A Prayer to Approach God with Confidence
By Jessica Van Roekel
“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” - Hebrews 4:14-16 ESV
I’m not a huge fan of revealing my vulnerabilities. I’d much rather keep them hush, hush, thank you very much. I suspect I’m not alone. People wound other people and there are times when it’s tempting to judge God based on human actions. A close friend who betrays our confidence and uses them as a weapon can create a cautiousness in how we approach other people and God.
The idea of drawing near God’s throne with confidence can fill us with trepidation. Will God reject us? Will he turn his back to us? Can we be vulnerable before God, or do we need to wear a façade of strength? Jesus knew our struggles and yet he resisted temptation. While we fail and fall, Jesus always resisted and prevailed. What a friend, what a confidant we have in him. He sympathizes with our weaknesses yet remains our example to press through to victory.
Jesus Christ knows our weaknesses and our weaknesses fill him with compassion. Because of this we can approach God, knowing that he welcomes and desires our prayers. We don’t have to be strong before we approach God. We don’t have to have it all figured out before we ask for help. Yet, we can struggle with this.
Our society promotes perfection and parades imperfection as a cautionary tale of what not to do and be. This creates internal pressure because we can feel the need to hide much of ourselves. Yet, God knows us inside and out. He knows our strengths and our weaknesses and his love for us doesn’t change based on that knowledge. His love is a compassionate love that is ready and willing to help us in our time of need.
God provides all we need in any circumstance. He offers peace to the anxious heart. He brings joy to the cheerless face. His hand stays steady and sure. His blessings follow the if/then cycle. If we sow to the flesh, our harvest consists of anger, doubt, bitterness, and the like. But if we sow to the spirit, we reap peace, joy, love, patience, kindness, and many more attributes.
Yet, sometimes, we need help with the sowing because we say yes instead of no to choices that reinforce the idea that we must be perfect before we approach God. But God wants us to come to him and depend on him for help. The throne of grace in this passage refers to the meeting place from where all of God’s favor, wisdom, help, love, mercy, forgiveness, wisdom, spiritual power, and spiritual gifts flow. How wonderful and marvelous is this place. And it’s ours to be had if we choose to come.
I stand in awe before you because you are so willing to take me as I am. Forgive me for holding myself apart because I have believed the falsehood that I need to be strong before I come to you. You sent your son Jesus to intercede for me and because of that I can come with confidence before you. Here I am, Lord. Broken, bruised, and looking for belonging. I find everything I need in you. From you I receive the grace to face the doctor’s diagnosis. It’s because of you that I can love my prodigal child. Your joy teaches me how to hold my sorrow and not lose hope. Thank you for making me confident in you. I come to you today and wait for your grace.
In Jesus’ name, Amen
Photo credit: ©SalemDesign/BethanyPyle
Jessica Van Roekel loves the upside-down life of following Jesus as she journeys to wholeness through brokenness. As an author, speaker, and worship leader, she uses her gifts and experiences to share God’s transformative power to rescue, restore, and renew. She longs for you to know that rejection doesn’t have to define or determine your future when placed in God’s healing hands. Find out more reframingrejectionbook.
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Originally published Sunday, 06 November 2022.