All too often when we come to church, we have the tendency to put masks on. You walk in the building and when people ask you how you are doing, the answer is usually something along the lines of “doing great.” If you are in some church traditions, you might say “I’m blessed and highly favored.”

While there is nothing wrong with saying this when its true; what about when it’s not? I think so often we feel the pressure to believe we have to put the mask on, because after all you are a person of faith and since God is good you must feel good all the time. What do you do when you don’t feel this way? How do you approach God and people when your faith is small, when you can’t believe and when you wonder if God is even listening?

That’s why I want to encourage you today to pray broken prayers. Consider this passage in Luke:

There was something about this man that I think you can relate to. He was broken by life because he was a leper. We are not sure how he caught leprosy, but nevertheless he had it and it was a terrible disease. To be a leper in those days was to be an outcast. I will spare you the details of the horror of this disease, but beyond the physical pain and suffering there was the mental pain and suffering because no one wanted to be around you. Lepers were shunned and people thought they were cursed by God and their leprosy was a result of their sin. Some scholars say a leper couldn’t come within six feet of any other Israelite and within 150 feet if there was an east wind blowing (I guess this was the original form of social distancing).