Scripture: Psalm 22
This week, as I have been reflecting mainly on the Psalms, it has led me to think about my roots which are incredibly important to me. These roots are in the Midlands, in Shropshire, a beautiful county, and many would say how lucky I am to have grown up there, but although I love this county I have to say one of the things I have come to dislike about these roots as a teenager and adult is my accent. It is always associated with the ‘Brummy’ accent (those from Birmingham) but has a stronger lilt to it and when I went away to teacher training in London it wasn’t much liked by many and was often ridiculed. One of the things about my accent also means that when you speak you can come across as being very blunt or brash, one trait I have had to try to alter as I have grown into adulthood, not always with success.
People in Shropshire and the Home Counties also tend to be very honest, they will say what they feel. In the South it’s a little bit different. Instead of being honest about feelings, people generally say they’re ok even when they don’t feel alright; it seems to be seen as a weakness if you admit you’re not coping and so people don’t seem to be as open or honest with each other – again, something I have had to learn to change the longer I have lived in the South.
As Christians, we might regard this as being dishonest with one another, as well as with God. Because of the hope we have in Christ and the victory of the resurrection we tend to cover up our feelings, knowing that life is to be found in Christ, trying to smile and cope no matter what happens. Some days we might feel lousy, or disappointed, or in a crisis, or let down, but we cover up our feelings and deny them, not being honest with our closest friends or even ourselves.
Knowing us as our Loving Father, however, God provides us with words in prayer to be honest, and there are no greater prayers than the Psalms upon which I have been currently reflecting. They help us to bring everything to God, from the most exuberant praise to the deepest lament and everything in between because they teach us that all our raw feelings are the very stuff of prayer and we should be pouring these out to God.
Dave Hansen says: “God does not require polished theology or flawless faith in prayer. But God may well require a total outpouring of body, mind and soul in prayer as the act of loving him with our body, mind and soul.”
God requires us to bring the things that trouble us in prayer to Him, being direct and honest, and sometimes shocking and blunt in the words we use. Read Psalm 22 today and see how David cries out to God and the honest words he uses, then pour out your own heart and feelings, being honest to Him in prayer for He is greater than anything in this world and will hear and answer you.
May God Bless you this day and always.