I think it makes God a little bonkers when we won’t share our trials, hardship and sadness with him. God wants to hear…everything! There’s no need to be afraid. He’s ready and waiting to smite the problem. Not you.
When we pray, we lift up our hearts to the Lord. I agree that it’s a great thing to praise the Creator, Savior and lover of our lives. We have breath, strength, a plan for the day and live surrounded by the support of family and friends. I mean, if you took notes of every good thing you saw today, you’d have a hefty list by bedtime. Just the act of waking up is miracle to be praised.
St. Paul says in Thessalonians: “Rejoice always, pray continuously, give thanks in all circumstances.” We are encouraged to be happy, joyful and thankful, and to let those emotions flow into our prayer life. It sounds great doesn’t it? Well, that’s because it is. But…
What if you don’t feel joyful? What if you feel sad, disappointed or scared? Maybe your heart won’t lift off the ground today because you’ve been betrayed. Your child said some hurtful things to you. The bills total more than your checkbook balance. You’d really like to make a joyful noise – but all the disappointing experiences of the day have robbed the joy of your soul.
All you feel is sorrow, anger and embarrassment. How do you make a prayer out of that?
Some people don’t think that prayer should include any negative feelings. Instead, they berate themselves for their emotions, and hurry to throw sand and dirt over them. “God doesn’t want to hear my litany of problems. He wants me to be thankful, not mournful.” So they struggle to ‘pray hopefully’ for a while, trying to smile through the pain. But soon, prayer just stops. It’s too hard. And it feels dishonest.
I think that’s a great idea. Why continue prayer that feels forced and inauthentic? But instead of quitting altogether, beginning to pray from the heart, no matter how the heart feels, would be a sincere and healing step. God knows how you feel anyway, nothing is a surprise to him. So why not settle in to prayer and let your feelings flow?
Remember when your child was small, and it was obvious something happened at school? You’d ask, “How was your day?” And all you get back is: “Fine.” No matter how you ask, the answer was always the same. But you knew things weren’t fine. And if you were me, you’d start to go a little bonkers too. I mean, I can’t force the information out, squeezing my little one like a tube of toothpaste. I’d just have to wait…and watch my child be unhappy.
Well, just like me, Our Father doesn’t want to watch any of us be unhappy either. So don’t drive our Father bonkers. Just tell him everything, he can take it. And then you’ll see how he’ll take on all those problems too.
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