Contemplative Corner – “Praying with Emotion”

The Psalms teach us to express our emotions to God. Praying with our emotions helps us to be open, authentic, and vulnerable with God.  When we express our emotions, embracing them as part our true selves, we often find our connection with God is easier to experience.

The Psalms are given to us by God to guide our prayer and to transform us into the identity of Christ. Praying the Psalms tutors us in honesty and centers our passions on God and God’s work in the world. They invite us to deepen our appreciation of the sacredness of ordinary life and become more aware of our emotions in God’s presence every day, helping us to recognize the Spirit’s movement in our lives. The Spirit enables us to go deeper into our hearts allowing our feelings to emerge as part of our prayer. Every feeling and every thought we have is a valid entry into prayer, no matter how irreverent, selfish or angry that feeling might seem. As children of God we are welcomed and encouraged to bring our whole selves in prayer to God. We need to speak the truth in prayer knowing that in recognizing our emotions we are entrusting them to God.

In expressing our emotions to God in prayer, even in the hectic world in which we live,  we can trust God to draw near and embrace us in God’s unfailing love.

The following prayer is such an expression:

I beg assistance, God of my journey,
To accept that all of life is only on loan to me
To believe beyond this moment
To accept your courage when mine fails
To recognize the pilgrim part of my heart
To hold all of life in open hands
To treasure all that is gift and blessing
To look at the painful parts of my life, and to grow through them
To allow your love to embrace me on the empty and lonely days
To receive the truth of your presence
To trust in the place of your “forever hello.”

-Prayer by Joyce Rupp