Praying Your Emotions
Did you know that the book of Psalms—found in the middle of your Bible—is one of the most practical, helpful prayer tools available to you? I didn’t understand this until my pastor recently did a series on using the Psalms to pray your emotions. Sound strange? Tim Keller explains it well:
"The Psalms take us deep into our own hearts one-thousand times faster than we would ever go if left to ourselves . . . Religious/moral people tend to want to deny the rawness and reality of their own feelings, especially the darkness of them . . . The secular world has almost made an idol of emotional self-expression . . . But the Psalmists neither 'stuff' their feelings nor 'ventilate' them. They pray them–they take them into the presence of God until they change or understand them."
Nancy Leigh DeMoss has found the same thing in her life:
"The Psalms have played a vital role in my spiritual pilgrimage. Reading, studying, memorizing, meditating on, and praying through the Psalms for some forty years has taught me much about the heart and ways of God. The songs and prayers of the psalmists have helped me express the deepest joys, concerns, questions, and sorrows of my own heart to the Lord. They have tutored me in a lifestyle of praise and worship and have revealed the Lord Jesus to me."
I encourage you to try it—the next time you’re feeling particularly emotional, use the Psalms to pray your emotions, rather than burying them or letting them control you. In fact, I think I’m off to do that very thing right now . . .