Sometimes I find myself making excuses to God when I talk to Him….”Father please forgive me for failing to study Your Will for my life this week as I should have. You know it has been so difficult with all this company in the house.”…Or “Lord, I pray for Tricia. I know I should have already taken that book about redemption over to her. I want her to be saved and she is open to the truth. But Lord, it is so hard to catch her at home.”…Or “Father, please help me to be a more submissive wife. I need to control my tongue, but sometimes he is just so stubborn.”
But then, I usually come to my senses and realize that God knows the difference between excuses and reasons. He knows every thought behind every motive behind every attitude and every action. We simply do not “pull punches” with God. We do not “make” him believe that negligence to duty was really an impossible circumstance. We do not “gloss over” sin and convince the omniscient One that it was righteousness. When we speak to God, we should remember that He could just as well read our thoughts. We pray, not so that He can know our hearts, but because He wants to “hear” our hearts’ expressions. Sometimes we sing the prayer song “Words are not enough to tell you of our love, so listen to our hearts.” He DOES listen to our hearts. If our words in prayer are not representative of our hearts, He understands that our hearts offer the REAL sentiment. We may fool men by misaligning our words and our thoughts, but we do not fool God.
Transparency is the concept we must remember as we approach the throne. Just as God saw through the excuses Moses was making around the burning bush in Exodus 3 and 4, so he sees us, barefoot on holy ground and hiding our faces, as it were, in His holy presence. He knows we, like Moses can perform the required tasks of our short sojourn in this wilderness as we travel to the Promised Land. Like Moses, we may be expressing our unworthiness to the task (3:11), our lack of preparation or knowledge (3:13), the negativity of the world around us (4:1), the weaknesses of our humanity (4:10), or the ready availability of those more qualified (4:13). But God knows our potential and He is already aware of our obstacles.
So, while thinking of prayer, perhaps we should coin a new word: “Trans-prayer-ency”. When I pray, He sees right through the words I say and all the way to the heart’s condition. That’s very comforting if I am meekly submitting. And it’s very UNcomfortable if I am offering excuses.
So, when I find myself “explaining” to God, I generally just say, “Father, it is so silly for me to be telling You why I haven’t done Your will about _________. You know everything about this scenario. Lord, Forgive me. ‘Help thou mine unbelief (Mark 9:23).’”