5 Minute Read + Scripture readings

Today’s Bible Reading:

1 Samuel 27
1 Corinthians 8
Ezekiel 6
Psalm 44

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Psalm 44:23-24 (CSB): “Wake up, LORD! Why are you sleeping? Get up! Don’t reject us forever! Why do you hide and forget our affliction and oppression?”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Psalm 44 is a wonderful Psalm. It is the honest prayer of a man who was crying out for the Lord’s help.

This prayer begins in verses 1-3 with a brief reminder and recounting of how the Lord graciously empowered the Israelites to take the Promised Land. It was not their sword so much as it was God’s gracious hand that enabled the Israelites to claim Canaan.

Then, the prayer moves into a more personal tone in verses 4-8. Instead of the Psalmist using “He” and “they,” he uses “You” and “me.” The Psalmist acknowledges that the God who moved powerfully in years past is now his God. He rests in God’s care for him.

But, the bulk of the prayer takes on a whole new tone. Verses 9-26 could easily be considered rude. In fact, if someone stood up on a Sunday morning to pray in the gathered assembly, and if they prayed the way the Psalmist did in these verses, we might question his salvation. People may say: “How can someone who loves Jesus talk to God like that?!”

Just go back and read the Psalm again. Carefully read verse 9 until the end of the chapter. You’ll notice that the Psalmist accuses God of:

  • Abandoning His own people
  • Making them experience defeat in battle
  • Carelessly handing them over to be killed
  • Recklessly engaging in a horrible business deal because He gained nothing from turning Israel over to its enemies
  • Unjustly treating Israel even as Israel remained faithful to Him
  • Sleeping even as His people perish.

On and on and on we read of these incredible accusations against his God. If someone were to pray this way today, we might be tempted to step to the side because lightening from Heaven would surely be in order.

Yet, there was no lightening from Heaven in Psalm 44. In fact, I’m sure that as God listened to the Psalmist pray this prayer, and included it in written Scripture, that God was listening in love and with grace.

Here is a major prayer principle that I draw from this chapter:

While is it horribly wrong to be rude with God in prayer, it is even more heinous to be disingenuous. God loves honesty and transparency and if our prayers come across as rude as we are being honest, then so be it. God loves our honesty and overlooks our rudeness.

If the Psalmist was repeatedly rude and disrespectful with his God, we would rightfully question his relationship with God. Yet, when the Psalmist celebrates his God and then gets ruggedly honest (and even rude) as he pours out his heart to his God in prayer, it is totally appropriate.

Friend, are you honest with God when you pray? Do the words that come out of your mouth accurately represent the feelings of your heart? The Psalms call us to complete honesty and transparency with our God when we pray. If the words of our mouth don’t represent the thoughts of our mind or the feelings of our heart, then we’re simply being hypocritical.

* * * * * * * * * *

Lord Jesus, help me to see that praying is not a boring recitation of lifeless words. It is me pouring out my heart to You. Help me to be ‘real’ in my prayers. I want to truly know You more and I want You to truly know the real me. Thank You so much for Your grace that allows me to expose the ugliness of my heart, even as you continue to love me more than I could ever possibly imagine. Besides, You already know my heart anyway. Thank You so much for being so loving and gracious to me. Amen.

Photo by Igor Rodrigues on Unsplash