My Prayer



I call upon Thee;

hasten to me!

Give ear to my voice when I call to Thee!

May my prayer be counted as incense before Thee;

the lifting up of my hands as the evening offering.

Psalm 141:1-2

Our prayer and God’s mercy are like two buckets in a well; while the one ascends, the other descends. –Ezekiel Hopkins.

The prayer group I attend is reading through a book on prayer.  It’s a great book talking of all different kinds of prayer. I have heard several people in the prayer group comment that they don’t feel confident praying, especially out loud in front of others. Implication being, that there is a good way or maybe even a perfect way to pray. We can make prayer out to be something so big and beyond us that we give up and leave prayer to the “prayer warriors”.

When I read through the Bible, I find all kinds of prayers being offered up to God. And I see all kinds of prayers being answered by God. Maybe He isn’t looking for perfect prayers, maybe He’s willing to look at our hearts as we pray and look past our seemingly imperfect prayers.

Sometimes, words escape us. Sometimes, it’s just impossible to frame our fears, our concerns, our thoughts in words and express our heart to God or to anyone else for that matter. Some prayers can be wordless.  Some can be a simple body gesture, like lifting up our hands and trusting that God will receive that as the evening incense, an aroma pleasing to Him.

If you find yourself at a loss for words to prayer, try what a friend suggested to me – just read through the Psalms. You will encounter so many heart-felt prayers – some spoken out of deepest need and others shouted out in victory and praise. Surely, you will find your voice in there somewhere. Even if you don’t, know this – God knows the unspoken desires of your heart and the pain and sorrow that words can’t even capture. He knows your every waking moment and your sleeping moments and all the good, the bad and the ugly moments of your life. If you can’t find the words to whisper to His heart, just lift up your hands.

Who am I that You should hear my cries? How could You care so much for me with all the other things You have to take care of? To think that even when I don’t have words, You know what’s in my heart. As I lift up my hands to You, I pray that You would receive my prayer as the evening offering,  a pleasing aroma offered from a grateful heart to the God of my salvation. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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