Friday 19 April 2019

What You Are Missing When You're Not Honest With God

 “Prayer is the place where I’m invited to present the parts of myself that no one else sees to a God who already knows and loves me anyway.” The Prayer Coin - Elisa Morgan

When I read those words, I knew it right away—sometimes I haven’t been fully honest with God.

Absurd, right?

I mean He knows my every thought. I know that.

Yet, still there have been times, more than I’m proud to admit, where I’ve held back.

And I always had a reason why.

Yet, now that I think about it, it’s been more like excuses than valid reasons.

Maybe you can relate.

Just so that we’re on the same page, when I speak of being honest with God, I’m referring to the Garden-of-Eden variety—naked, exposed truth-telling. The kind of honesty that lays you bare . . . no holds barred . . . everything out in the open. Did I mention e-x-p-o-s-e-d?

Are you comfortable being honest with God like that?

Why or why not?

Here are my main why-nots—reasons I haven’t always been honest with God:

It’s scary.

I’m afraid God will be disappointed in me. As a Christian, I know He’s no longer angry at me—God’s sin-directed wrath was absorbed by Christ at the cross. But sometimes, I can’t shake the feeling that He might be disappointed, and somehow that feels even worse.

And what if he doesn’t understand? Isn’t that one of our greatest fears? Ending up rejected and alone . . . abandoned and misunderstood because what we shared was just too ugly.

But scariest of all is this—what if I share exactly how I feel, and He doesn’t care? Or He asks me to do something I don’t want to do?

Yep, many times I didn’t like taking that risk.

But these what-if fears weren’t the only reasons, I often shied away from being naked before God because . . . it can also be draining . . . painfully so.

I don’t always have the energy for this ultra-level honesty. Sometimes, it feels like surface level honesty is all I can muster up. Digging deep into heart issues is tough work. It requires facing some thoughts and feelings that surprise even me. At the end of a long day or in the middle of a life-storm I’m often too tired or, if we’re being truthful, too lazy to do the work of being honest . . . so, often I choose easy.

And easy looks like this—I’m supposed to pray ‘Your will be done’ and so I do and miss the heart-to-heart God is inviting me to. Am I the only one guilty of praying the ‘right’ words but not the real ones?

‘We can easily default to what I call an “auto-abandon.” As if we’re supposed to surrender, so we do. Auto-abandon isn’t really abandon. It’s something more like resignation.’ The Prayer Coin- Elisa Morgan

There you have it—confessions of a lazy, scared Christian.

A Christian who had for too long missed out on what God was offering her.

But God never leaves us where He finds us, and over time, He has mercifully offered me a balm for every sore exposed in my prayer life. It’s part of His promise to finish the work He has started in me, and I’m so thankful for His overflowing compassion, His never-running-out patience, and His above-all wisdom.

With His out-of-the-box creativity and personal touch, God continually finds a myriad of ways to beckon me closer . . . calling me to come just as I am.

“The prayer preceding all prayers is, ‘May it be the real I who speaks. May it be the real Thou that I speak to.’” C.S. Lewis via The Prayer Coin - Elisa Morgan

The Prayer Coin: Daring to Pray with Honest Abandon by Elisa Morgan is one of the ways God recently got my attention. Just when I was delving into the Gospels, intrigued by what Jesus might be praying all those times He went off on His own to pray, I ‘stumbled upon’ this close-up examination of Jesus’s anguished prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. (Thank you, Alyson.)

And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will." Matthew 26:39

In the book, Elisa exposes the prayer’s dual sides of honest (take this cup) and abandon (not my will, but yours) and outlines how I can also follow Jesus’ example.

Reading through the book reminded me of those times when I’ve poured it all out and highlighted the many times I have not. I yearned for what I knew was possible.

So, I did what any God-fearing woman would do—I prayed, ‘Help me, Lord. Help me to come to you.’

Then I pushed through the fear and fatigue because I knew God wanted more for me. And the more I prayed honest . . . the more I got to taste the intimacy he’s invited me to share.

And usually what I think might be harrowing is often healing.

Elisa reminds me:

 'Honest opens us to help. And help that wholly heals comes from God alone.’

My fears dissipate, and I feel rested in His love. 

‘I had feared that if I dared go honest, I’d be cosmically zapped, that I’d be forever misunderstood—even rejected. I wasn’t. Instead, I was scooped up and held in a safe embrace. Then I assumed I’d be sizzled into abandon—forced to utterly give up my honest desires. In reality, I yielded tender toward God and what I knew he ultimately wanted for me. Instead of being lost in abandon, I was found. Really, the one thing I’ve given up in this journey is the very fear I was running from.’ The Prayer Coin - Elisa Morgan

Amen, Elisa. I wholeheartedly agree. Thanks for being used by God to draw me, once again, into His embrace.

So, my friend, you don’t have to miss out, learn from my mistake. 

God says come . . . come scared, come weary, just come . . . pour out your heart to Him. Really pray. Face your fears. Do the work. Embrace the gift . . . embrace what God is offering you—a closer, more intimate walk with Him . . . ‘all because of Jesus, and all in His name.

Grace and peace to you,


What About You?

What's stopping you from presenting the real you to the real God?
When last have you dared to pray honest--questions, doubts, laments and all?

You can pick up your own copy of 'The Prayer Coin' here.  
You're welcome, in advance. :)


  1. This is a post that most definitely has me wanting to examine my own heart. One of my prayers that I whisper often is literally one word, "Closer" because I do most definitely always want to have a strong desire to continually draw closer. This had me thinking on what if there are any areas that I've been hesitant because I am unsure if I can or (be honest) I will want to do what is asked of me. Never thought of me fearing in that way but I need to take time with this. Thank you for getting me on a thought process that I need to think more on. #graceandtruth linkup

    1. I love that prayer, April! Closer! It's a prayer that I'm sure God delights in answering. We can be confident that it is God himself, who works in us both to will and to work for His good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13) So thankful that He wants us this close!

  2. Carlie, this book sounds like one I truly have to read. Thank you for your candor about your own prayer struggles, too. I know we all find ourselves in that place from time to time when getting naked with God is too intimidating and frightening, when it never has to be.
    A blessed Easter to you and yours!

    1. It definitely is, Martha. I highly recommend The Prayer Coin! And yes, you’re so right; it doesn’t ever need to be intimidating or frightening to approach God. So thankful for Jesus making a way for us! Blessings to you as you celebrate!

  3. Wow, I have a feeling I've been running scared in my prayer time. And the truth is, I've seen my laziness too. It just feels more comfortable to pray the safe, easy prayers. The right words without the right heart. Thank you for this, Carlie and for sharing Elisa's book with us.
    Blessings to you, my sister.

    1. Yes, my sister, it’s good to know we are not alone in our struggles. But if we venture out of our comfort zone and wade into the deep waters of brave honesty, we will be rewarded. Let’s press on for that intimacy, it’s ours for the taking. Blessings, my sister!

  4. This sounds like a great book - I love the quotes! And I agree, there are times when it's easier to hold back from God, but it brings so much freedom when we do come as we are and know that we are completely accepted by him.

    1. Yes, Lesley, coming as we are does bring freedom, and I'm so grateful for that! And yes, it's a great book; I highly recommend it.

  5. Isn't it amazing that God wants to hear our words and thoughts? He is all about relationship while I am all about results.
    So much to learn . . .

    1. Totally amazing, Michele! I am right there with you—so much to learn . . .


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