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Today’s Truth

Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never allow the righteous to be shaken.

(Psalm 55:22, CSB)

Friend to Friend

I like to filter things. Get the junk out. Keep it pure. I have a filter for water on my counter and on my refrigerator. I replace them regularly. It makes me feel safe.

My fondness for filtering often flows over into the prayers I pray. I search for cleaned up words when I talk to God. Unconsciously believing He’ll like me better if my thoughts, emotions and desires run through a “good-Christian-girl” screen. It makes me feel safe.

Then I see David all up in the mess with God in Psalm 54 and I’m challenged again.

David prays unfiltered. He’s brutally honest with God. In a way I admire but hesitate to emulate. He doesn’t clean up his God-talk. He spills it. Sediment and all. I see this in the Word and my heart breathes.

We can speak freely even when our hearts grind with grit because Jesus is our freedom. We can enter into the dirt of others because He has entered into ours.

It’s good for me to drink filtered water and to filter the words that leave my mouth in conversation, but the words I speak to my Lord don’t need filtering. God can handle my honesty: good, bad and ugly. He needs me to relinquish the ugly in order to transform my heart. There are lessons to be learned in the filtering and un-filtering. In the freedom and in the restraint.

David wrote Psalm 55 in another time of distress.

God, listen to my prayer
and do not hide from my plea for help.
Pay attention to me and answer me.
I am restless and in turmoil with my complaint,
because of the enemy’s words,
because of the pressure of the wicked.
For they bring down disaster on me
and harass me in anger.

(Psalm 55:1-3, CSB)

He prays that God would show him mercy, talks of his sorrows and fears. He asks God to take action, assuring himself that God would, in due time, take care of business.

But I call to God,
and the Lord will save me.
17 I complain and groan morning, noon, and night,
and he hears my voice.
18 Though many are against me,
he will redeem me from my battle unharmed.

(Psalm 55:16-18, CSB)

He comforts himself with the hopes of divine rescue, and then points others to trust the Rescuer. His heart burns with the ache of things not being as they should… laments the reality of broken life.

Finally, David assures himself that God will make all wrong right in the end. Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never allow the righteous to be shaken. (Psalm 55:22, CSB)

God lovingly sustains each weary heart that calls to Him, and picks up the heavy end of our burdens to lighten the load.

And He holds tight to His own so they won’t shake.

What a powerful, beautiful, strong picture of His love.

In the shelter of His everlasting arms, we can pray unfiltered, ask hard questions and seek comfort from a God who understands pain, knows all and loves perfectly. We can trust Him.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, Even as grace purifies my heart, remind me to come to You as I sift through the things that discourage and diminish my hope. Though this world is broken, I’m grateful that You welcome me to call to You for healing, help and comfort, knowing that you became broken that these miracles of goodness could be made possible.
In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

On a scale of 1-10, how filtered are your prayers?

What burden do you have that you need help bearing?

In light of this message and questions, grab your journal and spend a few moments in responsive prayer. Not a journal girl? No worries. Write your prayer of response on the wall of my blog or as a comment on my Instagram.

More from the Girlfriends

If you want to read and study the Bible, but don’t know where to start, this is for you! Girlfriends in God cofounder Gwen Smith has several online Bible Study options that will guide you on a personal journey with the Lord as you read, record, reflect on and respond to His Word. These studies will help you know what God says about tender topics like forgiveness, healing, fear, depression, relationships and hope. Each study can be done in the comfort of your home and in a timeframe that fits with your personal schedule. Visit www.gwensmith.net/biblestudy to learn more.

4 Responses to “Permission to Speak Freely”

  1. PENNY SULLIVAN says:

    I love your blogs. Just want to say that first.
    In response to this one, I always feel like I need a prayer of total & complete thanksgiving. I want every word to be thankful. Even though I am praying for safety for my family or good health & strength. I always try to make it thankful. I don’t know that I have ever just asked God for ANYTHING without thank Him for it first. I just feel so obligated. We, my family & I, have had a very, very tumultuous 2 years.
    Suddenly & very unexpectedly losing my dad on March 1, 2017. My husband & I have had to step into the role of taking care of my mom. Then October 24, 2018 started a severe decline in her health with the diagnosis of Stage II Pancreatic Cancer. She lived with us for 4 1/2 months. She is now back in her own home but 2 hours away from me & still full time my responsibility. So through all of this I still feel I can’t pray without only stating how thankful I am for what I have & what God has brought me through.
    There are times I would love to just scream!!! Times I am at the end of my rope! But I feel so incredibly guilty if I don’t thank God for everything else.
    How do I move past this? How do I pray & not be angry?
    Thank you for all your post & guidance. I love to read all of them.

  2. Rita says:

    I need to pray openly about being a caretaker of my younger sister with moderate to severe autism. For reasons that I will not openly discuss my parents are unable to do so. Sometimes I feel as if I am walking on a highwire and every other step feels very unguided.

  3. Shannon says:

    I have a hard time praying. I listen to other people’s prayers and they always seem to know what to say. I feel like all my emotions are all over the place, so there is no way my prayer would sound so elegant. I am the type that does not want to pray in front of people. Then there is the whole thing of how you should pray. Always acknowledging who God is how awesome and mighty He is. Then thanking him for everything. I a lot of times just get straight to the problems that I need help with. I do want to change this. I have heard others say just talk to God like you would a friend sitting right in front of you. I’m trying this too. I just feel like I sometimes I’m very selfish in my prayers because I come to Him with all my issues and don’t always acknowledge who He is to me.
    Lord forgive me in this area. You are mighty, awesome, magnificent, Holy, my Abba. You know my heart even when I don’t know what to say or sometimes say too much. Lead me and guide me in everything I say and do. Draw me close to you! Amen.

  4. Laura says:

    Ladies,

    One of my bible study teachers always says that guilt is not of the Lord. Conviction and repentance are of the Lord but guilt is from Satan.

    So feel comfortable pouring out your heart to Christ. I think it is ok to not be perfect in our prayers although thanksgiving is essential. The Lord does know your heart and once you are letting the Lord comfort you maybe those prayers of total thanksgiving will flow constantly from your heart.

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