Thursday, 23 February 2012

Painfully Honest Prayers

I want to pray like Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 20:7-18:
7 O LORD, You induced me, and I was persuaded;
You are stronger than I, and have prevailed.
I am in derision daily;
Everyone mocks me.
8 For when I spoke, I cried out;
I shouted, Violence and plunder!”
Because the word of the LORD was made to me
A reproach and a derision daily.
9 Then I said, I will not make mention of Him,
Nor speak anymore in His name.”
But His word was in my heart like a burning fire
Shut up in my bones;
I was weary of holding it back,
And I could not.
10 For I heard many mocking:

Fear on every side!”

Report,” they say, and we will report it!”
All my acquaintances watched for my stumbling, saying,

Perhaps he can be induced;
Then we will prevail against him,
And we will take our revenge on him.”
11 But the LORD is with me as a mighty, awesome One.
Therefore my persecutors will stumble, and will not prevail.
They will be greatly ashamed, for they will not prosper.
Their everlasting confusion will never be forgotten.
12 But, O LORD of hosts,
You who test the righteous,
And see the mind and heart,
Let me see Your vengeance on them;
For I have pleaded my cause before You.
13 Sing to the LORD! Praise the LORD!
For He has delivered the life of the poor
From the hand of evildoers.
14 Cursed be the day in which I was born!
Let the day not be blessed in which my mother bore me!
15 Let the man be cursed
Who brought news to my father, saying,

A male child has been born to you!”
Making him very glad.
16 And let that man be like the cities
Which the LORD overthrew, and did not relent;
Let him hear the cry in the morning
And the shouting at noon,
17 Because he did not kill me from the womb,
That my mother might have been my grave,
And her womb always enlarged with me.
18 Why did I come forth from the womb to see labor and sorrow,
That my days should be consumed with shame?

Jeremiah was painfully honest with God. He was hurt, and he said it. He wanted the people who hurt him destroyed, he told God how he felt and wasn't ashamed and that is what I believe God also desires from us, even though he already knows exactly what we are feeling. When we are open to God and ourselves we can heal better. Like Jeremiah we should tell God exactly how we feel even if it might be wrong, it doesn't matter as long as we are honest. We should give God our best and "our worst" also! He loves us. As we open-up our hearts to Him and honestly tell Him how we feel, He comforts us and sooths away our hurts. Don't sanitise it, don't organise it, don't edit. Let it rip.Our tidy and sanitised prayers ­should stop 'cause what comes out the mouth is not always what is in our hearts. God knows our pain, sorrow, hurt, and struggles.Painfully honest prayers tend to be disorganised, unrehearsed, and messy but they come from the depths of our heart and they touch the heart of God.

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