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One of the most humbling moments of my submitted life occurs when I approach God in prayer. I know who God is and if I pause too long I get overwhelmed by the question of why He would bend His almighty ear to my words.

I know I'm not alone in this feeling.

A key aspect of this difficulty is believing that I need to get my life together before I pray. God, in His holiness, surely does not want to hear from someone who is in the middle of stumbling through their circumstances, right? Not to mention the fact that God surely would be able to hear my words better if my actions weren't getting in the way. I mean, I can't come to Him about life's specks until I remove my own plank, that's for sure... or is it?

When Jesus taught us how to pray He said our first two words should be, "Our Father." It is on this teaching I must build my entire understanding of prayer. Obviously, I don't have to begin every single prayer with those two words but I do have to ask, "Why aren't the first two words 'I'm sorry'?" Jesus preached about the necessity of repentance yet He tells us that this does not provide the basis for how we are to approach God in prayer. Now, I am regularly awed by the wonder and power of God so it seems right to me that I should begin every conversation with the Creator by confessing the disparity between my imperfections and His perfection. The problem with this train of thought is that it is not built on a solid foundation. For those who confess Jesus as their risen savior, the work of Christ establishes a relationship with the Father once and for all. Should I repent of my transgressions? Yes. Does my life have to be perfect before I talk to my Heavenly Father? No. I do not earn the right to pray. I cannot earn the right to pray. My confession of the Christ allows me to approach the throne in confidence. Jesus taught us that the awareness of our relationship with God is all we need to begin our prayers.

Once I begin thinking about "Our Father" or talking through the faulty line of reasoning in light of the work of Jesus it all seems clear but it is easy to follow a fallacy unless it is trumped by truth.

We all need a dose of truth every now and then.

As we are instructed to edify one another, this is one area in which we can regularly build up our brothers and sisters. Correction is not always in reference to prohibited behavior. It is just as important for us to correct one another in our thoughts whenever the truth of the Gospel is not being applied.

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