Crying as Prayer

You are forgiving and good, O Lord,
abounding in love to all who call to you.
Hear my prayer, O Lord; listen to my cry for mercy.
In the day of my trouble I will call to you,
for you will answer me.
Psalm 86:5-7

Sometimes prayer is a cry from our heart. It is a raw pleading for mercy in times of trouble. There may be times of trouble when we find ourselves thinking, “I can’t go to God in this time of trouble because I haven’t been consistent in praying every day. How can I talk to God about my troubles when I haven’t been talking to God on a daily basis?”

But God invites us to call for help in times of trouble no matter what. There are no pre-conditions we have to meet. There are no hoops we need to jump through. There is nothing we have to prove. We can simply cry to the Lord about our trouble and know that God will answer.

“God, you are forgiving. God, you are good. God you are abounding in love to all who call to you.” This is how the psalmist begins his cry for mercy. It is as if the psalmist is reminding himself of the truths that he needs to hang on to during his time of trouble. We do well to do the same. We do well to remember who it is that we call to when we cry for mercy in times of trouble.

We cry out to a God who is forgiving. All that makes us want to hide in shame and guilt is seen and known by God and is met with an outpouring of compassion and forgiveness. We do not need to hide. We can come to God knowing that we will be received in love, knowing that God offers us forgiveness.

We cry out to God who is good. God the giver of life itself. God the giver every good and perfect gift. God who blesses and provides and heals and helps. This is the God who is powerful and eager to restore us in every way.

We cry out to God who is abounding in love for all who cry out for help and mercy. God loves us all. God is patient, kind, respectful, hopeful, faithful towards us all. God values us all. We are all seen and known and treasured by the One who made us. This One will hear our cry. This One will answer us.

Allowing ourselves to remember this good news can free us to cry to God. We do not need to hesitate for a moment when our hearts cry out. We can let that cry become our prayer. Whether our cry is for ourselves, for our loved ones, or for people we don’t know but have only heard about, we can cry aloud to the Lord. Our cry will be heard by our loving and merciful God who will answer.

I am in great distress,
I cannot keep from crying aloud.
Receive my cries.
Have mercy.
Thank you that you are forgiving.
Thank you that you are good.
Thank you that you abound in love to all who call on you.
Thank you that you will answer.

Prayer suggestion:

What is happening in your life, in the life of someone you know or in the world that causes your heart to cry out at this time?
Let your heart cry become a prayer.
Cry aloud to the Lord.