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In times of trouble, it’s natural to pray…but do you pour out your problems to the Lord?
We have certainly been doing our fair share of praying over the past week since my father in law has been diagnosed with a brain tumor. Yet in my effort to feel like I’m the one who has to keep things together for our family, I can’t honestly say that I’ve poured out my problems to my Heavenly Father.
This was brought to my attention this morning as I was reading through my Daily Walk Bible, and the introduction to Psalm 102 described the Psalm in this way:
A prayer of one overwhelmed with trouble, pouring out problems before the Lord.
I actually haven’t read this particular Bible in awhile (moving hides things from you!), and I was equally taken aback with the overview for today, the day I happened to find it again, prefacing Psalms 98-103:
Perhaps no other six psalm picture God’s praiseworthy character as graphically as the ones in today’s reading. God in his righteousness (Psalm 98), in his exalted place of authority (99), and in his everlasting mercy (100) demands and deserves admiration and adoration by his people. In view of God’s character, the psalmist pledges his obedience (101), expresses his dependence (102) and acknowledges his gratitude for God’s rich blessings (103).
In fact, Psalm 102 begins like this:
Lord, hear my prayer! Listen to my plea!
Don’t turn away from me in my time of distress.
Bend down your ear and answer me quickly when I call to you…My hear is sick, withered like grass, and I have lost my appetite…
Our prayers don’t have to be pretty. God wants us to be honest. He feels our heart.
This brings to mind another favorite verse of mind that echoes my translation, 1 Peter 5:7:
Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you…
Bottom line is this: don’t hold back from God.
When you hurt, He hurts. To the disbelief of some, it is possible to be sorrow-filled and still be spiritual. The difference lies in where you take that sorrow…
I think the degree of your “groanings” all depends on the depth of your anguish. That’s not to say that the Lord only answers the prayers of the pitiful, but rather, we become closer to God when we are utterly and completely honest with him in our prayer life.
So the next time you find yourself in a deep valley, “like an owl in the dessert” or “lonely as a solitary bird on the roof” (Psalm 102:6 & 7), pour our your problems before the Lord and don’t hold back! Our merciful, righteous and powerful God will meet you exactly where you are and bring you to where you need to be.