With the pandemic, many have been doing this all year long. Sadly, I cannot be counted among the many ranks of organizers out there, decluttering their houses.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s something my house truly needs but not as much as my mind and heart need it!
I know this because things have been getting to me—triggering my anger—more than usual lately.
At first, I felt as if others were the problem until I decided to pray about these annoyances. So, like King David of the Psalms, I brought my complaints to the Lord and He multiplied my insights as He did with the 5 loaves and 2 fishes (Jn. 6:9-14).
There is always more than enough to consume and digest!
And one of the primary purposes of David’s prayers was to complain to the Lord.
David didn’t sugar-coat his concerns nor censure his anger and fear. He knew God was big enough and strong enough to handle every complaint and problem.
In fact, my new understanding about complaining is motivating me to resolve in 2021 not to complain to anyone but God. This doesn’t mean I won’t ever have hard, respectful conversations with my spouse or others.
But it does mean, God will be where I go first and much more often with any complaints.
Besides, when I bring my complaints to God, He gives me so much more perspective about my part in every problem. When I complain to others, sometimes my “part in the problem” only grows larger, if you know what I mean!
7 Insights My Prayer Journaling and Processing has Unearthed for Me
- I’m just as guilty of the offenses that others are doing that are getting under my skin.
- These are people who try to do their best when they see their faults and failures.
- God is the only One who can truly motivate and move them to change their minds and behaviors. Very often, I’m overstepping when I try to correct them.
- My graciousness—not angry complaining—is what truly motivates others to change.
- God is using my prayers to soften my heart in preparation for any potential conversations I might need to have.
- He is also using my prayers to soften and refine my heart and life so that I act more like Christ, whether I need to discuss issues with others or not.
3 Key Steps for Bringing Your Complaints to God
1. Praise the Lord at the outset.
No one, including God, wants to be met with a complaint the moment a conversation begins.
For example, David started off praying in Psalm 59:1 . . .
Deliver me from my enemies, O God; be my fortress against those who are attacking me.”
Even though David began with a request here, it was spoken in tandem with an acknowledgment and praise of God for being his fortress.
It wasn’t until verses 3-4a of this psalm that David brought his complaint to God . . .
See how they lie in wait for me! Fierce men conspire against me for no offense or sin of mine, Lord. I have done no wrong, yet they are ready to attack me.” —Psalm 59:3-4
2. Be completely honest with God about your complaints.
Did you see how emotional David was in verse 3-4a? He brought his confusion to God without reserve because he trusted that God could see his trouble for what it was.
Trust me, He sees your trouble for what it is as well!
Also notice that David did not attempt to question God or His reasoning for not yet coming to his defense. First, he knew and trusted that God was already working on this problem. Second, he wanted to be completely honest with God because he knew God could see his heart and mind—not just the situation.
There’s no reason to pretend with God that everything is fine. He knows and sees it all—knowing what’s going on in your life and what’s brewing in your heart.
3. Allow God to open your eyes to all that is true about yourself and your situation.
David received the reassurance and encouragement he needed by praying with God’s truth in view. Near the end of this psalm, he declared . . .
But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. You are my strength, I sing praise to you; you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely.” —Psalm 59:16-17
It’s important to note that David’s situation had not yet changed. But by bringing his complaint to the Lord, God reinvigorated his faith by reminding him of the truth. The truth about David’s situation and the truth about Himself—David’s fortress!
And because he trusted God to be his fortress, he could feel at peace when war and trouble were breaking out against him.
Trust God to be your fortress so that you can feel at peace when conflicts and trouble break out in your life and marriage! Psalm 59
As for me and my complaints, I was able to see that much of my problem was/is my own perspective. Viewing things from God’s perspective has reinvigorated my faith, given me greater peace, and is enabling me to trust that He will protect me in the conflicts and battles of my life.
Back to David: God did come through for him, delivering him in these trials and troubles.
And God will do the same for you as well!
Won’t you join me in turning over complaints to God so that we can gain the Lord’s peace and perspective while we wait on His certain help to come!
How has God changed your perspective about a problem in your life or marriage through prayer?
What hesitancies or questions do you have about “complaining” to God?
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on Messy Marriage