God Invites You to Tell Him What You Want

Written By Holy Scripture

READ:

Read or listen to Psalm 13 and Matthew 28:1–10.

For the choir director. A psalm of David.
How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long will I store up anxious concerns within me,
agony in my mind every day?
How long will my enemy dominate me?

Consider me and answer, Lord my God.
Restore brightness to my eyes;
otherwise, I will sleep in death.
My enemy will say, “I have triumphed over him,”
and my foes will rejoice because I am shaken.

But I have trusted in your faithful love;
my heart will rejoice in your deliverance.
I will sing to the Lord
because he has treated me generously.


After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to view the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, because an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and approached the tomb. He rolled back the stone and was sitting on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards were so shaken by fear of him that they became like dead men.

The angel told the women, “Don’t be afraid, because I know you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here. For he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has risen from the dead and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; you will see him there.’ Listen, I have told you.”

So, departing quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, they ran to tell his disciples the news. Just then Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” They came up, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. Then Jesus told them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see me there.”

The written Scripture is CSB, however, the audio Scripture is ESV.

FOCUS:

God Invites You to Tell Him What You Want

By Jonathan Neef

If you think God is wrong and that he should do things differently, would you tell him? If you felt that he wasn’t being fair, just, loving, or good what would you say to him?

If we think there is an injustice and that God has forgotten us, rather than tell him about it, we often try to hide it, suppress it, and deny it. For some reason we don’t think we can be honest with God? Yet lament teaches us something different.

Psalm13:3 begins with two Hebrew imperatives. In English these are equivalent to the type of commands a general would give to a soldier, or a dog owner to his dog. “You must do this” is the tone the psalmist uses. He is telling God what he wants. He is giving commands for God to answer him!

What does he want? For God to show up in the midst of his pain and suffering! In fact, the word want might sound a little too whiny. The psalmist is saying this is what I NEED and if you don’t show up I am going to die! If you don’t turn your face toward me then my enemy will win! God where are you? Show up! Answer me!

Do you hear the honesty and vulnerability being used? This isn’t a well thought out prayer. This isn’t socially appropriate or said with a humble posture. Perhaps there is some exaggeration about dying if God doesn’t answer, but maybe not. Maybe God does have to show up or the psalmist will die. Either way, notice the desperation and honesty here. Do you approach God this way? Do you even think you are allowed to approach God this way?

Too many of us don’t approach God with what we really think, how we really feel, or what we really want. Why not? Your reasons may differ but honest and desperate prayer are often avoided for these reasons:

Can we really be this honest? Isn’t this disrespectful toward God?

Prayers like this are a lot of work. It’s easier to watch Netflix, eat ice cream, or go to bed, hoping to feel better in the morning. This is too much work!

Embarrassment. Shouldn’t my faith be better? Shouldn’t prayers be for something more theologically correct? Others can’t hear me pray like this!

Does prayer even change anything? What if I do all this work and it doesn’t change anything? Won’t it look foolish if I pour out my heart and God does what he wants anyway?

Do you approach God in honest and desperate prayer like this psalm? As a reminder, this is given to us by God to show us how he wants us to come to him in our pain. God is inviting and instructing us to come to him and demand of him. He wants us to tell him what we really want and what we really need. The question is not centered around if we are allowed to come before God in this way, the question is will we? Will you?

 

 

Take time to memorize Matthew 28:18-20 by reading it out loud and writing it down. What stands out to you?

Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

PRAY:

Read the passage out loud once more and spend a few minutes meditating on it. Talk to God about what stood out to you and the emotions that surfaced.

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Day 3 of 7 Holy Week Contemplation

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Luke 22:27

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