Pour out your heart to God
What is the best way to pray? When we connect with the Lord we should be prepared to tell Him everything. We need to prepare for it and be honest enough with ourselves to accept His answer. Here is a practical guide on prayer from a divine service by the Chief Apostle.
On 4 August Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider conducted a divine service in San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador. “Today we have a Bible text with a special piece of advice,” he said at the beginning. “Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us” (Psalm 62: 8). He went on to say that “this is about our prayers. When we talk to God we have to pour out our heart to Him.”
God knows everything anyway
Sometimes people ask why they should bother to pray at all, seeing that God knows everything anyway. “Our prayers are not for God,” the Chief Apostle explained. God does not need to be thanked or to be flattered. These prayers are for us.
God gave human beings a soul and gave us the ability to listen to God and to talk to Him, the Chief Apostle said. “Trees, cows, or fish cannot listen to God and cannot talk to Him.” But the soul needs to talk to God for it to be content and healthy, he said. Prayers are also a wonderful way to measure the intensity of our faith, our love, and our hope.
We can tell God everything
“When we pray to God we can and should, in fact, we must tell Him about our sorrows, our fears, and our worries, and talk to Him about our doubts, our questions, and our problems,” explained the Chief Apostle. After all, God is omniscient and almighty. So, God is definitely the best address for our worries and cares: things we feel we cannot tell anyone else because we fear they will laugh at us or criticise us. “There’s no need to be ashamed because we know God loves us as we are. God is love.”
We can even tell Him about things we might feel are too insignificant to approach God with: “We can come to God with even the smallest concerns, the smallest question.” For God says: “I take care of everything, I’m interested in you.” In fact, Jesus even said: “The very hairs of your head are all numbered.” Nothing is too small or not important enough not to tell God about it. “Pour out your heart. Tell Him everything that is going on in your heart. Whatever happens, tell God about it.”
Accepting God’s answer
Some don’t talk with God because they do not want to hear His answer. “Remember, you promised something,” the Chief Apostle reminded the congregation. “To follow Christ in faith and in obedience.” So pour out your heart to God, the Chief Apostle encouraged the congregation, and accept His answer.“You promised,” he said.
Sometimes we have wishes that we hesitate to tell God about because we are fairly sure that God will not fulfil them anyway. “Are you really sure that what you are asking of God is good for you?” the Chief Apostle asked. “If we hesitate to tell God something, it is not a good sign. That means there is something wrong with our relationship to God, our wishes are not the right ones, and we are trying to hide our weaknesses.”
Preparing our prayers
“These kinds of prayers need to be prepared,” said the Chief Apostle. There are several stages to this preparation:
- worship: “We do not need to flatter God. Rather, we must be aware to whom we are talking. And the more we worship God, the more we will realise that He is the Almighty, the perfect one.”
- gratitude: “We then realise that we have much more than we thought.”
- praying in the name of Jesus Christ: “Let us try and find out what Jesus would pray in our stead. What would He ask for in my situation?”
“If we take delight in the Lord, God will give us the desires of our heart,” the Chief Apostle said with reference to a psalm. “In other words, if you ask God to give you what Jesus would ask for you, you can be sure you will get it. If we come to God and tell Him about our weaknesses, then He can help us. And then our prayers will contribute to our spiritual health.”