taught how to talk to You Hold it together Make the bad look better Say all the words that I’m supposed to Bow my head, say, “Amen” Yeah, that’ll do Making every dead-end look like heaven Like being okay is the way to reach You” — Riley Clemmons, Broken Prayers
What if, for one moment we set aside these preconceived notions of prayer? What if we do not have to hold it all together when we pray? Does God really want prepackaged, rigid postures of prayer? If God really is our Father as the Bible states, would we talk to our Father this way? I would venture to say God would rather us be broken and real than to hold it all together.
“But You’re not afraid of all the things I feel So why am I afraid of being real?” ”‘Cause You’re not afraid of all the things I feel Don’t have to hide the scars that still aren’t healed” — Riley Clemmons, Broken Prayers
I do believe that certain situations call for certain types of prayers. I can completely identify with feeling awkward in front of a group while we address God the Father. If for only a moment, we set aside the traditional prayers at holiday meals in favor of the everyday. If we grab hold of praying in the trenches type of prayer, we might just see prayer for what it truly is. What if we saw prayer between a loving Heavenly Father and His broken, imperfect child?
Check out how Riley finishes out her song Broken Prayers. Next time you stop to pray, don’t hold it together, feel free to lose it before your Heavenly Father.
“You want my tears, every messy word Every scar and every fear You want all I have With no holding back When I’m hurt, at my worst You meet me there ’Cause You see the beauty In my broken prayers! In my broken prayers! In my broken prayers! In my broken prayers!” — Riley Clemmons, Broken Prayers