What I love about the Old Testament (or the Hebrew Scriptures) is that the people who pray to God hold nothing back. They pray their resentments, their disappointments, and their anger as freely as they pray their petitions, their praise, and their love. Truth be told, many of us are under the false notion that if we argue (wrestle) with God, we are sinning.
This could be no further from the Truth. For Israel (Jacob) earned his name by wrestling all night with God Almighty.
And that's precisely what we should do too!
"Hannah rose after a meal at Shiloh, and presented herself before the LORD... In her bitterness she prayed to the LORD, weeping copiously, and she made a vow, promising: “O LORD of hosts, if you look with pity on the misery of your handmaid, if you remember me and do not forget me, if you give your handmaid a male child, I will give him to the LORD for as long as he lives… When Elkanah had relations with his wife Hannah, the LORD remembered her. She conceived, and at the end of her term bore a son whom she called Samuel, since she had asked the LORD for him." 1 Samuel 1:9-20
Honest prayer, however bitter, gives new life in a forthright personal relationship with God. Prayer, after all, is an opening up of our heart, mind, and soul, from within our very real human experience--sufferings and joys--offered to God in hope of an even greater response in Divine Love. If we give the Lord only what we think will please him, like a child attempting to manipulate their parents, we will lose out on the grace which comes from honesty in a relationship.
That, my friend, is not authentic prayer.
“He raises the needy from the dust; from the dung heap he lifts up the poor, To seat them with nobles and make a glorious throne their heritage.” 1 Samuel 2:1, 4-8
Prayer is unity with the Almighty in the Spirit of Love--Love, which demands both Mercy and Justice, with honesty being an integral part of Justice. Prayer doesn't move mountains in our acts and words--it connects with the Mountain Mover! God may not rain down fire and brimstone on our sufferings, our obstacles, and our enemies.
But, through honest prayer, He most certainly will re-create a stronger Christian Will in us!
"In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit;
he cried out, 'What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?
Have you come to destroy us?
I know who you are–the Holy One of God!'
Jesus rebuked him and said, 'Quiet! Come out of him!'
The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him." Mark 1:21-28
We must never forget that there are principalities and powers (demons) who would have us pray in a cold and a calculated manner. The demons would love to see us pray as if we were ordering food from a fast food menu. The demons, moreover, would relish the fact that we were not trusting enough in God's Mercy to present ourselves in our human totality--to include our wounds, fears, frustrations, and anger. Let me remind you that these are the same demons who removed praying from public schools, and have successfully stripped the public square of religious witness.
It's about time we were honest with God…even when it hurts. Look at what our cafeteria dishonesty has gotten us. Look at what Political Correctness has done to our human dialogue. Should we bring this earthly perversion into our heavenly conversation? Heavens, no! After all, we owe total honesty to Him, for He was totally, and honestly, hurt for our salvation.