|I took a picture of this bumper sticker in Monroe.|
I didn't honk.
Real prayer happens in a no-spin zone. There's no need or use for posturing, preening, and pretending before our omniscient God. God knows our hearts, and desires to search us out so as to lovingly restore, renew, form, and transform us.
We should embrace, nor fear this. But I have met Jesus-followers who are afraid of God. If they have lived in an environment of judgmentalism, condemnation, and shame it's hard to come clean before the Lord. Things that need to be spoken stay unsaid, and intimacy ("into -me - see") is blocked.
I like how Philip Yancey writes about this.
"Prayer makes room for the unspeakable, those secret compartments of shame and regret that we seal away from the outside world. In vain I sometimes build barriers to keep God out, stubbornly disregarding the fact that God looks on the heart, penetrating beyond the [outer appearance] to where no person can see. As God informed the prophet Samuel, “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”" (Yancey, Prayer, Kindle Locations 748-751)
The Lord looks at the heart. The Lord searches and knows my heart.
Therefore pray, from the heart.