The cries of David throughout the Psalms have taught me that it is okay to be honest before the Lord. It goes to reason that what is swirling in my mind and heart is not hidden from the Lord. So, why pretend with prayers that “sound” right? He knows already. Therefore I can and should speak honestly even if I am hurting, angry, sad, or happy.
There are times that I hold back from coming to the Lord as if I can manipulate Him with silence or come to Him holding my emotions for ransom as if He would do what I want while I am in a snit and then things between us will be better and I will share my heart again. Behaving this way only puts me in a prison of my own making. I knowingly or unknowingly pull back, waiting for God to make the next move and do it my way.
Honesty before the Lord is welcome and right but there is no room for manipulation. In a prayer ending Tim Keller’s devotional on Psalm 142 he writes, “Show me how to bring them (emotions) honestly yet submissively to you”. Being honest and demanding a ransom? No. Being honest and submitting ALL? YES!
Jesus gives you and me the example of how to balance honesty with submission in Luke 22:42 “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”
Today pray with honesty but don’t hold your heart for ransom. Pray for His will above your own. When the things you are holding on to are given over in prayer you will be free, you will begin to praise and your will is at peace with His will.
Kathy Withers is on staff at America’s Keswick and serves as Director of Partner Care. Kathy has been married to her husband Dave for 30 years. They have two adult children. Kathy is active in her local church and teaches a Bible study for women. Her passion is to encourage women to deepen their walk with Jesus Christ by finding and living out the truths of God’s Word.