How Prayer Helps
When You’re Angry or Frustrated
By Tricia Goyer
What to you do when you’re frustrated or angry? My frustration usually follows a path sort of like this:
- I think: “This isn’t fair.”
- I let my mind spiral out of control.
- I let my attitude go into the toilet.
- I spout off.
- I throw back the garbage that is thrown at me. (I get angry at the angry person. I get snippy with the person who hurt me with words.)
- I end up a stinking mess in my relationships and circumstances.
- I sulk around with a stinking attitude.
I’ve learned that following that frustration and anger script leads to no good. I’m not fun to be around, and I treat others horribly. It does not reflect God’s nature, and I usually feel worst not better.
As I’ve matured as a person and Christian, I’ve learned a better way:
- Be quiet inside and out, and redirect my thoughts.
- Stay out of it. I don’t have to join every fight that I’m invited to.
- Control my words. I can be the adult and hold it in.
- Turn to God.
What is Prayer?
- Prayer is talking to God.
- Prayer is having access to the Creator of the universe, and having open communication with Him. (If you’re not in the mood to pray there is one thing that can get you there fast. Look around and notice something amazing about creation. Look at the stars. Study your house plant. Be amazed by the way your fingers work.)
- Prayer is opening yourself up to listening to the God who created all, oversees all, and breaths life into every living creature. (He’s someone worth listening to!)
What you need to know about God when you pray:
- God is all-powerful.
- God is all-knowing.
- God has a good plan for your life.
- God loves you completely.
- God is fully capable of meeting each and every need you have… He often just does it in ways you don’t expect.
- God is fully capable in dealing with our stinking attitudes.
Of course we can know a lot about God, but we still do not know how to pray. Instead of suggesting quiet times or journals as the “answers” to effective prayer, we need to go deeper than that.
How to pray:
1. Pray with a pure heart.
I often pray both of these Scriptures. Through God’s Word, I ask Him to clean my heart. (Don’t be surprised if He points out areas the He wants to help you with!)
Psalm 139:23-24 NLT
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
Psalm 51:10 NLT
Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.
As you seek a pure heart, repent of your sins. God will not listen if your heart and mind is full of sin. Ask God to give you a pure heart.
God’s Word says that once you ask for forgiveness it’s like those things never happened. They’re gone for good.
2. Pray with pure motives.
Why do you want God to answer your prayers?
If you WANT something because you’re being greedy, or for pleasure or ease … you probably won’t get it.
But if you are praying for God’s will, then everything changes.
When you pray, are you praying according to the Bible: for others, for peace, for joy, for love? Are you praying to know God better? THESE are the prayers He loves to answer.
3. Pray with pure trust.
When you pray with trust you don’t have to handle it all on your own. We need to trust that God is listening to our prayers. We need to wait patiently, and know the God’s answers will come in God’s perfect time.
One Scripture that I turn to often is Psalm 37:7.
“Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act.”
Waiting patiently means believing that God loves you completely, and He will ALWAYS do what is best for you. When we allow frustration and anger to overwhelm us—and when we try to handle things with on our own—we end up with a stinking attitude in stinking circumstances.
Yet when we turn over our frustrations to God with a clean heart, pure motives, and pure trust, God will show up and change you from ways you can’t imagine… starting from the inside out! That’s something we can all look forward to!
Journal Through the Bible in 2024
Have you ever wanted to read through the Bible but found yourself giving up? Or even worse, you read the chapters and at the end question how they apply to your life. Tricia Goyer understands. For years she felt frustrated that she couldn’t stick to her commitment to read God’s Word all the way through. Things changed when she found a doable plan and wrote out a daily prayer. Tricia’s heart changed. Her life did, too.
God can bring real transformation into your heart and life when you daily commit to reading your Bible and praying through God’s Word. Praying through the Bible in One Year offers a guided reading plan and a daily prayer starter to help you make God’s Word applicable to your life. Discover the inspiration for real-life transformation.