A brother wanted to pray with me recently, and so he launched his requests to, I think it was supposed to be, God. But I’m also thinking that most of what he prayed was meant for my ears rather than God’s. I’m talking about the stuff that’s added in for the benefit of those who might misinterpret the requests being made. You know, the back-stepping to include the many Biblical stipulations and other rationalizations that seem to make the requests a little more balanced or maybe even a little more deserved.
Believe me, I understand this approach to prayer, as I use to participate in it. After all, if I know that God knows these things about what I should pray for or not, why am I reminding Him of it … unless, of course, I’m really only justifying it to myself and to those who are praying with me? And as it is a prayer we’re pretty sure that no one is going to interrupt our running dialog. It’s like a captive audience. Now, I don’t pray like this anymore, and I haven’t for a while, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still run this kind of rationalization through my mind. The truth is that I still run through numerous irrational and insane trains of justification to myself, I simply stopped presenting them before my father.