Have you even been furious with God? Of courses you have. Everyone gets mad at God. I certainly have been, more than once. When my 3-year-old nephew died even after getting the heart transplant he need, I was downright pissed! Everyone fumes and complains and argues and shakes the proverbial fist at the heavens. Admit it. There, doesn’t that feel better? Oh right, you’re not pissed, just a little upset, confused, trying to process. I forgot that we’re not supposed to talk to God like that…. Wait, who made that rule up? It sure wasn’t King David. He’s the dude who penned the largest collection of prayers and songs found in the Bible.
David cried and groaned and complained and fussed and fumed quite freely! (Psalm 22:1–2, 38:8, 55:17) The most common word that I found in the book of Psalms was “cry.” Employed 134 times in 132 verses across 5 versions. David wasn’t the only writer of the psalms but obviously this was a common expression. The word use in 5:2 could also be rendered yell, scream, wail, and shout! Tell me, when was the last time you were confident enough in your relationship with God that you screamed at Him! And that’s it isn’t it? We aren’t completely transparent with God partly because we fear the consequences of His finding out that we’re not all that happy with Him. Well, I have potentially alarming news for you…, He already knows!
Besides the startling reminder that He does know what you did in Vegas, he also knows every thought and intention of your heart!
If we lack an accurate understanding about God it can lead us to pray in doctrinally untenable and frankly bizarre ways. Follow some simple logic with me. The Bible tells us that God knows everything. The big theological term is “omniscience,” meaning that God is all knowing, nothing escapes Him, nothing is hidden from Him (Hebrews 4:13). Besides the startling reminder that He does know what you did in Vegas, he also knows every thought and intention of your heart (1Chronicles 28:9). The following collection of verses makes it abundantly evident that He knows just exactly what’s in every human heart; 1Samuel 16:7; 2Chronicles 6:30; Psalm 7:9, 44:21; 90:8; Jeremiah 17:10.
This means that when we’re royally pissed off at Him, our polite Christianese isn’t hiding anything from Him! In fact, acting or thinking like it does, as if we’re powerful enough to keep something from Him, is sort or silly, if not disrespectful. I mean, this is God we’re talking to here! Yet we feed Him some cockamamie story that’s the exact opposite of how we really feel! Sure, it would be good if we trusted Him enough that we didn’t get angry when He does something we dislike. But I don’t always trust Him that much. You? So, wouldn’t it be more respectful if we told Him the truth, even if that truth is that we’re very, very “upset” with Him? Sharing the truth with Him will not startle Him so much that He falls off His throne! His response could very well be, “I was wondering when you were going to admit that!”
Let’s take this one alittle step further and see if I can really make some trouble here! It bugs me a little when people talk to God in expressions they would never use in normal conversation. OK, it bugs me a lot. They break out their best King James language resplendent with “thees” and “thous” and God’s name every other word. “Dear God, father, I just ask, Lord, that you, Father, would help us, Lord, to…” Really? For Gods’ sake just spit it out! Here’s the problem I see with that sort of prayer. It sound like you have a wrong idea of what prayer is. And it gives those listening the wrong idea as well. Prayer is many things but above all it’s a conversation. While showing some deference to His will and wisdom, talk to Him the way you would anyone else. Poetry is fine but the King’s language crammed full of so much filler makes it’s hard to make out what you’re saying. It sounds like you’re afraid, or are talking to a complete stranger.
My concern is for new Christ-followers who’ll walk away thinking that’s the “right” way to hold a conversation with God. I’ll tell you what, it sounds nothing like what Jesus taught about prayer (Matthew 6:7-13)! In fact, we’re told the Jesus prayed and pleaded with loud cries to the Father, and was heard because He showed real reverence to God (Hebrews 5:7)! Jesus tried to talk the Father into skipping the horrific death He faced with cries and tears that dripped from His face like great drops of blood (Luke 22:39-46)! That boy knew how to beg and plead and counter God’s known plan! Yet Jesus never did anything wrong. In the end He of course bravely climbed Calvary’s hill and died for you and me. Apparently we can tell God anything and everything without “getting into trouble,” just as long as we obey Him in the end! I dare you, no, I double-dog-dare you to tell God the complete truth!
LEARN – Authentic prayer is an honest, open conversation with God that holds nothing back, pouring out our deepest desires, telling Him the whole truth.
LIVE – Try telling God the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, feelings and all, so help you God!
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