Prayer includes brooding and complaining

This week, I intend to spend some time examining various aspects of prayer. Perhaps one of the darker sides is what we consider lamentation. As I looked for a resource to examine this a little further, I came across Praying: Finding Our Way Through Duty to Delight by J. I. Packer and Carolyn Nystrom.

For today, a few words on brooding and complaining.

Brooding has to do with marinating in thought over problems and decisions. Sometimes this activity leads to unfocused thinking. In these times, it is helpful to remind ourselves of what Scripture tells us about God: who He is, that He will be with us, and the hope that we can have in Him. Meditation on God’s Word can soothe us and gird us up for those times of intense anxiety, busyness, or mood swings.

Complaining draws together lamentation and supplication. We are sending up petitions to God and appealing to His promises and His character for resolution to our requests. Complaints include opposition from enemies, deprivation, isolation, and depression. It is in these times that turning to God sustains us, reaffirms our trust in Him, and allows us to draw closer to Him.

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