Praying Honest Prayers

I collect thoughts like a child collects pebbles on a rocky sea shore.

Some of my thoughts are lovely, colorful, and I will keep them forever. Some I will discard immediately. Others are ugly and useless but it still takes a while to let them go…

…you know the ones.

We are told to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. Honestly, that just sounds exhausting. But something I’ve learned about creating new habits, the longer you do them, the easier they become. What is initially self-discipline becomes automatic.


Taking every thought captive doesn’t necessarily mean consciously inspecting each thought, it goes much deeper than that: it also means thinking honestly.


I used to be a habitual lier. I started lying to cover abuse, and then shame, and it grew and grew until I had so many lies they were like those ugly little pebbles, only I didn’t know how to open my fingers and release them. Even deeper, I often lied to myself and God.

I am learning. I am learning to be honest and to tell the truth. First to God. Then to myself. Because it is actually really difficult to present all your thoughts openly before the throne of grace when your thoughts aren’t even honest.

I always felt I needed to pray these eloquent, somewhat emotionally distant prayers. But now, I often find myself praying in earnest…

God, I don’t know how to feel. I don’t know what to do. I need some direction. Show me what I ought to do. Change me. Make me more like you. Heal my heart. Make me brave.

Praying honest prayers has changed my life.

I am more prone to honesty and less prone to fake emotions.

When you can’t be honest with God, you’ll never be honest with anyone else.

Can I just encourage you to pray brave and courageous prayers of honesty today? All those pebbles you are clenching, it is time to toss them back into the waves and move on.

Be brave. Because God isn’t surprised by you or your sin or your brokenness. He just loves you. And he longs to reside in fervent communion with you.

Published by Alicia Dean

Truth seeker and story-teller.

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