Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about prayer. I’ve been praying for some very specific things; I just read Pastor Craig Groeschel’s new book, Dangerous Prayers (I recommend it!); and I’ve been considering how I’m praying and who I’m praying for. This week especially, there have been a lot of long walks around my neighborhood and drives with the radio off, just talking to the Lord.
Have you ever had a season like that? A prayer-heavy one? Maybe it was spawned by an event, a transition, or a particular life stage. It may sound strange, but I used to feel bad when I realized I was in a season where I prayed more than I did in others. I thought, “I should pray like that all the time!” and I’d get distracted from what I was praying for in the first place.
If you’ve ever had that thought, let me encourage you – It’s okay. It’s okay that a situation in your life caused you to turn to the Lord. It’s okay that others weren’t so pressing. I’m not advocating that you shouldn’t go to the Lord in every season. You absolutely should. I’m just saying that some seasons may push you toward prayer more than others. Let them. For me, it was an unexpected event that left me frustrated, hurt, and confused, that caused me to seek God’s voice in a particular area.
Boldly Before the Throne
The author of Hebrews encourages us to “come boldly to the throne of our gracious God.” (4:16). Just before that, he writes, “we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize.” What incredible gifts. That we are allowed to approach God at all should amaze us. That it’s not beneath Him to empathize with His creation should astound us.
Later, in chapter 5, the writer shows us just how Jesus is able to empathize: “While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could rescue him from death. And God heard his prayers because of his deep reverence for God.”
Jesus offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears. The writer of Hebrews is giving us permission to do the same. To cry out. To plead. To pray loudly. To sob. Those things are not off-limits in the throne room.
What has your prayer life been like lately? Have you approached the throne boldly? Have you approached it at all?
Maybe you’re in the opposite season of me—a more silent one. Perhaps you’re finding it difficult to pray because God doesn’t seem to talk back. Maybe you’ve been praying for a miracle, and it just hasn’t happened. Maybe you’re avoiding it. I’ve been there too. Approach the throne anyway. You don’t have to talk. You don’t have to cry out, plead, pray loudly, or sob. You can just sit there. Let your words be few as Ecclesiastes 5:2 instructs. There’s a time for that too. But do show up. Wherever you are, you can come boldly before the throne.