If its true, that God invites us to come to him with boldness: to present to him our petitions, prayers, confessions and thanksgivings – we should ensure that indeed we come to him with boldness, and remove any terminology that diminishes our boldness. One of the common ways we do this, is when we include the terms “Just” in our prayers.
I believe it signifies a number of things.
- It signifies that we don’t really believe we need what we are praying for. It’s not really a serious need for us. We minimize the importance of what it is we are praying for.
- It betrays our knowledge of the God who is willing to listen to and answer our prayers. It’s like deep down, we think God has more serious prayers to answer and there is a subconscious element to our prayer, that perhaps if we acknowledge its not that great on the richter scale of prayer – God may condescend and take pity on us, take time out of his busy schedule to answer our prayers.
- It betrays an uncertainty in the shed blood of Christ, his resurrection and ascension and his promises. It’s only through and because of Christ, that we can truly come to God and ask him
- It highlights our anxiety. Paul writes to the Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Let us then rid our vocabulary of “just” when it comes to prayer. God invites us! He expects us! He commands us! To come to him with boldness and present all of our prayers to him. Present them to him. Petition him. Thank him. Leave them with him. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.