Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Angry prayer

Is angry prayer healthy? A quick search of the Psalms yields a lot of examples of bitterness toward God.

BibleGateway.com Keyword Search: why

Psalm 10:1

Why, O LORD, do you stand far off?
Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?

Psalm 22:1

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from the words of my groaning?

Psalm 42:9

I say to God my Rock,
"Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?"

Psalm 44:23-24

Awake, O Lord! Why do you sleep?
Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever.

Why do you hide your face
and forget our misery and oppression?

Psalm 74:1

Why have you rejected us forever, O God?
Why does your anger smolder against the sheep of your pasture?

Psalm 74:11
Why do you hold back your hand, your right hand?
Take it from the folds of your garment and destroy them!

Psalm 79:10

Why should the nations say,
"Where is their God?"
Before our eyes, make known among the nations
that you avenge the outpoured blood of your servants.

While many of these passages seem doubtful or downright disrespectful of God, they are an authentic representation of how the psalmist feels. Is it ever improper to have our prayer reflect the condition of our fallen heart?

In the past, I have tended to restrain my prayers out of respect for God. I am now coming to realize that my inauthenticity is actually an insult, not respect. God knows my heart, and my prayer should not be a facade. If it is, I am only fooling myself.

7 Comments:

At 2:09 PM, Blogger Bert said...

I have been thinking about this. While I don't believe that being angry at God is a good idea, I believe it's better to have an angry prayer than no prayer at all.

God wants a relationship with us - warts and all. How can we have a real relationship if we're not real with one another? The same goes with God. He wants us to be real with Him. And in time, I think we'll learn that we have no legitimate beef with Him.

 
At 12:24 AM, Anonymous Greg said...

It’s interesting that we should think there is something wrong with ‘angry prayer’ just as we Christians think anger is sinful, but it is not. In fact James says “Be angry and do not sin”, or “In your anger, do not sin.” Anger is a feeling, like happiness. God never condemns us for our feelings, only for our actions, whether they be internal or external actions. Jesus prayed using the Psalmists words in 22:1 when he despaired because of His separation from God. God wants us to be real with Him and pass on His real solutions as real people. We don’t have to pretend that we are never angry, jealous or sad to talk to Him . . . or to others about Him.

 
At 5:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I came to this site trying to understand my angry prayer...
My father was dying. My sister, was frantically trying to find a priest, to come to the house. Her anger at the church for not being able to locate a priest built to a frenzy. When a retired priest finally arrived, he was shaken at the site of my father, who was agitated, motioning with his arms, as if fighting demons. It seemed more like an exorcism than a blessing and the last rights. I prayed the Our father with my family only I was yelling...OUR father who ART in HEAVEN, HALLOWED be thy name. THY kingdom com... etc. Later there were serene quiet prayers but I am so sorry I must have frightened my father. Later I asked him to forgive me and I forgave him. Later I prayed quietly with the family.

 
At 6:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went to Confession last week, something I rarely do. As my priest sat with me he shared my tears with his own wet eyes in the chair opposite. I won't tell you what the details were in the sanctity of the confessional situation, but my anger was clearly directed towards God for His neglect of me. In his commments, and before the assurance of God's absolution, my priest affirmed to me that it was OK to be angry. The real issue was what I did with that anger. For my penance (a grossly misunderstood word) I am to read, study, and to reflect upon Scripture where it deals with anger at God, especially the "Angry Psalms" of David, and to use Scripture models to show me how to deal with this. Thank you for this site - it helps.

 
At 12:08 AM, Anonymous Joann said...

I love the Book of Psalms, and one of these days I'm going to take the time to read it and study it in its entirety. The Book of Psalms offers me hope in my time of need, and it lets me know that God will never forsake me even if I say an angry prayer to Him. Josh, you are right in saying that God knows our hearts, because He does. No one knows us or will ever know us as well as God does. Amen?

 
At 6:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank You.... It Is Mine Prayer Lots People agree with me with mine Prayers In jesus Christ Name
God Loves You!
The Bible says, "God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life"
Please pray for financial miracle Blessing from Heaven … for Work & Good pay for each Family Live on Same road I Live on.
I Pray for Prayers for Your Finances Blessing from Heaven. Only God in Heaven can Do, Bless Mine Hubby, Son & I. & rest of mine Family’s. Bless Finances Blessing from God, for each family That Live on Same road I Live on, I Pray for the ones who do not know Jesus as Their Saver, Will get saved in the Blood of Jesus Christ. I Do pray In Jesus Name, For Young Children’s, Teens, Young Adults. That live on the same rode I Live on, For Peace, Love, Joy, & Learn To Forgive there Self, & Others In Jesus Name… I Pray For Each School Age To stay In school, In Jesus Christ Name… I Do love U Jesus Christ in heaven What You is going Do, Bless You Lord Jesus Christ. In Jesus Christ name I Pray. Father In heaven you Get All the Praise & Glory, & Honor Amen. Praise God.
God Bless Jews. & USA. In God I trust

 
At 1:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm just going to make a short comment from my own understanding. I believe we are to HATE what God HATES and when I judge my anger CORRECTLY, if it falls in line with THAT ANGER then I believe THAT ANGER is justified.

 

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