THE HEART of PRAYER (Day 11)

Raw Prayers

By Samantha Rodriguez

“I loathe my very life; therefore I will give free rein to my complaint and speak out in the bitterness of my soul.”—Job 10:1 (NIV)
We have all been there with Job. Whether it be devastating health news, a disappointing meeting with your boss, or an unforeseen phone call, suffering has played a role in each of our lives. No matter the intensity, trouble always brings waves of emotions and confusion. In these moments, though, our hearts cry out to God in desperation. If we really search the Bible, we will find that many of our faith role-models  have cried out to God with gut-wrenching honesty.
  • Job’s prayers include many complaints and accusations against God’s kindness and faithfulness.
  • Habakkuk straight up questions God’s just nature asking him “How long, Lord, must I . . . cry out to you about violence and you do not save?” (Habakkuk 1:2). 
  • Asaph raises his concerns in the midst of a trial saying “Has God forgotten to      be gracious?” (Psalm 77:9).
  • Even Jesus, in view of the cup of divine wrath he would have to endure, feels      his soul “deeply grieved to the point of death” and prays “Abba! Father! All things are possible for you; remove this cup from me” (Mark 14:34,36).
These are only a few examples of people crying out to the Lord with raw prayers. If you’re anything like me, some of these prayers may even seem dangerous and offensive. However, we must note that though God rebukes some for questioning his character, he never acts unfairly or harshly towards them. He answers them with truth that pierces our hearts yet also frees our souls! As a result, every one of these raw prayers ends with either praise in remembrance of God’s true character or a humble submission to his authority.
  • Job declares that God can do all things and no purpose of his can be thwarted      (Job 42:2). He “repent[s] in dust and ashes,” and soon, the Lord restores      his fortunes twofold (Job 42:6,10).  
  • Habakkuk patiently waits to “see what he will say to me” (Habakkuk 2:1). After      hearing God’s response, he declares God’s splendor and power over all      creation and finishes by saying “yet I will celebrate in the Lord… my Lord      is my strength” (Habakkuk 3:18-19). 
  • Asaph determines to recall God’s past faithfulness. By declaring “You are the      God who works wonders.. You have by your power redeemed your people,” he      renews his soul with hopeful truth (Psalm 77:14-15). 
  • Jesus resolves to submit to his Father in proclaiming, “Yet not what I will, but      what you will” (Mark 14:36).
Therefore, may we not shy away from appealing to our Father honestly as we “pour out [our] hearts to him” because It is then that we will further our trust in him, receive his comfort, and cling to his truth (Psalm 62:8)!

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