I am typically not a person of many words or much conversation. I’m often quiet. And, while there are times where silence with others is quite fine – perhaps even good – I realize there are times where it is better to talk, to contribute, or to even have conflict with words. This is something I’m working towards.
However, my tendency to keep quiet has oftentimes extended into my prayer life. My default is that I would rather not talk to God, despite the fact that I know that prayer is an essential part of my relationship with him. How have I dealt with this? Simply by being honest with God and saying, “I don’t feel like talking to you right now.” Incredibly, I find that this honesty breaks down the reluctance to talk to God, and I end up having a rewarding time of prayer. What an amazing feeling to be entirely honest with the one who isn’t going to judge me for being honest with him!
What can you take from this? Honesty in your prayer life can be deepening. The psalmists were often brutally honest with God. Sentiments such as, “Seriously, God, I hate these unrighteous people!” to “I feel like you are far away from me, God. Where are you?” expressed the true feelings of the writers, and allowed them to communicate with God without pretense. Not feeling thankful? Say so. Angry with God? Tell him. It’s okay.
But don’t leave it there. Many psalms that start on a sour note often contain hints or sections of hope, thanksgiving or praise. Thus, in addition to expressing how you really feel, ask for God’s help. Ask him to foster thanksgiving in your heart. Ask him to open your eyes to show you why he has done what he has done in your life. Besides, isn’t it for reasons like this that we approach God?