I’m going to make a confession, one that may be seen as slightly controversial to those of you who may be more conservative than myself. It is with this in mind, I urge you to recognise my heart behind this ‘confession’.
For me, there is something really exciting about someone stepping into a Prayer Ministry session with me and swearing.
Yes, swearing. Cussing, saying rude words, whatever terminology you wish to use. And yes, exciting!
It usually starts with the individual editing their words as they discuss a turmoil, battle, or heartache that seems to have infiltrated their lives;
“This past year has been really sh…… um crap, it’s been a crap year”.
It’s at this point that we dive straight in, and assure them, it’s ok, you can be real here. You can swear if you want to.
Some of the time, people are holding back, or editing their speech out of respect for those who are praying with them. But most often, it is because these individuals are so used to trying to say the right thing, use the right words, remain Godly, pure and ultimately masked, that they feel they can’t fully let go in Gods presence.
After we’ve assured them that we are fine with whatever phraseology they need to use, it is then that the real stuff begins! This is why it’s so exciting for me.
It really has little to do with the words used, it is instead what they represent; the breaking down of a wall.
For some of these people, it is the first time that they have ever been told that it’s ok to be real.
It’s ok to be vulnerable, it’s ok to tell God you’re angry, to tell Him you’re hurt, you’re confused, to say, “God, I don’t get you, why have you allowed this pain?”.
In most cases, the swearing is a catalyst for authentic dialogue, not something that remains a part of their language throughout the session.
Now hear me correctly, I am not saying that we are to lose a holy fear of God, to swear AT Him. I’m just suggesting that using words that are raw, vulnerable, and fully loaded with years of pent up pain and anger can be very cathartic. It is in these moments that many realise, God is a great big God, He is well equipped to deal with our hurt, our anger, however accusatory it may seem. He is not disgusted with or offended by our pain, He is standing with open arms saying, ‘Finally you’re letting me in. Finally you’re presenting to me the real you! Come to me, I get it, I really do, you’re hurting, you’re confused. I want to heal you, I want to restore you!’.
It was within a recent ministry session that God gave me a prophetic word to deliver to someone, I share it here, with permission, and unlike some prophecy, this was God speaking directly to the individual, saying:
The Weight of Your Righteousness, Rests on My Shoulders, Not Yours.
This precious person had been weighed down by the pressure of trying to be perfect, trying to be Godly, trying to be holy and righteous, trying so hard because they’d been told that they needed to hold up the Christian standard for an entire people group they were called to influence.
What they were not told within this firm statement, was yes, we need self-control, yes, we need to be above reproach, we need to strive for purity, for righteous acts… but it’s also ok to be human. It’s ok to be real. You aren’t perfect. You will fail. The failures however, become fewer when you invite God along for the journey, when you tell Him; “God, this is your standard, I want to uphold it because I love you, but I need your help! I need you to steer the ship, to navigate! I can’t bear the load of this myself, and I understand you haven’t asked me to”.
We must work vigilantly, fleeing temptation when it strikes, and trying our best to remain sanctified. But we are righteous, not for what we do, but for what Jesus did FOR us!
Father God is worthy of our honour and respect. He is to be awed and revered, but within this, He desires to be in intimate, unbridled, unedited relationship with us. He knows our thoughts anyway! Why not voice them in a way that invites Him in to the situation, to change it, to change you?
Any refinement or stripping away of the rough edges of our heart, thoughts and ultimately speech, will be done gently, by Him, within His perfect embrace.
First though, you’ve got to strip away the fakery, the mask that blocks that intimacy.