A few days ago, someone sent me a WhatsApp video in which a young man was praying to God. He spoke in a patois, a pidgin that is popular in the South – southern part of Nigeria (which would be virtually impossible to understand if you are not Nigerian and still difficult to decode if you are from other parts of Nigeria.)

After listening to this young man pray, (not without some difficulty on my part though) something struck me. “God understands him perfectly.” And the thing is, it is all that truly matters. That our Heavenly Father whom we are praying to hears us clearly when we pray to Him in whatever language or dialect and that He understands us too. Jesus said “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”  John  6:37 KJV This tells me that the way we approach God is not nearly as important as the fact that we even approach Him at all. And no matter how we come to Him, He willl never send us back. He will not criticise our grammar or diction. He will not condemn our outfit or hairdo. He will never reject us. First thing then is to take off the mask. Be real with Him. God wants us to come to Him through Jesus Christ, His only son. And when we come, we should just say whatever we need to say in the way that we know how. Without embellishments,  exaggeration or lies.  Let us forget the airs and graces and even if maybe we feel like rubbish, let us say so to Him. Let Him know how exactly we are feeling. Yes we may sugar coat our situations to others but  we must NEVER tell God a lie because he already knows the truth. “O Lord of hosts, who tests the righteous, who sees the heart and the mind, let me see your vengeance upon them, for to you I have committed my cause.” Jeremiah 20:12 ESV

An Israelite king, Jeroboam, asked his wife to disguise herself and go to a prophet to make enquiries.  Ha!! Only to humans can we pretend to be who we are not. God knows absolutely everything. And even though the elderly prophet Ahijah had lost his sight, God downloaded the scenario to him even before the “disguised” king’s wife got to him. When the prophet heard her footsteps the first thing he called out to her was ...Come in, wife of Jeroboam!  Why are you pretending to be someone else?” 1 Kings 14: 6 NLT

My message today is a very simple one. We do not need to pretend. Increasingly with each passing day, the challenges that we have to face could be overwhelming without God on our side. But if we bring Him into the picture He will take care of things. “Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.” Psalms 51:6 ESV God knows our every thought anyway so why bother hiding it  from Him? It will do us no good. With friends, family and colleagues it is easy to put on an air of “Everything is going on fine.” But with God, let us not even try it. It will profit us nothing.  As we come to Him with our bags and baggage,  let us trust Him and believe that He hears, every sigh, every groan, every sob. He knows our pain, our hurt, the abuse, the shame, the failings, the insecurities. He knows it all and He can fix it and make us brand new. He will give the wisdom to deal with each day as it comes.

Let us then cut out the pretense and be real with our Heavenly Father. He will help us through.