Can I Pray An Angry Prayer?
And David was greatly distressed…But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God. 1 Samuel 30:6
Do you pray more respectfully toward God than you speak to people? Or more emotionally? There’s no right or wrong answer. The way we pray is very personal and in the moment. There simply aren’t strict rules about how our prayers should always sound.
King David in the Bible prayed often. The Psalms are filled with his rage, sorrow, longing, and praise, all put into God’s care through prayer. We can be completely honest in the privacy of prayer. When David was hunted by his enemies, he prayed that God would break their legs, be speared in the side, and sent to hell. Graciously for all of us, God does not cast anyone into hell on the recommendation of our prayers.
By bringing his rage before God in prayer, David invited God to work in his heart and mind to heal and cleanse his vindictiveness. Asking God to spear someone in the side is better than spearing them in the side yourself! David did the right thing whenever he focused his attention on God instead of his enemies. Instead of spending time plotting revenge, he spent time in prayer.
Time spent in prayer also cultivated patience within David. David reminds us to “wait for the LORD and keep his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land; you will look on when the wicked are cut off” (Psalm 37:34, emphasis added). God will care for our needs better than we can on our own.
Resource reading: Psalm 26:1-12