Come, sit at his feet and stay a while. There is no judgement, only forgiveness and mercy. There is no confusion, only peace and joy.

How often do well-meaning people avoid sitting at the feet of Christ? We refuse to let the healer heal us out of shame, or selfishness, or the most sneaky of all: fear of being selfish. The truth is we shouldn’t be afraid of selfishness because it’s already ingrained in us. We can’t run from it nor hide from it, but with God we can face it.

What does fear of selfishness look like? It’s that voice that reminds you you’re only praying out of obligation, not out of love for God so you should stop. It’s that voice that tells you your problems are to small for the Almighty so don’t bother. It’s that voice that convinces you that because others have it so much worse you shouldn’t waste God’s time. This voice creates a false sense of righteousness. You need God just as much as anyone else.

Don’t let the idea that your prayers are selfish or petty stop you from praying. Don’t let the idea that you are only praying out of obligation convince you that you shouldn’t approach God. We are all beginners, and we are all selfish. But God cannot change us if we don’t show up. He can’t start removing our cloud of sin if we don’t take it to him.

Prayer is the act of facing ourselves, becoming aware of our shortcomings, and realizing how much we need Christ. It is a process that requires perseverance and courage. It doesn’t always come naturally at first, but with practice it becomes second nature.

So, let this be your encouragement. Persevere in prayer because you feel obligated until the obligation fades, and then persevere in prayer because you can’t imagine your life without it. Obligation is the beginning of obedience. As you bind yourself to God, even slowly and hesitantly, you open yourself up to the possibility of a joyful allegiance.

Be selfish, he won’t let you stay there.

Be scared, he’ll provide courage.

Be awkward, he is pleased even with our stumblings.

Show up. Selfish, obligated, broken, ashamed – all of it. His mercy awaits you.

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