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When It Comes to Prayer, Oversharing Is a Good Thing

We never have to hold back or check ourselves when talking to God.

Oversharing in prayer
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
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Some people overshare—a habit of not only talking at length but also dominating conversations and revealing inappropriate, even intimate, details about oneself or other people. If you  walk away from a conversation worried about how much you said or revealed, you might be oversharing. 

But here’s some good news, it’s impossible to overshare in prayer.

When Hannah pleaded with God for a son, Eli the priest saw her praying with such apparent vehemence (though she was praying silently) that he assumed she was drunk! He rebuked her, and she answered: 

“Not so, my lord…. I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord” (1 Samuel 1:15 NIV).

When Job faced unbearable grief, he overshared to God—in front of his friends. One of them, Eliphaz, was offended: 

Why has your heart carried you away,
    and why do your eyes flash,
so that you vent your rage against God
    and pour out such words from your mouth? (Judges 15:12).

David urged the people of Israel: 

Pour out your hearts to him,
    for God is our refuge. (Psalm 62:8 NIV).

Even Jesus, bowed by the cruel and heavy path He would walk between Gethsemane and the empty tomb, shared His heart’s and mind’s torment with His Father to such an extent that, even though an angel from heaven arrived to strengthen him, “he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground” (Luke 22:44 NIV).

These examples—and more—from the Bible suggest that we may go ahead and overshare all we want in prayer to God. We can’t talk too much (though, certainly, we do well to listen at times too). We don’t need to worry about what’s appropriate or inappropriate; if the Father can graciously and wisely filter the psalmists’ imprecations, He can sort our verbal overflow. We don’t have to hold back our innermost thoughts and feelings because He knows them anyway. And, because “the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans” (Romans 8:26 NIV), even our most primal cries are not “oversharing” to God. 

So go ahead. Share as much as you want, as much as you can. God wants to hear it all.

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