I want to pray more like David, in his honest, vulnerable, processing, truth-recalling, baring his soul before the Lord way.
Our pastor is preaching through Psalms right now and he has reminded us, several times, that we ought to pray as David did. I was thinking of this today as I was struggling to get my words out in prayer to the Lord. I kept distracting myself with other things. There was so much on my mind, so many emotions at trying to push themselves to the forefront, that I just kept shutting down, finding it "easier" to just think about something else rather than lay out all those jumbled thoughts and words for the only One who can truly make sense of them all, and help me to do the same.
In that same moment, I realized that I do this often, and that I often have a wrong view of prayer. I realized that I have often approached prayer with this idea that I need to have this neatly packaged presentation of my desires, my thanks, my anxieties, my concerns, to bring to the Lord, not one word out of place, not one struggling sentence. In thinking about David today, though, I realized that is so far removed from truth, and it's taking my dependence on the Lord completely out of the equation ---- and my dependence on the Lord is exactly what prayer reminds me of.
David processed his emotions at the feet of the Lord. He began prayers in a devastated, heart-wrenching, "Lord, where are you?" type of way so often, but as he continued to pray he would remind himself of truth, recalling to his mind the character of the Lord, the faithfulness of Him, and he would find joy there! His deepest desires and most intimate thoughts spilled out of his mouth, cast before the One that knew those thoughts before he even recognized them. Reading his prayers now is like reading someone's journal. And instead of just writing them down on pages to look over years later and think, "hmmmm, that was a rough/exciting/emotional season of my life," he brought them to the Savior who he knew cared for him most, knew him best, and was perfectly sovereign in His handling of David's life.
Before a word is on my tongue, our God knows it. He is the dearest, best, wisest, most loving, fully sovereign confidante. I don't want the pages of my journal to be the first place I put these jumbled thoughts into words, and especially not the only place. I want to pray like David did, pouring out my soul, my disorganized thoughts, my struggling heart, my sinful reactions, and ask the Lord to help me sort through them, to help me leave them at the foot of the cross, and to help me live in the sweet, liberating freedom of His truth.