“But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer.” Psalm 66:19 (ESV)
My hope in the next few weeks is to write some Victory Calls on the book of Psalms. Before that I would like to encourage you to think about how you cry out to God. Often, we spend a lot of time crying out when we are discouraged, lost, feeling hopeless, confused, hurt, angry, lonely, but we often cry out to the wrong people or places. Our words go unheard, unanswered, misunderstood or we get scolded, lectured on how to respond or act. Most often we just want a place to get out what is going on inside of us. That place, my friends, is God. He listens, He understands, He comforts, He doesn’t scold, He gently guides and He does answer (even if we don’t always think so).
Here are some tips on how you might cry out to God. Consider Who God is: How you write or speak to God depends on who you say God is. What are your current thoughts about God? You can be raw and real in your emotions without losing reverence for who He is. Remember, God is holy and compassionate, righteous and loving. He is sovereign and good. He is not a distant deity but a close Savior (Heb 4:14-16). Consider what God has done for you: He did not spare His own Son for you so how much more will He give you the things you need (Romans 8:32) Confront the lies and replace them with Truth: Be in the Word before you write to get rid of any distorted views about how you are thinking about God and life at that moment.
Here are some ideas that might help: (list from Harvest Bible Chapel – Biblical Soul Care)
* Afraid God won’t meet you where you are at? Luke 15:11-32
* Tired or distant from God? Matt. 11:28-30
* Overwhelmed by Shame? Psalm 25, 69, 77
* Gripped by Fear? Psalm 23, 27, 34, 46
* Disappointed or in despair? Psalm 22, 27, 30, 42, 66
* Anxious in your soul? Psalm 131
* Do you feel betrayed or abandoned? Psalm 37, 55, 73
* Separated from God due to Sin? Psalm 32, 34, 51
* More world or horizontally focused than vertically focused? Psalm 139
* Missing that spirit of praise? Psalm 95, 100, 103, 115, 121
The Prayer: 1. Ask God to still your heart and mind, ask the Holy Spirit to help with your thoughts (Ephesians 6:18)
2. Pour out your heart. How do you feel? What are you missing? What circumstances are you struggling with at this time? Where are my thoughts taking me? What are you asking for from God? Is it a lament or a plea for help? Is it a prayer for mercy and forgiveness? Are you looking for answers? Ask questions, seek His heart, be honest, be real, but just be reverent. This is not about how good it sounds or flowing, it is about pouring out your heart and mind to Him.
3. Listen and Respond. What did God bring to light through your pouring out process? What did He tell you about Himself? Choose to listen to Him, give Him the chance to respond to your heart. Be quiet and let His Word speak to you and then you can conclude your Psalm with what He has taught you and reminded you about His character, His working, His plans.
4. Re-read and let it all sink in, maybe even share it with a friend you trust for continued support and encouragement. Allow God to next use someone to be His hands and feet of comfort, love and healing. Remember, writing a Psalm to God can take place during times of joy and refreshment in our lives too. It is a good practice to write to God or cry out to Him in all of our circumstances and situations. If life is good, thank Him and remember it is He who is allowing that goodness. That helps us keep our lives in His hands at all times and not just when we feel like we “need” Him.
“Cry out to God today; trust Him to meet you where you are and to work on your behalf.” Dr. Garrett Higbee
Dr. Lynne Jahns