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     When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Ps. 73:21-26

Gracious Father, the older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve come to appreciate the many characters and voices you’re recorded for us in your Word. There’s no moment or scenario we’ll experience in life that you haven’t anticipated. Such is the reach and riches of the Scriptures. Today I praise you for writing into Israel’s hymnal a song for the bitter and the beastly.

There are times when I forget that I’m living in a fallen world, with a fragile heart, among people just as foolish as me. There are times when I vainly try to take on the role of the 4th member of the Trinity—moments of madness when I question your mercy and your might.

When my fellowship with you gets broken, I’m capable of acting out in very harmful ways. I lose perspective and love poorly. My expectations of you and of others become more connected to la-la land than to reality. I become just like the psalmist Asaph—an envious, angry, senseless mess.

Father, that you tolerate me in those times of disconnect is extraordinary. That you still treasure me when I lose touch with gospel sanity is astonishing. When I shake my fist at you, your grasp of grace is all the tighter. When I complain about a stony silent heaven, you’re actively, quietly guiding my every footstep. When I try to ignore, spite, or run away from you, you’re just as resolved to end my journey in the full presence of your glory. The gospel really is this big and this good.

Such love melts my icy heart, gentles my rigid soul and corrals my racing thoughts. I’m not just the biggest loser when I pitch my tent in the land of disconnected heart; I’m also a thief, robbing a lot of people who are dear to me. Continue to rescue me from my self-centeredness and demandingness. All I really need is Jesus, plus what you choose to give me, Father. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ caring and triumphant name.



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One thought on “A Prayer When Feeling a Bit Bitter and Beastly”

  1. kathy says:

    Oh thank you for this….the prayer of my soul and heart finally in words so beautifully written. How can God love a wretch like me?…but He does!…Amen!

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Scotty Smith

Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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