“And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:13)
It was one of those real short nights. I had just spoken for a youth event, and the night went late for the best of reasons: God brought several young people to faith in Christ that night. And the counseling of those kids took a blessedly long time.
Now Mike, who was the youth pastor who planned the event, took me to my room that night and told me he would be talking to me in a few hours before I had to leave for home. I said, “I’m sorry we have to leave so early when we’ve been up so late.” He said, “Oh, don’t worry. I’ll just roll out of bed, throw on a baseball cap, and come on over.”
Well, bless his heart, that’s just what he did. When we met the next morning, I asked him if we could pray together before I went on my way. He respectfully took off his baseball cap, and we had a neat time of prayer. When I opened my eyes at the end, he still had his cap off. And a very creative hair style – I mean, it was all over the place! He even laughed about it.
The cap covered what he didn’t want anyone to see – except when he was praying. Actually, prayer should be the time when we expose what we don’t want anyone to see or know. It is meant to be the place where we can be 100% honest and transparent. And when we are, some amazing things can happen.
Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” In other words, there is no point in posing or role-playing when you’re with God. He already knows your deepest feelings, your deepest failings, and your deepest struggles. Our hat is always off in front of God, whether we take it off or not. He knows everything we cover up for other people. There’s no point in trying to put a tie on for God if “everything is uncovered and laid bare before Him.”
Now, we might worry about how God will respond if we really get real with Him. Well, listen to verse 15. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin.” The Savior you’re approaching is one who has been here, who has been, while fully God, fully human.
When God the Son was here, He experienced temptation from Satan himself. He experienced loneliness, abandonment, agonizing over God’s will, grief, family tensions, homelessness, excruciating pain, even dying. So you come emotionally naked to one who has lived … not necessarily all your exact circumstances, but feelings very much like yours.
You’ll not shock Him with your struggles – He already knows. You won’t be rejected for your feelings – He understands. And when you come with the cover off, you leave with resources from God that can change everything. Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us then (in other words, since we’re going to a God who knows all about us, who has walked in our shoes) approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
God wants to pour out His mercy and His grace on the hardest, most hurting parts of your heart and life. But the real God will only help the real you. You don’t come with your “cap off” to show God what He doesn’t know about. You come totally exposed emotionally and spiritually because God will only help you with what you honestly open up to Him.
So when you’re praying, don’t come to God with the official you, with the image you show everyone else, with the dressed up, touched up, and covered up you. Uncover in His presence what you cannot uncover to anyone else. And let His grace and His healing come pouring into the parts of your heart that need it the most. Come as the old hymn says, “Just as I am without one plea, but that Thy blood was shed for me.”