Honest Prayers


Psalm 139:23     Search me, O God, and know my heart;
        test me and know my thoughts.
24     See if there is any wicked way in me,
        and lead me in the way everlasting.


David prays a very honest prayer before God. He seriously desires to know and understand his own motivations and therefore asks for God to search out his heart. If he had not desired to know these things about himself, he would not have asked!

David also understood that God could not be fooled. God can see through all of our personal disguises and knows who we truly are. That’s why he was honest before God.

Finally, he wanted to discover, with God’s help, the areas in which he needed Divine correction. He was willing to change the things in his life which may need correction.


Would I be willing to pray such an honest prayer?

Having our motivations checked out by God is serious business. Let’s be honest, it’s easy to just keep on going, day in and day out, trying to look good on the outside and possibly disguising what we really think on the inside. This isn’t good enough for the follower of Jesus Christ. When the Holy Spirit fills us we are transformed, but only to the extent that we make space for that transformation. The Holy Spirit needs to be invited into the cracks and crevices of our lives — to search our hearts!

What would be found in the recesses of our lives? Do we want God to see what we are doing in our free time? Do we want God to know what we are watching on TV, or what books we are reading now? Do we want God to overhear our conversations with others (or about others)? Do we want God to convict us about what we say behind other peoples’ backs — or even write about them in social media?

The goal of life is Christ himself. Every passion and desire in life should lead us in the direction of knowing Christ and becoming more like him. That’s why we need honest prayer. On a daily basis we should invite God to search our hearts and to fill every inch of our being. As much as we hate being told that we have done something wrong, we must be willing to allow God to point out those things which are not right in our lives — and then, be willing to change!

Honest prayer is what God wants from you and from me. It leads to honest personal reflection and a desire to change. It comes from God in us so that God can work through us.


Lord, may my prayers be honest before you. Amen.


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