“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6 (ESV)
I’m sure in public prayer you have either heard someone use a common phrase or two, or perhaps struggle to form what to them should be a near Shakespearean piece of prose. I want to suggest that keeping our language clear and direct will not only allow us to generate greater focus, it will in all respects allow us to zero in on what really in on and within our hearts.
We should be aware that God really does know our hearts, and there is no reason not to apply that truth in both public and private matters. When our heart is begging that someone be healed, tell him who it is. Let those you lead in prayer know it too. Don’t hold back, don’t hem and hah. Just let it be.
It may be one of the most challenging points for today, but we vitally need to open up when we commune with our maker. I know it can be hard to let out your weaknesses, to cry aloud not only for the sins of the nation, but your own. But we need to, desperately. If we believe that prayer works, then be open about what you need.
It should go without saying that the old adage “be careful what you wish for… you just might get it” needs to have a place in your conversations with God. Further we need to make the full effort to match how we pray, with how we live.
“And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your trespasses” Mark 11:25-26 (ESV)