Speaking Truth to Power

O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You discern my thoughts from afar.—Psalm 139:1-2 (ESV)

Our society has clung to the idea of speaking truth to power in an effort to effect change. The term often is used in the face of perceived oppression or powerlessness. What if the powers to whom we appeal don’t have our best interests in mind? What if they don’t listen—or worse, don’t care? 

In our chaotic world, we can sometimes forget there is One who holds all power. There is One who knows—and is—all truth. There is One who listens and cares. He holds the hearts of kings in his hand. He knows our every thought and is able to meet our every need. But do we bring our requests before Him? And when we come before Him in prayer, are we transparent in our brokenness and desperation?

Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing; heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled. My soul also is greatly troubled. But You, O Lord—how long?—Psalm 6:2-3 (ESV)

David, the king and psalmist whom God called “a man after My own heart,” held nothing back in his prayers. He came before the Lord with reverence, recognizing He is Lord of all and our only true source of help, while remaining honest about his feelings and his need.

Lord, help me! Why are You waiting? How long will this go on?

When was the last time you prayed like that? When did you pour out your heart to God and tell Him the truth about your heartache, loss, fear and doubt? 

He knows it all, but He wants to hear it from you.

It makes sense to think the God who is the author of all truth values truth. To some extent, we know that. We know we shouldn’t flat-out lie as we cry out to Him, but we fail to disclose the depths of our pain to the One who loves us most and who is able to deliver.

Why, O Lord do You stand far away? Why do You hide Yourself in times of trouble?—Psalm 10:1 (ESV)

Time and again, David faced enemies on every side, even within his own household. Where was God in it all? He asked the hard questions. But he always returned to what he knew to be true.

O Lord, You hear the desire of the afflicted; You will strengthen their heart; You will incline Your ear to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.—Psalm 10:17-18

In his honest petitions, David appealed to God’s holiness, sovereignty,  omniscience, omnipresence, faithfulness, goodness, mercy, power, love and grace. He surrendered all he was to all he knew about the Lord. 

Try telling the Lord how much you hurt, how confused you are, how weary you are, and how desperately you need His intervention. He’s big enough to handle the truth and deliver you in your hour of need.