There is no better place to learn how to talk to God than in the Psalms of David. God pointed David out to us as a man who had a heart for God. As you read the Psalms of David, you are reading the very words spoken from the heart of David to the heart of God. Though God’s communication is not directly written, the guidance He gave to David’s heart in the midst of his despair is clear. Once David started his anguish regarding his present circumstances directly to God, who God really is became a reality in the midst of the storm. He began painting a picture of where God is and who God is when his world was falling apart. This is a great pattern for us. The Psalms, more than any other book of the Bible, contain words that connect our hearts to God’s heart.
You could look at the book of Psalms as personal journal excerpts David wrote during the most devastating circumstances of his life. Psalm 57 is a perfect example. David wrote these beautiful words that have been sung for centuries as part of worship services to guide souls from the darkness into the light. David wrote poignant descriptions of the frightful circumstances in which he found himself. Though he was anointed by Samuel, the last Judge of Israel, to become the future King of Israel, he was hiding in caves from the reigning King who wanted to kill him. In his writing he demonstrates the spiritual discipline and spiritual transformation that come from journaling.
I have been journaling for almost forty years. This means I have shelves of scribbles containing God’s personal messages to me in writing that would not only be hard to decipher by a family member, but even to myself. Yet, these journals are important because they contain the way God encourages me and transforms my soul from disinterest in His kingdom to focus on His will for each and every day. It is the place I ask questions about the purpose of my life and receive comfort regularly, but rarely do I receive direct answers. In a way, it is the place where God shows me the perspective He wants me to have on my present circumstances, just as He did for David.
Writing about the soul’s despair is healing in itself. Here’s an example from Psalm 57:4, 6:
I am in the midst of lions; I am forced to dwell among ravenous beasts—men whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords… They spread a net for my feet— I was bowed down in distress. They dug a pit in my path—but they have fallen into it themselves.
David wrote about his soul’s despair, and then remembered who God is in the midst of it all. Writing and remembering God is what healed him. In the following verses he wrote:
My heart, O God, is steadfast, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music. Awake, my soul! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn
Before our very eyes we witness the healing that results from honest conversation with God. God is big enough to hear our heart’s most appalling complaints. He knows our finite minds cannot fully comprehend His answers, so He gives us His peace through remembering that He is God; He is with us; He cares about us; He will never leave us. The miracle of peace results from journaling honestly from your heart to the heart of God.