May 20: “Praying With Honesty and Faith”

5 Minute Read + Scripture readings

Today’s Bible Reading:

Numbers 29
Psalms 73
Isaiah 21
2 Peter 2

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

“Who do I have in heaven but you? And I desire nothing on earth but you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart, my portion forever.”
Psalm 73:25-26 (CSB)

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

One of the things I love about reading the Psalms is its rugged honesty. The writers do not tiptoe around what they are thinking and feeling. They just spill their guts right out onto the page.

But, another thing I love about the Psalms is that it interjects faith into the mix. The writers don’t simply get things off their chest. If that’s all it was, then there would be no value in it. It would simply be a book of complaints. Instead, it moves from honest, heart-felt expressions of doubt, anxiety, fear, and other “negative” emotions toward faith.

As we read Psalm 73, we realize that the Psalmist is grappling with injustice. He looks at the wicked people around him and sees that they are prospering. The injustice is compounded when he observes that he has determined to follow the Lord and yet he’s the one who is “afflicted” and “punished” (v. 14).

Yet the Psalmist doesn’t allow his mind and heart to free-fall into discouragement and bitterness. He chooses to look up to the Lord, in faith, and find his comfort there.

Psalm 73:25-26 (CSB): “Who do I have in heaven but you? And I desire nothing on earth but you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart, my portion forever.”

In your prayers, be honest with the Lord but don’t get stuck there. Pour out your heart and tell Him of all the bad things you are dealing with. Don’t just give Him the facts – express to Him what you’re feeling. He already knows it but He wants you to open your heart to Him.

However, don’t get stuck there. Don’t finish your prayer until you have acting in faith by looking to Him. Even if your heart isn’t feeling it, let your will direct your mind to focus upon the Lord. Trust and rest in Him. Eventually, your heart (emotions) will follow.

* * * * * * * * * *

Lord Jesus, this place certainly isn’t Heaven. I’m periodically reminded by the troubles of my life and this world that I was made for someplace else. The fact that I long for a place where there will be no more trouble demonstrates that I was made for Eden (Genesis 1-2), not a sin-cursed world (Genesis 3). So, Lord, help me to be honest with You in prayer about what’s going on in my mind and heart but then help me to exercise faith by trusting and resting in You. I so look forward to being with You forever one day in my Heavenly home (Revelation 21-22)! Amen.

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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