We mortals are experts at hiding behind smoke screens.  Smoke screens come in all sizes, shapes, and forms AND for different uses.  Put me on the hot seat and I will get busy either changing the subject or deflecting the blame and shame.  NO ONE enjoys having the error of our ways pointed out.

Most of us learned this trick as a child.  I have really noticed this with my grands. I was so busy running in circles, I had no time to analyze the behavior of my own children.  With being a grandmother, I have the ability to step back and observe.  ALWAYS--someone else started the fight!  

 You have all heard me call original sin--blame shifting.  It seems to be a natural inclination to try get the light of blame shifted toward another person or thing.  Look in the media--it is there daily.  Why we have become a society who leans on the crutch of our past and current circumstances for an excuse for our bad behavior.  Why even marching toward my mid seventies, I look back 60 + years ago and blame my childhood for some of my craziness.  I DO tell myself---GET OVER IT!

GUESS WHAT ?  This is NOT where I am going today---it is what I would call a lead in.

As I was thinking over my prayer life and weak attempt at a prayer life at times, it occurred to me I was deflecting while praying.  In the name of compassion and empathy, I focus a great deal of my prayer time on those I have been asked to pray for or those I know need me to pray for them.  NOT ONE THING wrong with that.  HERE is the problem--an essential element of approaching the throne is confession.  My prayers for others has become a smoke screen to deflect from my need to confess and get right by pointing my finger toward others.  Before I throw a prayer toward the throne, I need to be under the cover of grace.  Grace is granted with first confession.  I need to deal with my stuff which throws up that smoke screen between God and me.  I need to get straight with God Almighty and THEN pray for those He has placed on my heart.  I need a strong wind (Holy Spirit) to blow away the screen I have placed with good intentions.  Good intentions can come between God and me in the blink of an eye.  God wants me to be brutally honest with Him---even when the hot seat is blazing hot with shame.

Heavy stuff or elementary?

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other

 so that you may be healed.

 The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective

James 5:16

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