"How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?"
Are you a whiner? Constantly asking for things that don't seem to come your way? Do you find the majority of your prayers are plea bargaining endeavors? Well, rest assured you are not alone. In fact, God wants you to to lay everything at his feet.
While it may seem selfish to constantly be preoccupied with a list of issues, where else should we go but to God when we are hurting, sad, or troubled? Take heart that the writers of the Scripture did this often. The Psalms often express some kind of complaint to God. In fact many of the prophetic books contain laments. Did you know Job is full of moaning and groaning?
Psalm 13 is a great model showing how me might approach God in prayer with our unhappiness. Most prayerful laments go as follows: writer has issues with God, then he offers a verse or two at the end that expresses that final trust in him no matter how things are turning out.
How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
This writer was being pursued by an enemy. He is tormented daily with his sorrowful thoughts. To make matters worse, God doesn't seem to be stepping in. He was at the point were death seemed a better recourse. We can all identify with his despair.
Notice in Psalms such as this there always seems to be a turning point where despair becomes hope.
But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord’s praise,
for he has been good to me. (Verse 5-6)
The word but reminds us that even tough life is falling apart, we can turn to our changeless, faithful God, who is still there, still trustworthy, still caring for us despite our problems. And, it is important to have that but in there when we pray. We must remember the happy events those times when God has been faithful and blessed us. Doing this reminds me to turn from my current woe to a future of hope.
So if you're feeling down, remember that a huge chunk of the Bible contains honest prayers by complaining men. So don't feel bad about dumping, go right ahead.