How My Venting Prayers Came Up Short

By Eun Soo Kim

A part of me thought I had come to some new breakthroughs in how honest I was with God in my prayers. Surely He is pleased with how “authentic” and “real” my prayers must be! (Don’t we all have those words posted in our room somewhere? So it must be good) And I thought that was how I should pray in this season of suffering, by complaining and venting as much as I could to God. Sometimes it felt good, and other times it made me feel worse.

In reading the Psalms, I came to some clarity on what was missing in my prayers. This, not to say, any prayer need be formulaic or somehow it is “incomplete”. (Nor would He somehow answer a prayer that is better written, etc…) But what did help me was in recognizing that I did not have the full picture of how the Psalmists cried out to God. I thought that many of the Psalms were about these godly people lamenting and complaining and begging God, and in turn, showing honesty and passion. They would show a real struggle of their being, questioning their situations and getting mad at injustices and feeling like God had somehow forgotten about them. And I think I imitated that part well; I really let God know how I felt about this and that and was vulnerable and just let Him have it. But what I failed to do was the other half of what most of these “venting” Psalms showed.

Read the complete article here. (4 minute, easy read.)

When I Don’t Feel Like Praying

Admit it. You don’t always feel like praying. And just saying, “Pray anyway,” may not be the most valuable advice I could give. Here is an article that may help.

How to Pray When You Don’t Feel Like It: What You Can Learn from King David

It didn’t matter what he felt, David embraced it and lifted it to God. And rather than carefully choosing or censoring his words, David shared with unabashed honesty. He felt close enough–comfortable enough—with his best friend to share his heart. He knew simply, that God could handle all that it felt in any given moment.

Read the rest of the article here. (Medium-length article, easy read.)

Unanswered Prayers

One of the biggest challenges we all face is when God doesn’t answer our prayers. Philip Yancey, one of the best Christian thinkers alive today, wrestles with the same thing and blogged about it a few years ago.

Boomerang Prayers

I wrote two chapters on unanswered prayer, but frankly, all words seem impotent against the mystery of why such prayers go unanswered. When prayer seems more like struggle than relationship, when I find myself repeating the same requests over and over and wonder, “Is anyone really listening?” I take some comfort in remembering that Jesus, too, had unanswered prayers. Four come to mind. …

Read the rest of the article here.

Prayer and Culture

My plan is to use this page to present recent articles, book reviews, and the occasional blog to help us think about how to live and apply our faith in a rapidly-changing culture. But one crucial part of working in our culture is prayer.

If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.

2 Chronicles 7:14 (NLT)

We may tend to apply 2 Chronicles 7:14 too easily to our nation, but the underlying principle is still valid. (I personally think Jeremiah is more directly applicable, but that’s just me.)

Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.

Jeremiah 29:7 (NIV)

Whichever you prefer, praying for our culture should be a big part of impacting it, especially during our 21 Days of Prayer. Learning to pray well should be part of our cultural interaction. So, over the next few days, starting tomorrow, I’ll be posting an article each day on prayer.

For today, instead of an article, how about one of my own quotes that I put in my journal in 2013 and still don’t think I’ve worked into a sermon.

Too often we don’t wait for God to answer our prayer. We just put the request on a credit card.

Steve DAvis