Prayer has been coming up a lot lately. I’ve seen a fair amount of people recently who have told me how they have been shouting at the Lord of Hosts. It would seem counter-productive to walk into a throne room and begin railing against the King on His throne… and here on earth, the response would be quick, relentless retribution for such insubordination.
Despite this, we see examples of harsh conversations between God and His servants. Abraham bargained for the lives of Sodom and Gomorrah, using God’s own justice as the basis for his argument. Moses confronted God, using God’s own faithfulness as the basis for not scrapping the Israelites and continuing the covenant through Moses. David and the other psalmists wrote poems which sound almost like scathing indictments of God’s lack of action, one in particular ending on a profoundly distressing note. (Psalm 88)
In many of these cases, there is a sense of protest that is often found in poetry and music written by the oppressed and marginalized. And, truly, if any people have felt the sting of those titles, the Jews have. So often we see ourselves as less than worthy to approach the throne, let alone to make any kind of protest, formal or otherwise. We forget that God has called us His children. As children, we have a right, no, a responsibility to bring our complaints and protests to our Father, our God and King. He would much rather hear the complaints from our own mouths than have us carry around a sullen silence. Now, does that mean that our complaint will be addressed immediately or in the way we want? No. But it does mean that our complaint has been heard. It does mean that the One who is capable of far more than we could ask or imagine is listening and will answer. (Remember, even Job received a response from God… It wasn’t what he wanted, but Job got the audience he requested.)
We’ve heard recently about the official dissent channels in American government that give employees in certain departments the ability to have disagreements with the administration while still protecting their status. We have that same ability. Prayers, questions, complaints, and general frustration, and even doubt will not change God’s view of us as His precious creations.
Prayer is a many faceted aspect of our relationship with God. We should take advantage of our direct connection to Him. The Bible is full of stories where this direct connection was rewarded with an answer. Again, the answer may not be what was wanted or when it was wanted, but the answer came in good time.
Is there something you have been holding onto in sullen silence? Is there something frustrating you or giving you grief? Take it to the throne? Walk in with confidence that your Heavenly Father will listen, understand, and will answer. But always be ready for an unexpected answer.
How does your prayer life model a good relationship with God for your kids? Do your kids see you pray? When? How do your prayers illustrate how we should pray?
Photo Credit: Shouting | by simiant via Flickr