One striking feature of prayer in the bible is how honest people are with God. When God spoke to his prophets his prophets said some things that were in the eyes of modern Christians eyes strikingly disrespectful to God.
The men of the bible were often upset with God and argued with him. Were they in the right?
Often there is little commentary on the narrative, but I think they were right in this that they were having a real conversation with God.
Our modern theology often wants to prettify prayer. We should be respectful in the presence of God.
I suppose that is true in its own way but you see I am not sure how coming to God and hiding our feelings is respectful.
There is always a balance: we are coming by prayer to speak to God. But we are coming by prayer to bring our hearts to God.
It is not as if God does not know how we feel. I suppose I sometimes feel that a person might go to a Christian or secular counselor and unload their feelings but they cannot do so to God?
We can tell a counselor we are angry but we must be careful if we tell God this? It does not make sense to me. God is bigger and tougher and had more character than the counselor and he already knows how we feel.
So always prayer needs honesty. Sometimes I have found if I simply tell God how angry I am and also admit I am probably in some sense wrong but angry all the same.
It is helpful sometimes to simply express our feelings. It is as if the expression helps to bring about the resolution by placing perspective.
You see God already knows I am angry about this or that. I can come into his presence and with prayer and try to pretend I am not angry but that is very silly in its own way.
You see prayer is a conversation. It is somewhat one sided since we are doing all the talking to God.
Of course God is also talking as he speaks through his recorded words and through the Holy Spirit in our hearts and through the voices of our brothers and sisters in Christ.