Despairing Prayer

“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me” (Mt. 27:46)?

Passionate relationships both ascend to the heights of ecstasy and dive into the depths of agony. Jesus’ passion for His Father is revealed in His heart-rending cry of despair from the cross. By praying these words from Psalm 22 Jesus at once shows us His passion and gives us permission to express ours. It is doubtful that passion in prayer can survive without this kind of raw emotional honesty. Throughout the Psalms (which Jesus no doubt prayed often) we find these expressions of despair, pain, lament, confusion, hate, anger, and sorrow brought to God in prayer. To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, by this prayer Jesus has given us the freedom to passionately pray what is in us, not what ought to be in us.

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 Father, forgive me for praying words that I think You want to hear in order to “put in my time” with you each day.  Draw me to the depths of Your heart where I can meet you whether in joy or sorrow.  Give me a deep desire to cry out to You when I am hurting, and when others need to be brought to Your cross in their suffering.  Stir my heart to pray Your Word in the Psalms, feeling the pain, confusion, anger and hurt of David and the other Psalmists, yet also receiving the joy, peace and comfort You bring in the midst of despair. 

–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 23, Jesus as a Role Model of Personal Passion in Prayer by Howard Baker). This book is available at Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

Prayer Points

Pray that you will be diligent in teaching those under your care. Ask God to help you be an excellent model for your children (or for the children of your friends).

Pray that God removes any distractions to wholesome love among your family and friends. Ask that all ungodly priorities and self-interests will be wiped away so that love can abound.

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend. This book is available at Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

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