Prayer of Rage

by | Oct 16, 2023 | Church, Prayer, Society, Spirituality

Sometimes the best prayer is one said in rage.

Sometimes rage during prayer is where we are at.  “If this is how you (God) treat your friends, it’s no wonder you have so few!” This famous prayer of rage was shouted by St. Teresa of Avila when she fell off a carriage into a puddle of mud. She is well known for being a Doctor of the Church and a reformer of Catholicism. Teresa served as a Carmelite missionary in the 1500s when the Church was plagued with scandals and confusion. She dedicated her life to bringing truth and the love of God to the world.

Yet, this holy woman was known to scream at God in rage. Her every prayer was not “perfect.” She did not always maintain a composed demeanor. Teresa had her issues with how her life went. She got angry at God when inconveniences and difficulties arouse.

Prayer is allowed to be emotional.

In the Catholic Church, we have many formal prayers. We are required to attend Mass and encouraged to say the rosary. Practicing Catholics pray before our meals and regularly receive the sacraments. However, prayer is allowed to be an emotional experience. We are not forced to pray in the form of written and learned prayers.

Prayer is lifting our minds and hearts to God.

That is the definition of prayer. It’s not the words handed down to us or approved by the Church. Prayer is speaking to the Lord, as freely, openly, causally, or formally as we desire. Saying thank you to God when something good happens to us is a prayer. Muttering help me to God when we’re scared is a prayer. Crying in the shower when we’re overwhelmed and wishing God was with us is a prayer.

Sometimes the best prayer is one said in rage.

It’s easy to refrain from prayer when we’re angry at God. We don’t want to disrespect our King, Lord, and Creator. But he welcomes us to his altar. God does not strike us down for insubordination if we bring our honest needs and hurts to him. He is a good and loving father who genuinely wants us to be open with him. As Teresa of Avila showed us all in her scream, God will allow us to pray in rage to him. Just like a spouse wants to know when something is wrong, so does our good God.

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Michelle C. Martin

Michelle graduated from Texas Tech University with her husband, Joshua, in May 2021 and married him in June on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She has a degree in Communication Studies and has loved growing in knowledge of healthy and authentic relationships during her time in college and adulthood. Michelle and Joshua currently reside in Lubbock, TX where he works as an architect and she loves life as a stay-at-home wife and mother to their children, Peter and Cecilia.

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