The invitation hymn “Just as I am” is synonymous with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. That song has been echoed throughout stadiums and other venues around the world. Often it is sung in our churches with the same appeal: Come just as you are.
In the truest sense, when we pray, we come to the Lord “just as we are.” We do not come to Him as worthy of being in His presence. We come as needy souls seeking His guidance.
There are three attitudes which I believe need to be exemplified in the spirit of authentic praying. First, we come to the Lord in prayer with a sense of helplessness. We are acknowledging that without Christ we can do nothing at all. We are indeed helpless without the power and presence of Christ in our lives. He is our source of strength and stamina.
Second, when we pray we need to exemplify a sense of humility. The words of Simon Peter ring timelessly true for all of us to hear and heed: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humility means we understand the kind of God we worship and serve. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords! When we comprehend that holy notion, we will respond to Him as humble servants of the one, true, living Lord!
Third, when we pray we need to exemplify a sense of honesty. As people of prayer, we can come to our Lord with an open heart, seeking cleansing from sin and direction in life. There is no problem too difficult for Him to handle. There is no prayer too difficult for Him to answer. There is no person too difficult for Him to change.
Praying just as we are is the only way to pray. We come helplessly, humbly and honestly as His children, seeking His will for our lives. Oswald Chambers has offered one of my favorite quotes concerning prayer. He said, “Prayer does not equip us for greater works; prayer is the greater work.”
(Inspiration for these thoughts came from the book Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?, by Philip Yancey)