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These days, I seem to be more teary-eyed and weepy when I pray. My tear ducts collect eyeball liquid like Nevada’s Hoover Dam. The amusing thing is that I’m not an overtly emotional guy. In fact, I’m one of those people who tend to be implosive and reserved, as opposed to being one of those who are all showing and all explosive. I often hide my emotions up my sleeve – and yes, I know how to show and control my emotions appropriately… most of the time! But lately, I am noticing more frequently that my eyes well up with water when I pray. You honestly think someone is cutting onions in the same room!

I also know of folk who appear to manufacture an emotional trembling voice when praying, like they are about to greet their eyes out and rescue a famine-driven field with their anticipated tears. And yet, no visible tears are seen afterwards – not even a crystallised glint.

Most people pray like they are sending a (SMS) text message to God, without believing that God will do something about it (I include myself here). For others, prayer becomes a chore and not a relationship-driven passion – if that makes sense?

If I am to cast my mind and think of the moments that I remember tearing up during prayer is actually when I am sincerely praying for God’s will to be done, or in a crisis of relating with others, and/or seeing the suffering and grief that an individual, group or nation are going through, like our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ overseas.

Even at our cell group, I find myself emotional to pray out loud. It’s nothing about praying outside my comfort zone, but it feels like the more I strive to pray in the mind of Christ, the more I grow sensitive in humbling my heart to cleanse out any selfish desires and hidden agendas, and instead focus on Christ, and Him alone. I also wrestle with the constant prayers that seem to keep smacking a wall, which I know God is very capable in breaking, but it appears that God is choosing not to respond at that moment in time. Our timing is of course different to God’s timing.

Perhaps I am rambling with words here.

I recognise there is a fine difference between praying for something you think you deserve like “Heavenly Father, I pray that you can provide a job for me. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.”

But, when you pray in the mind of Christ like “Heavenly Father, I pray that you may provide an opportunity, where you want me to serve you effectively in a place, where I can grow to be more Christ-like. I pray for your will be done. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.”

I do feel that when one prays in the mind of Christ, prayers tend to be longer, as we set aside our selfish desires, with a hope to want to please our Heavenly Father in growing more Christ-like. The LORD’s prayer from Matthew 6:9–13 is a solid example when praying to our Heavenly Father, as it helps us to nurture in one’s understanding and Christian maturity to seek first the Kingdom of God.

Funnily, I was once told that I pray like an American. Still, not sure what that fully means either!

The single biggest pet-peeve I have with prayers is when people don’t include “In the name of Jesus” at the end of a prayer, but instead bunch up a pile of majestic adjectives to describe God. I also understand that saying “In the name of Jesus” is not a Disney-like phrase to attach to the end, which may elevate our hope in seeing an answer to prayer. And yet, Scripture does tell us to pray in His name (John 14:13-14).

And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

At the end of the day, there *is* power in the name of Jesus, because essentially we are using God’s authority to pray in His name – and to glorify His name. Not only, are we signing off our prayers, knowing that we are asking in God’s authority for His glory, but really… we need to be expectant in our faith and our hearts also need to be right with God too.

I am sure too often, we pray like we are passively sending sticky notes to God, and at times, it feels like nothing has happened. Much like building a long-distant relationship with a friend using only Facebook messaging. That I have experienced first hand, and that I know simply doesn’t work or last!

Of course, there is no shame when we genuinely tear up when we pray, especially when we are praying for God’s will be done. The example of Jesus praying is rather poignant as noted in Matthew 26:36-46, when Jesus was praying to His Heavenly Father at the Garden of Gethsemane in the climax of what Jesus had to achieve, in order to conquer death.

How do you seek the Kingdom of God when you pray to our Heavenly Father?

~Richard