Hebrews 5:5-10 (NRSV)
Verse 5So also Christ did not glorify himself in becoming a high priest, but was appointed by the one who said to him, "You are my Son, today I have begotten you"; Verse 6as he says also in another place, "You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek." Verse 7In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Verse 8Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; Verse 9and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him,
Verse 10having been designated by God a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.
Driving home from a doctor’s appointment, my 12-year-old daughter Sarah was understandably disgruntled with the news that she might require yet one more surgery.
“Why is this happening to me?” she said from the back seat.
“I don’t know, sweetie; I wish I did, but that’s a good thing to pray about,” I replied.
“Well, it’s an argument prayer,” she said.
“Yes, it’s an argument prayer,” I answered, “And that’s an important kind of prayer. The Bible is full of argument prayers.”
The author of Hebrews writes that Jesus “offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death.” As a good Jew, Jesus was not afraid to wrestle with and question God (in the book of Psalms you’ll find plenty of “argument prayers”).
Following the example of the psalmists, then, and of Jesus himself, we should be bold to approach God honestly with all of our questions—our fear, our anger, and our “argument prayers,” knowing that God will hear us.
Jesus, our high priest, often the world around us is not what it should be, and we don’t understand what you are doing about it. Teach us to pray with honesty and boldness, trusting that you hear us and will answer us. Amen.