Honest Praying


How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?

How long will you hide your face from me?

Psalm 13:1


In Psalm 13, David is feeling abandoned by God. He is hurting. He is desperate. He cries out to God. And God doesn't do anything. In fact, it seems to David that God doesn't even listen, that his prayers don't matter to God, that God has abandoned David. David feels alone, neglected, forsaken by the God he serves. And so he cries out to God.

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?

How long will you hide your face from me?

How long must I take counsel in my soul

and have sorrow in my heart all the day?

How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

Psalm 13:1-2


I feel this way at times. I understand what David is saying.

God wants us to be honest in our praying. Real. Authentic. If you feel disappointed with God, tell him! Pour out your heart to your Father. Talk with him about it.

I am amazed at the honest prayers in the Bible. Prayers by people such as David, Elijah, Job, Jeremiah. Men who knew God, men who were close to God, men who were greatly used by God.

And not only do they pray these honest prayers, expressing their heartache and disappointment, but God chooses to include these prayers in Scripture. Why? Well, part of it is to be an example for us, an example of honesty.

And then there's Jesus himself, hanging on the cross, praying those words that David first prayed, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46). How's that for honest prayer?

God never wants us to "say our prayers." He wants us to pray. He does not want us to say sweet, spiritual, pious prayers. He wants us to talk with him, pour out our hearts to him, be honest with him. He wants us to pray from our heart. He wants us to talk with him about whatever we are feeling. He's our Father. He loves us. He is full of grace and patience with us. And, he is big enough to handle our honesty.