Tell It Like It Is
Help me to be real with You, God, praying from the heart about what troubles me.
Read Psalm 55
 For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
When you are hurting and feel ignored, even by God, walk in the footsteps of the psalmist, remembering that God is on the throne.
A friend commented insightfully that the trouble with his prayer life was not an absence of God so much as an absence of himself. It is possible to offer great words to God without them touching who we are and how we truly feel at the time. This psalm challenges us to bring ourselves, warts and all, to be thoroughly present in our prayers. Whenever we feel ourselves under threat, however serious, God expects us to be real with him. Especially then. When aggrieved, there is no better place to sound off than on our knees.
You can feel the depth of anguish, terror and distress at the betrayal this psalmist experiences as a former friend has turned against him. It is the kind of situation that David finds himself in when Absalom conspires (2 Sam. 15–17) and turns the people against him; or when Judas betrays Jesus. The pain is all the more poignant because all this hatred comes from a close friend who used to worship with him (13,14). Just look at how real the psalmist is with God and reflect on what this means for desperate people ever since.
When facing hostility, let’s tell God how much we need his help and how even trying to pray is difficult because of troubling thoughts (1–3). Admit that we want to escape (4–8) and how we long for justice right now (9–15). Yet, let us move from this natural yearning for vengeance to focus more on God who is on the throne (19), and, because of that certainty, let’s dare to trust him for ultimate justice: “But as for me, I trust in you” (23). Prayer should be a safe two-way relationship into which you can pour frustration and anger, knowing that God remains the only one to turn to.
How are you handling your biggest problem today? How can this psalm help you in your struggle?
Dear Father, the rough and tumble of life has left me with some scars. None hurt more than the betrayal of a friend. Do Your healing work in me.