I often found myself not fully exposing my heart to God during prayer. I would hide my true feelings regarding the subject of discussion during my talk with Him and often found myself apologizing for my negative thoughts or feelings. I worried that God would condemn me for the negative thoughts that were tucked away in the back of my mind. I only wanted to give God my best and I felt that bringing Him the negative, ugly side of me was not accepting or pleasing to Him. This became very troubling for me and I would feel myself slipping back into my low self-worth state of mind that God removed from me so long ago.
I started reading through Psalms during my quiet time one day and noticed that the author, David, was very forward about his feelings for his enemies. He was asking at times, and even begging, for God to pour out His wrath on them. This seemed so wrong to me. I started talking to God about how this seems so contradicting to the way we are taught to pray. As I kept reading, I came to the commentary on the side of my study Bible. The author was writing about this very thought that I was struggling with, this way of prayer that David was executing, this can be confusing to a believer’s heart as we are taught to love and pray for those who persecute us.
God then showed me several truths to keep in mind when studying through Psalms, or any part of the Bible:
1. God wants us to express our emotions to Him, and ONLY Him. Even those feelings of ugliness… ONLY IN PRAYER!
2. Remember that it’s the Lord’s place to punish people — not ours. David never harmed anyone — he called for the Lord to.
3. Remember that those who choose not to love God will be judged by God — we are not called to judge.
4. Remember that God loves His people and will work things out for our good. He has your best interests at heart.
God’s desire is for us to be open and honest in with Him at all times. He knows our thoughts and feelings anyway, so no need to hide it from Him! We need to be real and let Him into our ugly. That’s when we will see a true transformation happen in our relationship with Him as He works out things for our good. And that is His ultimate desire, to grow closer to us.
“O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!” Psalms 139:1-6