I’ve written in the past about the lament psalms and how they teach us to pray honestly. I am increasingly convinced that the church needs to learn to pray honestly, now more than ever. In our 21st Century middle-class American context, Christianity is often slickly marketed and neatly packaged, leaving us with entertaining but sugar-coated and superficial answers. It’s inevitable that, after a while, we expect our Christian experience to look like the praise team in our church–attractive, energetic, and above all, always smiling. As a result, when our life experience looks more like a Shakespearean tragedy than a 30 minute TV sit-com, we don’t know what to do about it. We’re not sure how to pray, and we may even be fearful that God will be angry if we are honest with him about how we feel. The Book of Psalms models for us a kind of prayer that is brutally honest, and I personally find the example we see there to be refreshing.
Today, I had the privilege of preaching on Pss 3 and 4 and their example of honest prayer. I’ve linked to the sermon and an accompanying powerpoint on my sermon links page. I invite you to listen to my sermon, and I pray that you will be moved by it. I believe that this simple message–that we can pray honestly, without a facade–can be transformative, because honest prayer opens us up to a transformational encounter with God.
I pray that God will use this in your life. And please leave a message for me here if you do.