When we pray our honest feelings

By Dave Henning / December 12, 2017

“When we pray our honest feelings in God’s presence, we have a place to stand before him.  Remember, we are not our feelings.  We have feelings, but our feelings don’t have us.  God has us (emphasis author’s).”- John Ortberg

John Ortberg concludes Chapter 6 of I’d Like You More . . . as he exhorts you:

  • try making your sadness go away
  • to pretend your sadness doesn’t exist
  • put your sadness in charge of your life

Rather, take that sadness to God.  For when we pray our honest feelings to God, that gives us standing before Him.  And listening serves as the key to understanding the difference between mourning and rejoicing.  Most noteworthy, in The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Intimacy, Paul Coleman discusses the difference between “good listening” and “intimate listening.”

A good listener (a) understands facts and (b) repeats what you said.  In contrast, an intimate listener (a) understands feelings and (b) senses what you feel.  With intimate listening, two inner worlds resonate with each other.  Connection happens.

In addition, Pastor Ortberg considers the Psalms a great prayer book as well as the greatest intimacy book in all of literature.  Furthermore, in the psalms we see a God who rejoices and a God who mourns.  Also, John defines rejoicing with God as “taking something we’re naturally happy about, remembering that ‘whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming to us from God (James 1:7, NLT)’, and thanking him for that gift.”

In conclusion, Pastor Ortberg observes that simply recording an act of gratitude can produce a greater sense of intimacy with God- and, John adds, joy.

Today’s question: When you pray your honest feelings in God’s presence, how does that increase your intimacy with God?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Commitment – the foundation of intimacy”

About the author

Dave Henning

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