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Most people can remember a time when they were wronged by a friend. Anger, hurt, and feelings of betrayal are but a few of the emotions that are experienced.
Rather than stewing in negative emotions, we can take the entire situation to God in prayer. To paraphrase Peter, “Let God have all your worries and cares, for he is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you” (1 Peter 5:7 Living Bible Translation).
Psalm 55 helps us find words to let God have all of our worries and cares when we feel wronged.
Prayer for Help
Prayer is an interesting phenomena. We string together lines of words and trust that God’s love and grace is so abundant that he will hear and respond.
Hear my prayer, O God;
don’t turn away from my plea!
Listen to me and answer me;
I am worn out by my worries. (Psalm 55.1-2)
Jesus has shown us that God does not turn away from our requests for help. The daily life of Jesus was filled with interactions where people asked him for help.
The only thing that kept people from getting help from Jesus was their unwillingness to ask for it.
The life of Jesus encourages us to bring every concern to him, including times when we are hurt and pained from being wronged.
Complaints Over Betrayal
Not everybody wants to hear our complaints. It takes energy to sit and listen to a person sort through the emotions of being wronged by a friend.
The Psalms reveal God’s willingness to hear us out. A large number of the Psalms are comprised of complaints to God about one thing or another.
The Psalms counsel us to bring the full range of our emotions to God, when we feel hurt and betrayed by anyone – especially by a friend.
If it were an enemy making fun of me,
I could endure it;
if it were an opponent boasting over me,
I could hide myself from him.
But it is you, my companion,
my colleague and close friend.
We had intimate talks with each other
and worshiped together in the Temple. (Psalm 55.12-14)
I tell couples preparing to marry that they will know how to hurt one another better than any other person on earth. They are never to use the intimacies they have with one another as a weapon to injure their partner.
People who worship together often form a strong bond. When that bond is broken through some kind of wrongdoing, the injured person suffers greatly. If you have been in church long enough, it is sad to say that you probably know first hand what I am describing.
No matter what you have experienced, God is ready to hear your complaint. Your prayer doesn’t have to sound like one that is appropriate for Sunday School. You can express to God all of your anger and hurt, as is exemplified in this Psalm.
Possibly, you can relate to the words of the Psalm writer as you think of how you have been wronged.
My former companion attacked his friends;
he broke his promises.
His words were smoother than cream,
but there was hatred in his heart;
his words were as soothing as oil,
but they cut like sharp swords. (Psalm 55.20-21)
The Psalms help us put into words our hurt and fear. With the speaker of this Psalm we can say:
— Verse 2 – I am worn out by my worries.
— Verse 3 – I am terrified and crushed.
— Verse 5 – I am overcome.
— Verse 6 – I wish I could get away from it all.
— Verse 8 – I wish I could find shelter from this storm.
We are able to vent our emotions to God in a very honest and transparent way with none of our feelings held back.
I remember being told by an old, very godly lady how she once went to her back porch and screamed at God. She needed relief and let God know about it in the strongest of terms.
The Psalms, the Book of Job and encounters that Jesus had with people let us know that this is the way God wants to be approached. He wants us to be totally honest with our feelings.
Trust in God
Prayer is an expression of our trust in God. As the speaker in this Psalm has demonstrated, we can trust God with the full range of our emotions and complaints.
We also can trust God to come to our side with help.
But I call to the Lord God for help,
and he will save me.
Morning, noon, and night
my complaints and groans go up to him,
and he will hear my voice.
He will bring me safely back
from the battles that I fight
against so many enemies.
God, who has ruled from eternity,
will hear me and defeat them;
for they refuse to change,
and they do not fear him. (Psalm 55.16-19)
When people are betrayed by a spouse or a friend, it brings confusion and disruption to their lives.
If people don’t include God in what has happened to them, they run the risk of walking away from God. Sadly, this takes place all too often.
If people have a regular practice of daily prayer, they are better prepared for the times when hurt, betrayal, loss and the like takes place in their lives. God is not a distant “Someone-Out-There-Somewhere.” He is their friend and heavenly Father.
As we bring the deep hurts of betrayal and wrongdoing to God, we can be assured that he is there to help us with what has happened.
Depend on God
After telling God all about his troubles, the speaker in this Psalm gave some advice to people who pray along with him.
Leave your troubles with the Lord,
and he will defend you;
he never lets honest people be defeated. (Psalm 55.22)
If you have ever walked through a muddy field, you know how the mud continues to build up in big globs on your shoes the farther you travel.
That is a good image of what happens each of us. We pick up the junk of this world on our heart throughout the day.
A good practice is to come to the Lord at the end of each day and leave our troubles with him. This last verse and the one from 1 Peter 5.7 tell us to scrape off the mud of the day, as we give to God our troubles and cares of the day.
Skipped Psalms and Verses
Careful readers of my blog and of the Psalms will notice that I have skipped some Psalms and some verses of this Psalm. From time to time, I will skip Psalms that have already been covered in previous articles.
I did not comment on some of the verses in this Psalm, because I don’t think they apply to most people who read the blog. My goal in writing is to write information that can be put into practice each day of our lives.
May We Pray for You?
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or private message me on Facebook. I will pray for you and so will the prayer team at Maywood Baptist Church.