I call this a Dare Prayer. (I choose the word “dare” rather than ‘challenge’ because to me it sounds a bit more frank, somehow. I have some difficulty with code words, or idiom, at times. If you prefer the word ‘challenge’ please insert it as you choose. I promise I won’t be offended.)
I dare me, I dare you, to enter into such prayer regularly and accordingly as follows below, to pray as suggested by Francois Fenelon.
Not that God does not know before we speak, but that we often don’t desire to fully know ourselves as we speak privately with Him. It tends to open us painfully raw and tender before our very consciousness, if we listen intently to what we are praying and confessing of ourselves. However, in doing so there is a cleansing of conscience, soul, and spirit taking place; of things we are inclined to shielding ourselves from on a conscious level. We can be personally honest and admit we don’t like pain, either emotional or physical. Pain hurts. As does healing.
For, like the river that flows out of Africa to the sea, called da Nile (Yes, I meant the other, Denial), when we emerge from the thick, dark jungle canopy covering the river, into the open sunlight, we find the sun begins cleansing us of the sediment of dead leaves and withered foliage that has been accumulating on and in our depths that was barely noticeable while we were in the darker region of travel, during our journey to the rivers mouth, the ocean. It’s a long journey, and many undesirable barnacles accumulate along the way.
As the good brother, Francois, points out, there are enough things to pray in this way that we need never have excuse for running out of things to pray about, concerning our own state-of-affairs between heaven and earth, while on this earth. Yes, pride, self-pride, is a sneaky enemy to contend with. When in prayer it is a good thing to pray so to narrow the gap between The Almighty and myself, as like conversing with a friend who is growing ever closer each time we meet. -g.w
Francois Fenelon, a seventeenth-century Roman Catholic Frenchman, said this about prayer:
Tell God all that is in your heart, as one unloads one’s heart, its pleasures and its pain, to a dear friend.
Tell Him your troubles, that He may comfort you;
Tell Him your joys, that He may sober them;
Tell Him your longings, that He may purify them;
Tell Him your dislikes, that He may help you to conquer them;
Talk to Him of your temptations, that He may shield you from them;
Show Him the wounds of your heart, that He may heal them;
Lay bare your indifference to good, your depraved tastes for evil, your instability.
Tell Him how self-love makes you unjust to others, how vanity tempts you to be insincere, how pride disguises you to yourself and others.
If you thus pour out all your weaknesses, needs, troubles, there will be no lack of what to say. You will never exhaust the subject. It is continually being renewed.
People who have no secrets from each other never want for subject of conversation. They do not weigh their words, for there is nothing to be held back;
Neither do they seek for something to say. They talk out of the abundance of the heart, without consideration, they say what they think without fear of losing face in the eyes of the other .
Blessed are they who attain to familiar, unreserved intercourse with God.
His Eye is on the Sparrow https://collinsgw.com/