I've been wrestling with something big time over the last weeks and months.
Does God care about us being real with him, or is it more important to be right in what we say to him?
'God, where are you?
Why are you so far from saving me, when I am doubled up with pain
God, I cry all day and night but find no rest in you" (Psalm 22, the MSG)
This thought hasn't left me since I listened to a sermon called 'Approaching the Divine' by Matt Chandler. Talking about this idea of whether God prefers us to be real or theologically right when we talk to him, he wrestled with how God would have responded to some of David's prayers, such as above, because they are so incredibly untrue.
"Actually David, I don't forget stuff. I'm God. Therefore, your prayer's a lie, and I must leave you in the desert. I'm out. Good luck out there. It's brutal."No He doesn't, but here's the truth. That's an absolutely false prayer. "How long, O Lord, will You forget me?" "Forget you? Are you kidding Me? Do you remember Goliath? Do you remember My mercy in the Bathsheba situation? Forget you?"
This is actually really important, because when I look back at some of my prayers and thoughts they are pretty much lies. In my darkest times, the times where I have been miserable and upset and angry and frustrated, I have just quoted back scripture to God. Almost none of it was theologically correct, just the rantings of someone who was pretty upset.
God, where are you. In Romans it says that nothing can separate us from the love of Jesus, but I honestly feel separated. Where the hell are you? In Revelation, it says that you will wipe away every tear, but what about these ones - Don't you care now?
In Ecclesiastes, it says that there is a time for everything but I don't get your timing man. Don't you remember that time when you said that You would never leave me and forsake me? No, I know you can't forget. I just wanted to remind you God. because I didn't know what else to do.
To be honest, there is so much I don't understand about this world. Most of the time, I revert back to the prayers I've heard other people pray who were most likely saying things that they heard other people pray and in the end, no-one is being all that honest with God.
I am so done with that.
If I was being honest with God , I'd probably ask questions like this:
- If we can only be satisfied in Jesus, why do so many of us feel unsatisfied?
- Why do Christians have a reputation as tools? If we have the HS, and keep being sanctified why do so many people outside the church see us as jerks? Also, why am I the worst at this?
- Where are all the miracles?
Why don't people fear you anymore?
Don't get me wrong, I will praise God through thick and thin. I have never been more satisfied than I have been in Christ, and my entire life is built around him. I trust him with all these answers.
I just think that God prefers honesty than pre-written placard prayers
What would you ask God if you were being honest?
James Young moved to the west of Melbourne to follow God's call on his life to tell young people about the greatest message they could ever hear – the gospel. On his days off, he seeks pain on a road bike, blissful beats by listening to Beautiful Eulogy and Trip Lee and relaxing with his beautiful wife Sarah. You can see more of his writing @radicalchange2010.com and follow him at @ragingzephyr on twitter.
James Young's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/james-young.html