Beliefnet
Prayer, Plain and Simple

There is nothing stoic about the Psalms.  As a collection of Israel’s worship songs the Psalms capture the heart of the Jews’ heart for God.  The Hebrews do not separate their thoughts and theology from their passion.  Their worship is filled with emotion.  No poet of the Psalms expresses this connection of heart and head more than David.  King David is credited as author of a majority of these songs. His works are filled with joy, sorrow, hope and yes, anger.

 

David was keenly aware of injustices inflicted against others and himself and had no hesitation asking God to remedy the situation. 

 

Consider Psalm 64 (NLB):

 1 O God, listen to my complaint.
      Protect my life from my enemies’ threats.
 
2 Hide me from the plots of this evil mob,
      from this gang of wrongdoers…
Here, David appeals to God to side with him against the unjust. He asks for tangible protection, knowing that God too feels the fire of anger against what is evil.

 

Next, David spells out specifics injustices he’s observed and personally suffered. He pulls no punches. Woven between his words flows a subtext of indignation.  

3 They sharpen their tongues like swords
      and aim their bitter words like arrows.
 
4 They shoot from ambush at the innocent,
      attacking suddenly and fearlessly.
 
5 They encourage each other to do evil
      and plan how to set their traps in secret.
      “Who will ever notice?” they ask.
 
6 As they plot their crimes, they say,
      “We have devised the perfect plan!”
      Yes, the human heart and mind are cunning.

 

David then pushes past anger and fear to declare what he knows about God and about God’s justice.

 7 But God himself will shoot them with his arrows,
      suddenly striking them down.
 
8 Their own tongues will ruin them,
      and all who see them will shake their heads in scorn.

 

He concludes with a confession of faith – what is not yet reality – acknowledging how his case will end: God and the Godly will prevail.

 9 Then everyone will be afraid;
      they will proclaim the mighty acts of God
      and realize all the amazing things he does.
 
10 The godly will rejoice in the Lord
      and find shelter in him.
   And those who do what is right
      will praise him.

 

Pray angry! There’s Biblical precedent that cries for justice can be statements of faith!

Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus