Friday, March 21, 2014

In Prayer Don't Dishonor the Relationship (PrayerLife)

Lake Michigan sunset

Anger has three objects: 1) self; 2) others; and 3) God. Most understand 1 and 2, but 3 is a hard pill to swallow. It seems disrespectful to be angry with God. It seems whiny to complain to God. Like we see in the Psalms.

That's right - the psalmist sometimes whines and complains and accuses and rants and questions. Like...

Why, O Lord, do you stand far off?

    Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?


How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?

    How long will you hide your face from me?


My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

    Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer;
    and by night, but find no rest.

There's more. And of course it's not all one long lament. But we do see, in the Psalms, an unhidden heart. A non-faking soul. And a God who can and will listen to it all. 

Philip Yancey writes: "From the Bible’s prayers I learn that God wants us to keep it in the alliance, to come in person with our complaints. If I march through life pretending to smile while inside I bleed, I dishonor the relationship." (Yancey, Prayer, Kindle Locations 1288-1290)

Don't dishonor the Relationship. Bring your whole heart to the Lord in prayer.