My life so often feels like a rollercoaster of emotions. One minute I am praising God for His goodness, the next I am yelling at Him in anger. I’m always amazed at how quickly my emotions and thoughts can change in one day. I used to think this constant change of tone in my prayer was a lack of faith, until I started studying the book of Psalms.
As a highly emotional personality, I love the book of Psalms because one sees so many raw emotions in the prayers of the psalmist. In one chapter you have Psalms full of rejoicing:
Rejoice in the LORD and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart! Ps. 32:11
Then a few chapters later the Psalmist cries out to God,
I am set apart with the dead, like the slain who lie in the grave, whom you remember no more, who are cut off from your care. Ps. 88:5
The thing I have been learning recently is that God doesn’t want just our happy moments. He isn’t waiting for us to get put together. God craves our honest communication with him. He isn’t afraid of our emotions- in fact, He created us with them. We can boldly approach God. We can worship. We can cry. We can be angry. He simply wants us to bring our emotions to Him.
What I learn when I allow myself to bring my emotions to God instead of hiding them, is that God is able to reveal himself to me in new ways. When I weep, He is my comforter. When I am excited, He is my friend. When I am depressed, He is my joy. Spending time in His presence- no matter what our emotions- helps us process our feelings and align our spirit with His will.
Our emotions may change from day to day, but God’s love for us is never ending. As we focus on that truth and allow God to work in us, our heart will ultimately be drawn to worship. So just like the psalmist, no matter what our circumstance has us feeling, we can boldly approach God and offer up our emotional roller coaster prayers.
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. Psalm 42:11