Angry Prayer

Have you ever been angry with God? I mean really angry, stamp your little human feet, shake your little human fist at the divine,shout into the void and tell God in less than polite words exactly what you think?

Could you? Should you? Whether you think you should or not, have you?

Moses did: Then the Lord became very angry, and Moses was displeased. So Moses said to the Lord, ‘Why have you treated your servant so badly? Why have I not found favor in your sight, that you lay the burden of all this people on me? Did I conceive all this people? Did I give birth to them, that you should say to me, “Carry them in your bosom, as a nurse carries a sucking child”, to the land that you promised on oath to their ancestors? Where am I to get meat to give to all this people? For they come weeping to me and say, “Give us meat to eat!” I am not able to carry all this people alone, for they are too heavy for me. If this is the way you are going to treat me, put me to death at once—if I have found favor in your sight—and do not let me see my misery.’

Job did: I loathe my life; I would not live for ever.
Let me alone, for my days are a breath.
What are human beings, that you make so much of them,
that you set your mind on them,
visit them every morning,
test them every moment?
Will you not look away from me for a while,
let me alone until I swallow my spittle?
If I sin, what do I do to you, you watcher of humanity?
Why have you made me your target?
Why have I become a burden to you?
Why do you not pardon my transgression
and take away my iniquity?
For now I shall lie in the earth;
you will seek me, but I shall not be.

And the Psalmist:

In God we have boasted continually,
and we will give thanks to your name for ever.
Selah

Yet you have rejected us and abased us,
and have not gone out with our armies.
You made us turn back from the foe,
and our enemies have taken spoil for themselves.
You have made us like sheep for slaughter,
and have scattered us among the nations.
You have sold your people for a trifle,
demanding no high price for them. ..Rouse yourself! Why do you sleep, O Lord?
Awake, do not cast us off for ever!
Why do you hide your face?
Why do you forget our affliction and oppression?
For we sink down to the dust;
our bodies cling to the ground.
Rise up, come to our help.
Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love.

It  is all right to bring any human emotion, any human situation to God – Including being angry with God. Sometimes life isn’t fair. Sometimes terrible things happen to us and to those we love. Un-explainable things. Un-fixable things. Things that change our world forever. It may be that the suffering and tragedy of the world is the inevitable side effect of life in the world. Some things we simply cannot fully understand or explain. But that doesn’t mean we are required to like it. Or to cloak it in platitudes. Or meekly accept it as God’s will.

Christians, among other people, are sometimes afraid of anger and feel it is an inappropriate emotion- especially to bring before God. But our anger at unfair and unjust situations just is. It exists.

Anger is an appropriate response to certain situations,

the death of a child

abuse

deliberate deception.

you can add to the list. I suspect God is angry about evil too.

It is what we do with that anger is what matters.

I think we are required to rail, cry out and struggle against the evil in the world.

Be angry

cry

holler

shake your fist

Don’t pretend your anger doesn’t exist. Tell God about it. Give your anger to God. How can we be in communication with God, in communion with God if we are not willing to be honest? Even painfully or brutally honest?

And who better to give our anger to than God?  In fact God is the only one big enough to take it. God is big enough to take it, to absorb it, to heal it. If we can’t be honest with God, who can we be honest with?

I’d like to know, what do you think?

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4 Responses to “Angry Prayer”

  1. mobius faith Says:

    Amen. I’ve done that a couple of times. It always felt so good and has always been completely humbling to hear the still small voice whisper, “I understand”. And then I remember how I need to have that same patience and understanding with others who speak or act out of anger. Great post.

    • Nancy Says:

      my experience is the same as yours. It is amazing and healing. And, like you, helps me respond to anger in others in a better way. Thanks as always for your comments.

  2. Ben DeVries Says:

    Very well said, Nancy, thank you – Ben

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