Posts

Showing posts with the label psalms

How to pray a prayer of anguish

Image
Have you ever felt emotionally raw and desperate? Angry, even? My first response in these situations is either to rage at God or someone else. God is a better choice. The best response is to pray a prayer of anguish. To lament. It's one of the ways that God responds to human desperation. Grief, when directed at God, is a prayer. It's a lamentation that expects a response. Anguish can prompt the most beautiful and heart-felt prayers we ever pray. Maybe you're not sure what to say. That's okay, too. The Holy Spirit hears the groaning of our hearts and responds to us with grace and love (Romans 8:26-27). I go directly to Psalms when I need to groan. I start at Psalm 3, and I just keep going until I've said enough. I've underlined a lot of verses about anguish and fairness and deliverance in those pages, so I pray those verses back to God. Somehow, reading the Psalms give power to my prayer and assuage any guilt I'd have for expressing my pain and misery.

How to complain the right way

Image
I know how to complain. You do, too. This isn't fair. I will never dig out of this. Nobody appreciates me. I wish I had nicer things! Why can't I make any more money? I don't have any friends. Why is this happening to me?? It's all really pathetic on paper yet pretty important in our heads and hearts. We want to give credence to our feelings, so we express them to a friend, a spouse, social media, or some unsuspecting car at a stoplight. Does it help? Some. Verbal statements seem more accurate than fleeting thoughts, so it's nice to express how we feel. The hard part comes next--how to be positive. So we give our complaints the respect they deserve, and we speak them out. We're frustrated that God's not doing a better job of meeting our needs, and we don't see any escape routes. In times like these, I turn to the Psalms. David wrote at least 20 specific laments, and he's a doggone good complainer. But here's the interesting thing--D

Psalm 8

Image
O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. When I consider the heavens and the works 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 have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! Image from www.suttonplacehotelcompany.wordpress.com.webloc