How do you pray when you are angry or hurt? My hunch is that you do not pray as David prayed. I don’t. Generally I am too kind to pray like David prayed. And yet, this prayer is Scripture, so it is an example to us of how we might pray should we be hurting or angry.
And, yes, our prayers move God’s heart but our prayers do not bind God so that He must act in a certain way. God remains God and He gets to choose how and if He will answer our prayers.
I take heart from David’s prayer. David is so honest with God.
David is angry and hurt so he wants God to punish his enemies who he believes are treating him wrongly. And David prays honestly for God to take vengeance:
May his days be few; may another take his place of leadership.
May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow.
May his children be wandering beggars; may they be driven from their ruined homes.
May a creditor seize all he has; may strangers plunder the fruits of his labor (8-11).
As Christians, most of us are too polite to pray this way. But these words are Scripture and they stare out at me. They do not require me to pray this way. But they allow it. In my hurt, I can pray honestly. And if my prayers do not model ‘turning the other cheek’ God will still listen and He may just change me, rather than execute vengeance on my behalf.
I love the fact that I can be honest with God, that I can pray what I am feeling and allow God to sort things out and work in my life what is most needed in the moment.
I believe God not only allows us to be honest, I believe He invites us to be honest with Him. Honesty opens the door so that God can work… and when He can work, He will work.
The next time I hurt I hope I am man enough to pray as David did in this Psalm and allow God to work in my life bringing healing to me, even as He answers my prayers.
How does this Psalms strike you???
Lord, thank You for this and other Psalms that give me an example of how I may pray when trouble assails me. Bless You, Lord, for teaching me to pray. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen