Sometimes praying from your soul IS ugly!
Yes, you read that right. This post is going to give some realness to Christian bitterness and brokenness when you don’t understand why God is just not listening to you (you think). I am a firm believer that God likes honesty when we pray. Not because he does not know, but because he wants us to get it out of our hearts. This does not always come easy. No, sometimes you must get mad, ugly cry, scream at your ceiling and hit your mattress while calling out on the only Being that can help you.
Sometimes you must move past your heart and pray from your soul – and sometimes, that’s just ugly.
When Hannah went to the Lord’s house to pray for God to give her a child, I feel in my heart, this was one of her ugly prayer times. She was praying from somewhere deep inside. That place where you hide all the pain and hate, until you can’t hide it any longer. I had one of those places, I understood Hannah’s desire completely. 1 Samuel 1:6-7 says, “And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore.” This was not a little kneel at the alter for maybe a minute and come up with one single tear dripping off your face encounter with God. These kinds of prayers come from wanting so badly to understand why God is not moving or even giving you a glimmer of light on the area you are praying to him about – year after year, after year.
One morning I woke up and realized that it must just be me. I’m not living right, not serving right, and God was just not going to bless me and allow me to have children. I figured if I was not doing it right, why bother – nope, not going to church this morning honey. So, skipped it. Then proceeded to lay there in my bed and basked in my own bitterness and hate. Since I was in Junior Church on Sunday Mornings, I thought I’d watch the Church Service on YouTube to get a little preaching, because if I was so horrible, I needed to get preached at. Then it happened – well two things happened – a precious little couple stood up and announced that they were having a baby. I immediately became enraged in my heart. Why? How come them and not us? Really? The second “it” that happened, was my pastor stood behind the pulpit and he preached on God answering prayers.
That was it, I was done. I sat up in the bed and for about 15 minutes, I let the Lord have it. Every feeling I had ever hidden, all the hate that I had tucked into the little corners of my heart. He got all of it. There I was, setting in the middle of my bed, looking up at my ceiling and screaming and weeping at the Lord. It was not even an it’s not fair thing. Although I did feel that way. Was I such a bad person? I’m not even sure if ugly is the right word to describe how this prayer went – it was scary. I had never, ever talked to God like that before. To look up at God and tell him that he was not even F*****G listening to me and I didn’t even know what the point was of trying to live for him, trying to serve him, and trying to be a Christian. I gave him everything I had left in me. I was HONEST, and it went past my heart and came from my soul. It was ugly!
After I was finished with my tantrum, and really that’s what it was. I laid on the floor of the throne room and screamed and kicked. I wanted God’s full attention. God spoke to my heart, believe it or not, if he’d been a southern woman, he’d not spoke to me for months. But he did, he spoke to my heart, and gave me Scriptures about my life, how I was living it and that just like me, he wanted my FULL ATTENTION.
You know what? I gave it to him. I dug in my Bible, prayed more than I had prayed in years, and not just about having children. God had my full attention. While studying my Bible later that month, I decided to do a study on being Barren. To glean something from God’s Word that would help me deal with my feelings should they arise again. After doing that study, I felt that more women may feel like I did. I sat down at my computer, got a little free Blogger account and My Daily Benefits was born. You can read the post of that Bible Study here.
Through that prayer, my prayer of pure honesty, I became closer to the Lord than I had ever been. I didn’t realize it then, but by giving God everything I had in me, I was drawing closer to him. Which in turn, made him draw closer to me. My prayer life for others improved tenfold, and I wanted to be a part of the things of God again.
Are you bitter in your soul? While I don’t endorse cussing God out, it may be time that you just let him have everything that is in you. All your heart, soul and emotions. Those things that you can’t get over, the things that you feel are not fair, and the things that you are hiding deep in those corners of your heart. Let him have them, open your mouth to God and let your heart jump out. God is a God of honesty, he’s never lied to you, kept little things back, or hid anything from you. Let him have it all! Don’t be afraid to let it get ugly.