Jesus does not say, “Come to me, all you who have learned how to concentrate in prayer, whose minds no longer wander, and I will give you rest.”
The call isn’t an easy one.
And so many of us think that because we can’t hit the mark – we shouldn’t even try (or rather we give up in frustration).
I know I have. I can’t stop gossiping so I give in. I suck at praying so I don’t.
God cheers when we come to him with our wobbling, unsteady prayers. Jesus opens his arms to his needy children and says, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28, NASB).
The criteria for coming to Jesus is weariness. Come overwhelmed with life. Come with your wandering mind. Come messy. What does it feel like to be weary? You have trouble concentrating. The problems of the day are like claws in your brain. You feel pummeled by life. COME OVERWHELMED WITH LIFE. COME WITH A WANDERING MIND. COME MESSY.
What does heavy-laden feel like? Same thing. You have so many problems you don’t even know where to start. You can’t do life on your own anymore. Jesus wants you to come to him that way! Your weariness drives you to him. Don’t try to get the prayer right; just tell God where you are and what’s on your mind. That’s what little children do. They come as they are, runny noses and all. Like the disciples, they just say what is on their minds.
We know that to become a Christian we shouldn’t try to fix ourselves up, but when it comes to praying we completely forget that. We’ll sing the old gospel hymn “Just as I Am,” but when it comes to praying, we don’t come just as we are. We try, like adults, to fix ourselves up.
As you are.
It’s not our job to fix ourselves. It’s our job to go to the one who can.
To remember that in things – the one thing we can ALWAYS do: IS PRAY.
Messy, honest, needy, desperate, HOPEFUL prayers.
To know that he wants even those.