I cry to you, O Lord; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.” Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me. Psalm 142:5-6
Meister Eckhart, a 13th century German Monist philosopher, mystic, and theologian of the Catholic Church said, “If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.” I’m not sure I totally agree with Meister Eckhart. Certainly it is the righteous thing to do when words fail us during our prayers. However, God truly wants to hear our inner most thoughts, our greatest struggles, our biggest failures, our deepest discouragements, and our most horrible heartbreaks. He is our Heavenly Father who is worthy of all our praise and thankfulness but He is also our faithful Father who longs to comfort us in our lowest moments.
I love the way Charles Swindoll, one of my favorite authors, expressed dealing with difficulties in his amazing book, Living the Psalms: Encouragement for the Daily Grind, when he said, “The best response is to be open and honest about your situation, first with the Lord. Express your thoughts and emotions to God; be as raw and as ‘inappropriate’ as necessary. Don’t worry; He’s heard worse.”
Isn’t it amazing that our Lord can lovingly listen to our deepest troubles without the need to for us to “sugar coat” our prayers. He already senses how our hearts and minds feel about the situation, so verbalizing our thoughts with Him opens the door to His loving response, His forgiveness, His comfort, His guidance, His peace, and His wisdom. That’s how amazing He is for each of us.
I still remember my early struggles with the diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. My prayers were definitely not “sugar coated!” I poured out my heart and held nothing back. God listened and did not turn me away for being so direct and “raw” with Him. But I must admit, I always tried to thank Him in the end for his love, grace, guidance, and mercy in my life. I told Him I trusted Him and somehow I knew He would work things to the good for me in my troubling situation.
Perhaps you are struggling with some stifling situation in your life as well. Take Charles Swindoll’s advice and be open and honest with God about your predicament. Don’t hold anything back and don’t worry, He’s heard far worse. Reveal your heart and open the floodgates so God can begin to send spiritual comfort, peace, strength, endurance, perseverance, and wisdom your way. He is a big and amazing God! So turn to Him today just like David did in today’s passage. He will listen to your cry!
And by the way, don’t forget to thank Him as Meister Echkhart lovingly suggests!