Friday, March 06, 2009

Guilt Free Prayer

I read a section called Lament in Yancey's book "Prayer" last night that was profound, well, at least to me.
"A dead-end marriage that seems to offer no way out. A surly teenager who saps the family finances and shows resentment, not appreciation...Global terrorism, a national election that goes the wrong way. A bitter and divided church. A parent with dementia. Each of these circumstances rightly calls for prayers of lament." (I could add a few things to this list that affect me personally, just like you the reader could I'm sure.)
I just always feel guilty praying about things like that, like I'm complaining and/or ticked off, which are things I, a Christ follower, should not be. I'm supposed to be grateful for all my blessings, instead, all I see sometimes is the negative, everything that is going wrong and how life isn't fair. He went on to say:
"Robertson McQuilkin, as patient a man as I know, confessed the temptation to scream at, even slap, his Alzheimer's-afflicted wife when irritation reached a certain level."
I KNOW THAT IRRITATION LEVEL! I feel like I live there almost daily for at least part of the day anyway!
Prayer offers a better alternative, just as the psalms' fierce prayers against enemies offer a better alternative than personal revenge. We need feel no guilt over such prayers of frustration, for God welcomes them."
I tried to pray guilt free last night. I didn't come natural at all.
"When I struggle with guilt, I find that inner conversation revolving around myself: attempt to rationalize or explain away my behavior, resentment against others who caused it, feelings of self-pity and remorse. Only confession can clear away that self-absorption and open my spirit to God's soft voice."
The confession part is big. Possibly where I'm stuck. Which leads to guilt. That Yancey dude wrote down MY thinking! LOL

What I read last night just kept swirling and swirling in my head all night and is still there this morning. I shall ponder it awhile longer.

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