“Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts” (Isaiah 6:5).
Isaiah was transparent in his prayer. He did not try to impress God or anyone else with his piety. He was honest. He knew that God was able to search the heart of man. Because he knew that only truth would be pleasing to God, he was willing to admit his wrong.
This is one of the most difficult aspects of prayer. We live in a world that teaches us how to wear masks to impress others. We attempt to carry our masks into prayer. God’s glory is only manifest, however, to the heart that has taken off its mask. We must come to the chamber of prayer with humility, honesty, and transparency.
Matthew Henry commented on the confession of Isaiah, saying, “And one would think, he should have said, ‘Happy am I, for ever happy; nothing now shall trouble me, nothing shall make me blush or tremble’; on the contrary he cries out, ‘Woe is me, for I am undone.’” There is no place for the mask of spiritual arrogance when one enters the presence of the God of glory.
–Adapted from The Prayer Factor by Sammy Tippit
God of glory, I honor You as the Way, the Truth and the Life! How arrogant of me to think that I can hide my innermost thoughts and feelings from You! Help me to be transparent with my life, as Isaiah was! Search me and reveal my wicked ways so that I might quickly confess my sinfulness to You. I wish to be a person who has clean hands and a pure heart for the sake of Your glory! Remove the mask of spiritual arrogance from me, and help me to bow in humility before all that You are all the days of my life!
Praise God for all his many blessings to you in your life (Ps. 42:11). Thank him that he is your God and that there is nothing that can ruin your relationship with him. Confess that you don’t always feel like praising God. Commit yourself to living in hope every day. Ask God to surround you with his presence—and then respond to him with praise.
Think of a world map and pray for the harvest among the nations. Ask for breakthroughs in countries that have been particularly resistant to the gospel. Ask God to touch the lives of people in every country around the world today.
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend