Last time we saw that the key that opens the door to that special resting place is Authenticity!
We know the word "Authenticity" can best be described as "UNDISPUTED CREDIBILITY"!
So what about "Sincerity"? Is it the same as Authenticity?
In my humble opinion, NO!
Before Princeton University became a pagan institution, it was one of the finest in Christian education just like Harvard, Yale etc. But they still have one of the best literary and theological works available in these United States. I love using their dictionary because they get to the root meaning better than most.
The Princeton dictionary defines "sincerity" as the "quality of being open and truthful" or "not deceitful" or a "quality that inspires belief, naturalness and simplicity". This is the bookend of Authenticity. While the latter defines Credibility, the former (sincerity) is the open book or transparency which LEADS to Authenticity.
So what does this have to do with Prayer??!! Oy vey! Everything! Try sitting down with 15 store-bought devotional books, a cup of coffee and bagel and think you're coming into a Secret Place with God. Add to that a laundry list of prayer requests and see how far that goes!
Key in on three things - simplicity, truthfulness and openness.
1. Be Simple. Ditch the devotional books....even the great ones like Utmost for His Highest or anything by Andrew Murray or EM Bounds. Read them during the day, if you have a spare minute or on your lunch break to stay connected to the Word all day long. Have only the Bible in hand and a notebook if you wish, to write down anything the Lord gives you or leads you to. Ditch the coffee and bagel too. How would you like God to sit on His Throne munching Panera and sipping Starbucks while you pour your heart out? No coffee, but keep a bottle of water nearby if you need one.
2. Be Truthful. Don't try to pull one over on God! Christians do that all the time, sin, commit mental and physical adultery, act unholy at work and then pious on Sundays! God's own man - King David - a man who was so anointed, he wrote most of the Bible's Prayer Book (The Psalms), yet after he broke EVERY Single Commandment, he was TRUTHFUL enough before HaShem God to confess his evil sins, repent, turn away and beg forgiveness. Got sin in our lives? ANY KIND? Go to Psalm 51 in the Secret Place. The Lord will see our truthfulness and turn His Ear to us.
3. Be Open. That's the next step up from being Truthful. Again the standard is David in Psalm 51 but also Job in Job Chapter 41. Most of the entire book of Job was one major discourse on whining, rumor and gossip about God and everything that made Him so upset that He appeared to Job in a Whirlwind and proceeded to give Job "the business"! After our Great God spoke forcefully for almost three chapters, Job finally answered and acknowledged he had no idea what he was taking about! He even admitted he had no intimate knowledge of God until then! (That is what the Hebrew word "yada" or knowledge means!) Most "praying" or professing Christians have no Yada! They have NO intimate Knowledge of God because a. they were never really redeemed in the first place or b. they are like most Western believers and are just putting in their pew time until the black Cadillac takes them to the graveyard.
Sure some of this is tough to imagine doing daily or as much as possible. But the Fruits and the inner rejoicing is beyond compare! Go to it, in Jesus' Name, amen.