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BIS LIVES Blog

Scripture Verses to Pray When You’re Mad at God

how to pray when you're mad at god

There’s a scene in the 90s flick Mrs. Doubtfire that has always broken my heart.

Miranda (played by Sally Fields) is having a heart-to-heart with Mrs. Doubtfire, who is actually her ex-husband, Daniel (Robin Williams), in disguise. They’re discussing Miranda’s failed marriage when she confesses, “I was working all the time, and he was always between jobs. I hardly ever got to see the kids, and on the nights I’d try to get home early to be with them, something would go wrong. The house would be wrecked and I’d have to clean it up. He never knew, but so many nights I just cried myself to sleep.”

Mrs. Doubtfire [crushed]: Really?

Miranda: The truth is, I didn’t like who I was when I was with him. I would turn into this horrible person. I didn’t want my kids growing up with a mother like that. When I’m not with Daniel, I’m better. And… I’m sure he’s better when he’s not with me.

Mrs. Doubtfire [fighting back tears]: Well, you never… I mean, did you ever say anything to him, dear?

Mad at God

Part of the reason their marriage fell apart was because there was a lack of communication. Miranda never communicated her frustrations and thus, Daniel never knew how serious the problem was.

But God is not like Daniel; He’s omnipotent and all-knowing. When we’re upset with Him, He already knows. He even understands our reasoning better than we do. Still, it’s important to communicate what He already knows for two reasons.

  1. It keeps our own hearts and minds invested in the relationship.
  2. It helps us to hear Him speak, eventually resolving our feelings.

The Saints attest that we need daily prayer the same way we need daily food and water. Prayer is nothing but conversation with God—conversation that keeps us connected to Him. And we can’t simply can’t fake prayer or “go through the motions” or that relationship will suffer. God will always be there, but we will be pulling ourselves from Him and getting distant.

If we want a true relationship with Him, we have to be our true selves in prayer, even if that self is angry. Honesty leads to intimacy, understanding, and restoration.

Bible Verses to Pray When You’re Mad at God

“That’s nice,” you might be thinking sarcastically. “I’ve already been doing that. That’s exactly why I’m mad at Him. He’s not answering. He’s either forgotten about me, or He doesn’t care.”

Guess what? You’re not the first person to feel this way. The Bible is full of people with experiences just like yours.

Check out these words spoken by the prophets and psalmists who felt the same way you do.

Verses Sympathetic to Your Feelings

\\“O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and thou wilt not hear?” Habbakuk 1:2

\\“How long, O Lord? Wilt thou forget me for ever? How long wilt thou hide thy face from me? How long must I bear pain in my soul, and have sorrow in my heart all the day?” Psalm 13:1-2

\\“My soul also is sorely troubled. But thou, O Lord—how long? I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping.” Psalm 6:3,6

\\“Why dost thou stand afar off, O Lord? Why dost thou hide thyself in times of trouble?” Psalm 10:1

\\“How long, O Lord, wilt thou look on? Rescue me from their ravages, my life from the lions!” Psalm 35:17

\\“How long, O Lord? Wilt thou hide thyself for ever? How long will thy wrath burn like fire?” Psalm 89:46

\\“How long, O Lord? Wilt thou be angry for ever? Will thy jealous wrath burn like fire?” Psalm 79:5

\\“Why dost thou forget us for ever, why dost thou so long forsake us?” Lamentations 5:20

\\“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?” Psalm 22:1

\\“I say to God, my rock: “Why hast thou forgotten me? Why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?” As with a deadly wound in my body, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me continually, “Where is your God?” Psalm 42:9-10

\\“Lord, if I argue with you, you are always right. But I want to ask you about some things that don’t seem right. Why are wicked people successful? Why do people you cannot trust have such easy lives?” Jeremiah 12:1

God wants our hearts in whatever state they may be. It doesn’t make you a bad person to be angry with Him. He can handle your anger. He wants to heal you, to rectify your hurts. And He will, even if it takes time. Just be honest with Him.

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Verses to Reassure You of His Nearness and Goodness

While it might make you feel better to know you aren’t the only one who has been angry with God, it doesn’t make waiting any easier. Thus, I propose the following verses to help reassure you in your waiting.

\\“The Lord is near to all who call upon him…” Psalm 145:18

\\“I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born.” Isaiah 66:9

\\“He reached from on high, he took me, he drew me out of many waters.” Psalm 18:16

\\“…I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; behold, I will heal you…” 2 Kings 20:5

\\“You have taken account of my wanderings; Put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book?” Psalm 56:8

\\“…consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to [come].” Romans 8:18

\\“He will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.” Hosea 6:3

\\“What I am doing you do not know now, but afterward you will understand.” John 13:7

\\“When you pass through the waters I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” Isaiah 43:2

\\“The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be still.” Exodus 14:14

Why God Makes Us Wait

According to St. Augustine, God uses “waiting” strategically and purposefully.

The Dominican friar observed that through silence, God invites us to ask, and ask, and ask again. Using this process, God transforms our hearts.

The spiritual process resembles the biological phenomenon of building muscle. In order for the muscle to expand, it must first experience micro-tears caused by exertion (or pain). The same is true of our hearts. In order for them to grow, and accept the great gift God has in store, they need to expand. Thus if you feel a “hole” growing in your heart, God is creating it for a purpose. The bigger the hole, the bigger the gift that will fit inside it.

So find comfort in that, and return to these verses time and time again to help ease your journey and restore your hope.

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Grace Bellon is a regular contributor to the BIS blog. She’s a lover of bearded men, rich coffee, cheesy puns, cuddly doggies, and Catholicism. You can find out more about her here (warned ya she liked cheesy puns).

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