Most prayer is powerless because most people praying confessing theoretical sin to a theoretical savior and therefore receive theoretical grace.
Power in Prayer
The great theologian Martin Luther famously said one time; “Let your sins be strong so grace can be stronger.” There are fewer invitations as powerful and as scary as the Psalmist’s prayer in Psalm 139:
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
24 And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!
This prayer is powerful because it is incredibly vulnerable but it is also incredibly scary because it is, well…vulnerable. True prayer and meditation begin where our acknowledgment of our need and dependency begin.
When we treat God as a genie that primarily exists to bless us, protect us and enrich our private pleasures we commit spiritual adultery as if we control God instead of coming to grips with reality, that He alone has the right and the authority to control me.
Notice too how open the psalmist is to God’s corrective hand and insightful wisdom when he boldly invites the Lord to search to him to see if there be “ANY” wayward way in him. He doesn’t stop at mere behavior (symptoms) but moves deeper in the heart and motivations and asks God to examine the roots and foundations of his life.
The Benefits of an Authentic Prayer Life
The benefits of such a prayer life are that you’re inviting God into your recovery process. Instead of “using prayer” (and coincidentally using God) you now are now “leveraging prayer” and allowing God to have full access to the deepest hurts, pains, and struggles in your life.
When you start relating to God at such a level of depth and intimacy you start healing in ways that you never could’ve imagined otherwise.
Another benefit of an authentic prayer life is that you actually have time, margin, focus and energy to look inwardly to the real emotions and realities going on in your own life. We spend so much time keeping up appearances and pretending to be happy, holy and healthy.
Real relationship with God opens up a whole fresh possibility of not just knowing God, but ironically, truly knowing yourself.
As you pursue sobriety, wholeness and healing don’t forget that the greatest advocate that fights for your sobriety is the God of the universe Himself.
You, like the Psalmist of Psalm 139, can invite God into the deepest holes of your own heart because He is ready, willing and able to do the redemptive work to transform you from the inside out.
About the Author: Ryan received his BS in Bible and Theology and a minor in counseling from Multnomah University. He has pastored students, families and is passionate about Christ-centered recovery and healing.
He’s been married to his beautiful wife Michelle for 13 years and they enjoy raising four crazy, unique and special kids together. Ryan is the teaching pastor at Vast Church in Sisters, OR and is currently working on his Masters in Theology at Western Seminary in Portland, OR
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Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on February 23, 2016
Published on AddictionHope.com