I'm thinking about (and acting out) these comments by David Paul Dorr based on Psalm 62:8 -Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him ; God is a refuge for us.
This was such an important verse for my prayer life, because my prayer time knit my life back together; or to use a biblical phrase, “it drew my life up from the pit.” The tumor of self-righteousness had grown so big in my life that my soul dwindled.
And part of that journey was learning to be real.
Our prayer lives flounder because we feel like the “real” us can’t come to God. We can’t pray our desires. It’s too scary. Isn’t what we really want part of what is keeping us from God anyway? Shouldn’t we lay down our desires so that we can meet God authentically?
Yes, our desires are our gateway to idolatry. We forsake God as our prized possession and run after something in creation. But when God reveals this to us and we repent, we shouldn’t hide those desires as if they are secrets to be locked in a cellar. Bring them before God, let Him speak to them. Let Him inform them. Let Him rework your character as you pour out your heart to Him.
A quick example: I have always wanted a good reputation amongst Christians. It is something that motivates me. As I brought this desire to God in prayer He revealed some things about this desire that fueled pride.
There is nothing wrong with a good reputation in and of itself; I wanted a good reputation, not to serve, but to get revenge on all those who ignored me, hurt me, or didn’t believe in me. I could use my reputation as a way to rub people’s error in their face. I could gloat and they could feel ashamed.
God was burning away the impurities around my desire. My hope for a good reputation is not gone, but it is not center stage, and, God willing, if my reputation grows it will be to serve and not to fuel my sinful ego. All of this came through being honest about my desire and letting God do the good work.