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What was the most powerful and crushing emotion you have ever felt? For me, it was grief. I remember praying to God with tears flooding my eyes. The emotion clung to me for days and weeks. Feelings of loss are powerful.
Some people feel loss mixed with other emotions. Perhaps their marriage or family crumbled. They feel lonely, betrayed, or utterly rejected. The feeling of being abandoned mixed with the loss of someone is an incredibly powerful emotion. It is something Jesus felt. Not only did he feel it, he expressed it in prayer. Listen to his prayer during the crucifixion recorded in Mark 15:33-34, ‘At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”–which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”’ (NIV 1984)
You and I know the full story. God raised Jesus from the dead. Jesus also knew that would happen before going to the cross. But he still experienced the emotions of grief and of being abandoned and expressed them in prayer.
If you are grieving, you can express it to God. And if you feel God has abandoned you, you can express that as well. This example of prayer from Jesus’ life encourages us to tell God how we feel – even our most crushing and powerful emotions.
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.