Imagine a world where every person carried in front of them a life-sized cardboard cut-out of themselves. This cardboard cut-out would be a the perfect image of themselves; their best picture, professionally ‘photoshoped’ to create the most perfect appearance. Whenever these people met each other, they would push their perfect image of themselves forward and request that the other person talk to the picture and not look at the real person behind.
Some might say that this is what our world has become. We celebrate perfection so much that we now hide behind a false image for fear that other people might see who we really are. As Christians, the real danger is when we do this to God. We come to prayer and present to God our ‘best selves’. We assume that since we do not like our ‘real-self’, surely God would not be pleased with it either.
It should be obvious that God would hate being presented with this ‘cardboard person’ as much as we would. He loves us in our real-self with all of its imperfections; he definitely does not like our pretend-self. If you feel that you are not encountering God in your prayer, perhaps it is because you are not being real with him. We need to stop pretending and start being honest with ourselves, so that we can be honest with God. He loves your brokenness…perhaps it is about time that you started to accept your brokenness as well.