Praying Our Fears

The religiosity approach to emotions is to stuff them, deny them, and act like they’re not there. We’re uncomfortable with these strong emotions. We need to get control of them quickly. On the other hand, in secular circles there is this sort of love of just expressing our emotions as if it’s a good in itself.

The Psalms don’t do either. The Psalms do not say we should be under-aware of our emotions or over-awed by our emotions. We shouldn’t be stuffing our emotions or bowing to them. We should be praying them. We don’t mean by praying them that you put them in nicely manicured and managed little theologically correct confessional prayers, but you pre-reflectively pour them out into the presence of God and you process them there.

In this passage, David is really at the bottom in fear. He’s saying, “I’m scared,” but he’s going to do something. He’s turning. The four things he does, the four steps out of the pit, are all there in verses 3–8. I’ll tell you what they are, and then we’ll go through them: Follow your thread, relocate your glory, see the substitute, and remember the people.

This sermon was preached by Rev. Timothy Keller at Redeemer Presbyterian Church on March 5, 2000. Series "Psalms - The Songs of Jesus". Scripture: Psalm 3:1-8; Genesis 15:1,8.

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