O Lord, I cry out to you.
I will keep on pleading day by day.
O Lord, why do you reject me?
Why do you turn your face from me?
I have been sick and close to death since my youth.
I stand helpless and desperate before your terrors.
Your fierce anger has overwhelmed me.
Your terrors have paralyzed me.
They swirl around me like floodwaters all day long.
They have engulfed me completely.
You have taken away my companions and loved ones.
Darkness is my closest friend. (NLT)
There are some people we meet who will tell us that all is well with them even when life is crumbling round about them. They are the people who don’t like to make a fuss, who don’t like anyone to think they are struggling to cope. They are the ones who reckon being a mature Christian means cheery optimism and just getting on with life.
They are mistaken. The Psalmists do make a fuss, they do admit their struggles, they often speak of being in the pit and in the dark. It seems that when they prayed they told God exactly how they felt about life. They didn’t dress up their prayers in the polite language of piety. They didn’t seem too worried about shocking God or sharing their doubts about him.
A reminder to us that our prayers need to be characterised by raw honesty. We have no need to pretend. God has broad shoulders: he can take what we give to him. And since he already knows what is going on, why bother hiding it from him in the first place? Our doubts and struggles are not going to shock him or cause him to turn away from us in disgust.
May our prayers be honest expressions not displays of pious pretence.