God loves to hear us, like any good father. We’ve often heard it said that the model for how to talk with God is The Lord’s Prayer. In Matthew 6:9-13, Jesus taught his closest followers to pray. That way of praying is a good guide to use, most of the time. But David often prayed in a very different way. And God said David was a man after His own heart.
The book of Psalms is a collection of prayers and songs. David wrote many of them. He consistently starts by crying to God about the trouble he’s in:
- Being chased by someone who wants to kill you? That’s pretty serious. In the midst of that ordeal, David complained to God.
- Sleeping with a woman and then arranging for her husband to be killed? Not a light matter. Afterwards, David confessed his actions to God and asked to be made clean.
- Hearing person after person say untrue things about you? It’s hard for anyone to keep quiet about that. David brought that to God.
- Watching the nation you lead being conquered by other nations? That would challenge anyone’s feeling of self-worth. David gave God all the details.
- Spending the night crying till there are no more tears left? David was there. And he told God about it.
After David is done crying out to God, he recognizes who God is and then praises Him for the ways He is great. David doesn’t do that before complaining first. When a child is crying because she stubbed her toe, her dad doesn’t expect her to tell how awesome a father he is before he comforts her. It is OK to cry to God first. After you finish telling Him all about it, He wants you to stay long enough to recognize who He really is.
(Paul Merrill writes here every First Friday.)