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December 6, 2017

The Prayer of Complaint


What kind of pray can we offer to God when it feels like he has abandoned us? Foster encourages us to engage in the "Prayer of Complaint." How do we express our anguish and frustration to God? How do we pour out our heart when it seems to be full of anger and doubt? Foster says "This is a form of prayer that has been largely lost in our modern, sanitized religion, but the Bible abounds with it." In my experience, I've found too many Christians are afraid to have a real conversation with God. They conform to a religious faith that they never question, never examine critically, and never put to the test. I've discovered coming to God with my heart and mind on my sleeve results in closer intimacy and spiritual growth. Every frustration, every fear, and every doubt I have towards God is like an offering I can lay at his feet. I pour out all of me to receive from the Lord and be filled with His Spirit. My fears are replaced with peace, my frustrations transformed into faith.

Foster looks to the "Lament Psalms" as examples of the prayer of complaint. The key is in how they expressed themselves in "reverence and disappointment: (Ps. 109:1). They expresses dogged hope and mounting despair (Ps. 88:13-14). They had confidence in the character of God and exasperation at the inaction of God (Ps. 42:9)." I love this approach and I've felt this back and forth in my heart so many times. I come to God expressing my frustrations with him, but then I'm gripped by his overwhelming love. I fill my prayers with "Why God?" complaining, but then I'm left speechless contemplating his lavish grace and never ending mercies. What an amazing God we serve!

Tell God how you feel. Pour it all out before him as an offering. Let him fill you and make you new.