My name is Aimee and I am a perfectionist. Over the last couple of weeks in lockdown I have been doing mini art sessions with a couple of friends over Zoom, following Rob Biddulph’s draw-along videos (meant for kids but great for ‘big kids’ too). Yet, whilst Rob and probably the rest of his audience go straight in with a black fine liner pen, I find myself armed with a pencil and eraser so that I can edit each and every mark. No wonder his 10 minute videos have been taking us well over an hour, as my friends wait for me to un-pause the video and move on to the next step rather than re-drawing a circle for the sixth time because it just isn’t ‘circular’ enough.
A lot of us have perfectionist tendencies. It can be a blessing as we strive to do quality work, but if we’re not careful perfectionism can equally be a curse. We avoid doing things that need to be done, all because we’re afraid we can’t do them perfectly.
I wonder how many of us hold back in praying because we don’t feel skilled enough to pray the way we think we should. Or we feel somehow our prayers don’t mean as much if we don’t pray as eloquently as someone else. Or we don’t bring a situation to God at all because we just need to get it a little more together first.
I find this song a great reminder that God doesn’t require our prayers to be ‘perfect’ for Him to listen to them. Just as he doesn’t need us to have it all together to come to Him; in fact God calls those who are weary and burdened (Matthew 11:28) and tells us His power is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Here’s what the artist Riley Clemmons has to say about her song ‘Broken Prayers’ …
“The song “Broken Prayers” came truly from a place of brokenness and that feeling of having to get yourself together and bring the best most picture-perfect version of yourself to God, basically feeling like the broken pieces aren’t good enough for God. The song came from a place of truly finding peace in the fact that God takes you at your most broken, at your lowest place and at your roughest. And not only does He take you there but He delights in it. And He genuinely loves you in that place.”
“it was during a time in my life when I really couldn’t find the right words… at the end of the day, it felt like everything was coming out broken. I tried to clean it up & hide it, and that only ended in more of that heaviness. It was isolating & honestly, it was scary. The funny thing about life is that we all have our own share of broken pieces. I truly started to find freedom & genuine happiness when I accepted those broken pieces & started to see beauty in them for myself – when I decided to pray the broken prayers… not just the ones that sounded “right.” Singing this song always brings me that sort of peace. I hope you know that there is beauty & redemption in the places you feel you’re most messed up & broken – that there is an infinite amount of beauty in the broken prayers.”
Verses linked to this:
Romans 8:26-27 (NLT) 26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.
Matthew 11:28 (NIV) 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
2 Corinthians 12:9(NIV) 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
Click to watch the story behind the song Broken Prayers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSbllLLrbUM
Click to watch the official video for Broken Prayers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBDt_-tIfLI
Click to watch the piano version of Broken Prayers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjfdHtOJxJc
Click to watch Broken Prayers with lyrics https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQqz2ckCT3s
Click for #DrawWithRob videos http://www.robbiddulph.com/draw-with-rob