Praying Our Anger

By Pr Zeny Vidacak, March 20, 2051

Everyone gets angry! Anger is natural reacion to a perceived injustice. So, what do you do when injustice happens and how do you deal with anger which comes as a result? We are going to look at this important topic through the eyes of Jews sitting at the Euphrates river bank while being taunted by their Babylonian captors. This event is recorded in Psalm 137:1-9. There are three things we learn here:

1. Accept and Own the Reality of Your Anger.

2.Make Sure You Pray Your Anger.

3.Make Sure You Put Limits Around Your Anger.

By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion. 2 There on the poplars we hung our harps, 3 for there our captors asked us for songs, our tormentors demanded songs of joy; they said, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!” 4 How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land? 5 If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill. 6 May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you, if I do not consider Jerusalem my highest joy. 7 Remember, Lord, what the Edomites did on the day Jerusalem fell. “Tear it down,” they cried, “tear it down to its foundations!” 8 Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction, happy is the one who repays you according to what you have done to us. 9 Happy is the one who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks." (Psalm 137:1-9)

1. Accept and Own The Reality of Your Anger

Babylonian captors came to the exiles of Judah to taunt them and make fund of them.

People and psalmist are angry. Anger is part and parcel of any human including a Christian. Jesus was angry (Mark 3:5)

“Be angry and do not sin.” (Eph. 4:26)

“See to it that no one fails to obtain grace of God; that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled…” (Hebrews 12:15)

Here are the important principles:

1. It is wrong to deny your anger.

2. If you do you will become a bitter person.

3. Bitterness will also affect others around you.

2. Make Sure You Pray Your Anger

There are two extremes we can go to when we become angry:

a) Supressing Anger

b) Venting Anger

The way to go about it is to pray your anger:

“Remember, Lord what the Edomites did on the day Jerusalem fell. ‘Tear it down they cried, tear it down to its foundation.” (7)

His emotions of anger are drving him to God and in the process of praying God is changing his anger.

False religion tends to ask to stifle your feelings (anger). Secular world asks you to vent your feelings. Bible tells you to pray your feelings (anger)

3. Put Limits Around Your Anger

What does psalmists say?

a) “I swear by God, I'll repay them.” or

b) “Remember Oh Lord, what Edomites did.”

This is a judgement scene:

1. Firstly, Psalmist swears Himself into the court:

If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget…”

He is about to speak the truth about what happened.

2. He presents evidence

He testifies how Edomited were saying of Jerusalem:

"”Raze it to the ground… dash the little ones on the rocks.”

3. He suggests a sentence

”Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction, happy is the one who repays you according to what you have done…” (8.9)

He asks God to ‘remember’. The word remember simply means, 'act'. He asks God to act on behalf of Hebrews.

Here are some important lessons:

a) You nee to remind yourself as you go through anger that God alone has a POWER TO JUDGE and put things right.

b) He is the only person the universe who has the KNOWLEDGE to judge justly.

c) He is the only person who has the right to judge.

The example of Jesus:

“As He approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, ‘if you , even you had only known on this day what would bring you peace, but now it is hidden from your eyes.’”

“The days will come when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls…” (Luke 19:41-44)

Jesus is using the language of Ps. 137 He is prophesying the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus in AD 70 So, the city is about to kill him. They themselves will be destroyed. What is Jesus' reaction. Jesus is crying for what will happen.
Is Jesus concerned about justice. Yes. There is a debt to be payed. Where is the anger? How does God deal with all sin and debt and how does He deal with all of us sinners?

God let's His Only Son be ‘dashed’. He absorbs the price of injustice. Can you absorb the price of injustice? How?

1. Model Jesus' Example

a) Express it, don't repress it and pray it.

b) Don't butcher their character before others.

c) Don't dwell on it hopping something bad will happen to them.

d) Be motivated by Jesus who did this for you.

2. Seek and Do Good

to beleive in the salvation you accept the condemning message of the cross (lost, pitiful, bad) which is also the most affirming message: God loved you so much that He went so far to save you.

Jesus separated sin from sinner and wrong from the wrongdoer.

3. Be Aware of Idols

If you can't forgive, though you followed all these steps, most probably the reason you can't forgive is that you have idolised that person and not regarded them as sinner or flawed.