Psalms DAY 9

DAY 9 - Honest Prayer

Matthew 6:5-8

You have to be honest to pray your pain until it’s praise. Jesus urges us to be honest when he teaches about prayer. Don’t pray to get attention or put on a show. Don’t pray to make God care about you. God sees, God cares. Just be honest!

The Psalms help us do that. Praying the words on the page might open you up when you can’t find the words. Or they’re springboard for your own words. For example, when do you feel some distance from God? Where do you see people preying on the innocent?

Some of you know exactly what you’d lament. Those lions at school, waiting to ambush you, full of lies and threats. Maybe the old spiritual passion you once felt has ebbed away. There’s a new medical diagnosis that’s thrown your world upside down. Maybe you, or a loved one, has been on the receiving end of injustice. Or violence, across the street and around the globe, weighs heavy on your heart. Name it and feel it in front of God. Pray your pain until it’s praise. 

Maybe you’re aching over the spiritual distance of a friend or family member. You long for them to know the joy of Jesus like you but no amount of explaining or arguing makes a dent.  The only thing left to do is to hold this dear person up to God in prayer. Revival in the Church and renewal outside the Church only happens when our hearts break for the least and the lost.

Lament might not need any words at all! It might mean weeping. Richard Foster calls this “the gift of tears.” He says, “I had been considering my sin and the sin of God’s people…As I did this, God graciously helped me to enter into a godly mourning in my heart on behalf of the Church, and a deep, tear-filled thanksgiving at God’s patience, love, and mercy toward us.” We need that kind of praying, that kind of lament, far more than we need more debating. 

Take a moment today to honestly hold up some hurt to God.

What do you need to be honest with God about today?

Father, help me to be honest when I pray. You see and you care. I believe it. I trust it. Today I lift up this hurt to you [PAUSE to pray whatever comes to mind]...Amen.

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