When You Can’t Hold Back

Have you ever been tempted to think of Jesus as one who was so spiritual that He didn’t need to pray?


Surely He had a special connection with God, an influence because He was God’s son. Right?

Here’s what the Bible has to say about that:

In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered” (Hebrews 5:7-8 NASB).

We have a glimpse of the depth of Christ’s heart as He prayed. Open and poured out, Christ prayed with nothing held back. This passage highlights the humanity of Christ, the One who emptied Himself of his God-glory. Christ prayed as a son, a man overcome with great emotion and fervor.

Offer it up

To offer  our prayers includes the meaning of presenting a gift or bringing with purpose. Pray with confidence in God, intentionally bringing prayers and concerns to Him.

This act of offering is the same idea in which friends brought beggars and lame men desperate for the healing touch of Jesus. They brought the need to the source of help–a visible picture of prayer.

Prosphero is the same word used when wise men offered gifts of worship to the God-child born in a stable. We see this word again as parents brought little children to Christ to be blessed and when worshippers offered gifts in peace at the alter. Truly, to offer up our prayers is an act of worship.

Pray passionately

A man of prayer, Jesus prayed on hillsides, in lonely places, and in the wilderness of temptation. He prayed in the early stillness of morning, and he prayed throughout many nights. Luke writes that it was Jesus’ regular custom to pray in the garden of Gethsemane, just as He did on the night He was betrayed.

Jesus Praying

When the storms of life crash into our dreams, pray for the commitment to obey, strength to put God’s will before our preferences. Christ learned obedience through suffering, submitting His desires to God’s perfect will. Christ’s obedient sacrifice was ushered in with prayer, “yet not My will, but Yours be done.”

When we trust God in our suffering, choosing to pray and accept His will, we express our deepest worship. Worship that brings the cries of our hearts before God, trusting Him in hard things, follows the example of Christ.

There are moments when our souls are stripped bare. The sandpaper of difficulty scrapes off surface layers of success, prosperity, and ability. Confronted with sins that have entangled our feet, we trip face first in the dirt of shortcomings, poor decisions, or hard circumstances.

Pray from the heart. Sometimes this will include bringing deep emotion and honest desperation to God. Placing my fears in His hand, I recently prayed:

Lord, I cannot fix myself. I cannot change the way I feel at this moment, but I come to You anyway, just as I am at this moment. When I am overwhelmed, I realize that You don’t ask me to get it right every time. You don’t even ask me to overcome anxiety in my own ability or maturity. You ask me to be willing to wait for Your provision for my need.

I offered up my heart with nothing covered, excused, or justified. In this honest place of humility, I discovered comfort in some crazy, profound way.

When you can’t hold  back, pour out your heart in prayer.





One Response to When You Can’t Hold Back
  1. Kathryn Shirey
    October 3, 2014 | 12:16 pm

    Some of my best prayers – the ones where I feel the closest to God, where I’m the most honest and where I feel the power of prayer most – is when I’m in the middle of a storm and just pour out my heart. I love that Jesus sets that example for us. Even he wasn’t beyond a passionate, heart-emptying, crying-out prayer.