Emotional Prayers are Real Prayers
God expects us to talk to Him in emotional times. I know this because He gave us a plethora of examples of emotional prayers in His Word. Today we'll briefly touch on 8 different emotions found in Psalms.
I feel abandoned by God -
"Why, O Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?" Ps. 10:1 This writer is drowning in the emotional waters of separation from God. There are times when God is silent, but that never means He has abandoned us. Sometimes He is silent because WE have moved so far away from Him that WE can no longer hear HIM. And as I was reminded recently, sometimes God is silent just like the teacher is always quiet during the test. Rest assured, Dear Reader, God hears you.
I have been restored by God -
Psalm 40 is one of my favorite chapters in Scripture. Verses 1-3 say, "I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; The Lord set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord." In three short verses, the psalmist takes us on the emotional journey of waiting for God in a slimy pit to being a productive witness for Him from a new vantage point. What amazing restoration!
I am ashamed -
"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me." Ps. 51:10-12 Sin creates more than just an emotional barrier between us and God. It is a spiritual chasm that we cannot cross - without THE cross. Oh, how I pray that we can bare our hearts to God and ask Him for a transplant.
I am anxious -
"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting," Psalm 139:23-24. Without a doubt, the headlines in today's world are enough to generate anxiety. But never wallow in the emotional stew, thinking you have to deal with it alone. Ask God to know those hidden things you cling to deep within. Then ask for leading. He's listening.
I am ready -
Psalm 119:59-60 - "I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes. I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands." We all fall short sometimes. What needs to happen next, though, is to search our hearts and become eager to get back on track. God never expects perfection from such flawed creatures. After all, He knows us intimately. What He does expect, is willingness. Obedience. And a true desire to please Him.
I have confidence in God -
"Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall." Ps 55:33 Here the writer certainly speaks from personal experience. Yet, how many of us who HAVE experienced God's faithful sustaining love forget in the midst of emotional upheaval? Be reminded today and every day: He will not let you fall. And if you don't believe you fall into the category of "the righteous"? Then you're thinking you must rely on your efforts alone. NOT TRUE! We are righteous by the finished and complete work of Jesus on the cross.
I can see God's majesty -
Psalm 8:3-5 says, "When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor." Think about it. God created the heavens in all their vast wonder. And He created you and me. He is so concerned with your well-being that He knows the number of hairs on your head. Why would He bother with puny humans? Because we were custom-made FOR HIM. Bask in that emotional wave of awe for His majesty.
I am thankful for what God is doing -
(Hang in there. Almost done. Please read the entire passage because it takes us on a complete emotional journey by itself.) Psalm 116:1-9 says, "I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live. The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came upon me; I was overcome by trouble and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the Lord: "O Lord, save me!" our God is full of compassion. The Lord protects the simple-hearted; when I was in great need, he saved me. Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you. For you, O Lord, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living." From loving God for His mercy to the anguish of the grave, the point here is that God hears with compassion.
Maybe the main point of all these is simply: God hears.
Father God, I thank You for listening to our fears, joys, regrets, and shame. You created us to be emotional beings, and You will hear us through every feeling and situation. I praise You that we are free to pour out our hearts to You.
Thanks for coming by today. You can read the other Prayer A-Z posts here.by