Friday, August 28, 2009

No Pretense

"'In spite of all this, her unfaithful sister Judah did not return to Me with all her heart, but only in pretense,' declares the LORD." Jeremiah 3:10 (NIV)
In reading through the Bible in a year, I have written many scriptures in my journals. Recently, as I was reading through Jeremiah, I took note of chapter 3, verse 10 above. In digging a little deeper, it struck me that the only two verses in scripture that refer to "pretense" are concerning the female gender. The other scripture is 1 Kings 14:6: "“Come in, wife of Jeroboam. Why this pretense?" We women can be pretentious, can't we?
In Jeremiah 3:10, the word for "pretense" in the King James Version is "deception". Ouch. "Pretense" seems a bit softer than "deception". The original word for deception in Jeremiah 3:10 is "sheqer". (Oh my, the word "she" is in that!) In the Blue Letter Bible (click here), the definition for sheqer is:
1) lie, deception, disappointment, falsehood
a) deception (what deceives or disappoints or betrays one)
b) deceit, fraud, wrong
1) fraudulently, wrongfully (as adverb)
c) falsehood (injurious in testimony)
1) testify falsehood, false oath, swear falsely
d) falsity (of false or self-deceived prophets)
e) lie, falsehood (in general)
1) false tongue
f) in vain
These verses concerning women and pretense have stirred me. A prayer has been revived in my heart.
Dear Lord, please let there be no pretense in my prayers to you. No pretense in personal prayers that only You hear. No pretense in group prayer as I pray corporately with others. Let sincerity, reverence and truth reign in my heart and in my prayers. May my utterances reflect the true desires of my heart. And may You give me courage to live out those desires that are rooted in You.
Lord, I want to live a blameless life in my own home, with my own family first. May there be no pretense in our home and in our hearts. Let us serve and love each other with humility and passion. Help us to recognize pretense in each other and be the gentle vessel of healing for one another. I want to be authentic in my own home first. Our home is a precious threshing floor of sorts. Let the wheat be separated from the chaff here first. May we taste the fruit of authentic, abiding lives in You here in our home first.
Lord, may there be no pretense outside of my home. I pray others see You in me. May You shine through and be evident in the midst of other's opinion, conclusions, judgment and misperception of pretense. May I always be willing to be broken and humbled so that You can do your good works in and through me. Keep my heart soft and teachable.
May the fruit of an authentic, abiding private life pour out effortlessly outside of my four walls.
Give me the grace and unconditional love to reach beyond the pretense of others. Give me discernment to recognize a heart that is crying out. The privilege of being Your vessel for another is precious and holy. Pretense is bondage. We want to be free in Your truth. You are our Safe Place to fall. You desire truth in the inner parts of our souls.
Make us holy, Lord. Authenticity pursuing Your holiness. No pretense. No phonies. Only You, the Truth.
In your Name and by Your grace.
"Surely You desire truth in the inner parts;
You teach me wisdom in the inmost place."
Psalm 51:6

10 comments:

Runner Mom said...

Wow! How powerful! This prayer is just beautiful, Sharon! I appreciate the research that you did for "pretense." It truly makes you think about your words and actions--especially as a wife and and a mom.

Hugs,
Susan

Kelly Combs said...

I love this Sharon. I think I may print it out and use it to pray.

We were on the same page today in our posts.

Have a great day!

denise said...

Amen and amen!

Mich said...

Beautiful prayer...

christy rose said...

Wow! What a prayer! Do you mind if I print it out as well? I just loved every word of it.
I want my heart to be so pure and true.

Danielle said...

Amen and Amen! Loved you prayer, Sharon. Heartfelt and honest. God is drawing me to a place of total vulnerablity of the heart before Him... No pretense, Lord. No hiding, just Him and I and what He wants to accomplish in me so others can see His grace and mercy and power.

Thanks so much for posting this.

Blessed Mom of 8 said...

Sharon,

That was really beautiful!

AMEN and AMEN!

Hugs and love,
Jill

Wendy Blight said...

Sharon,

What an incredibly insightful and powerful prayer. Pretense is a word I don't often think about at all...yet after reading your post I am convicted that I should!!! Thank you for taking me deeper still today with God...you always do, sweet friend.

Love you,

Wendy

Edie said...

Oh I echo your prayer Sharon. I want to be purged of all pretense.

Much love to you!

Joyful said...

Speechless.

Thanks for your beautiful comment on my blog today.
Love you,
Joy