The God Who Hears Our Complaint

Open Your Bible

1 Kings 19:1-16, Hebrews 4:14-16, James 1:2-8

Though Scripture contains many written prayers, like those found in the book of Psalms, and many teachings on how to pray, like the parables and sermons in Jesus’s ministry, this reading plan focuses on the prayers offered to God in the narratives of Scripture. Each day we’ll read a narrative that includes a prayer from an individual or group. Their prayers vary in length, type, posture, purpose, and God’s response. The secondary passages explore how the rest of Scripture speaks to the themes demonstrated in the main reading. 

While each account is different, every prayer recorded in Scripture teaches us about the unchanging God who invites us to speak to and hear from Him. These prayers model for us what it can look like to be in conversation with God. As you read, notice the posture and emotions present each day. 

Reading Scripture together is the centerpiece of what we do at She Reads Truth. As we spend time as a community reading Prayers in Scripture together, we encourage you to start by reading the daily Scripture on your own. Then join us here to engage and encourage one another as we respond to what we’ve read in the comments. 

Does the prayer in today’s reading look like what you expected prayer to be? If so, how? If not, why?

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51 thoughts on "The God Who Hears Our Complaint"

  1. Veronica Ingersoll says:

    Prayer does not have to be a drawn out, spectacular, wordy endeavor. It can be a short a cry for help. It can be at our whit’s end or last straw. And then there are times we pray devotedly, time knows no bounds, and we fully pour out our hearts. Both are allowed. God wants us in every moment to come to him, that’s what it means to pray without ceasing. Thank you Lord, for hearing our prayers, and answering them however they align to Your will.

  2. Dori Brown says:

    I hope that I can be truthful and honest in all my prayers. I need to remember my prayers are not surprising to the Lord! He already knows all my thoughts, so I don’t need to hold anything back from him or pretend it’s not a certain way!

  3. Allie Curole says:

    It wasn’t. I have always felt like prayer is supposed to be a certain way but in reality God just wants to talk to you.

  4. Jerrica Terry says:

    I appreciate reading about Elijah and it makes me feel better to know others deal with the same things I do – yet God answers in his time.

  5. Lauren Garza says:

    They were honest. Pouring it out to the Lord. Revealing what was on their hearts and placing it before the Lord so He could provide. He wants to know it all.

  6. Makayla Joseph says:

    I can get in the habit of complaining to others sometimes rather than then telling my complaints to God. Sometimes I do this because I don’t want to sound ungrateful to God but he’d rather hear my honesty than divided loyalties and wavering faith.

  7. Brittany Brooks says:

    I have let fear and doubt overcome me which have affected my faith and my prayers. Coming to God with boldness of faith knowing he is in control no matter what. I will always ask for wisdom ( to not lean on my own understanding) and to not doubt.

  8. Lauren Day says:

    Ask for wisdom and live without doubt

  9. Juli Futrell says:

    that’s so good Steph! Elijah was real with God and God provided for him as a whole person (food by angel, spiritual faith in the form of the signs and wonders and the still small voice, and guidance about what to do next)

  10. Lauren Hicks says:

    Although Elijah’s prayer looks different from what we are use to seeing, it was definitely a prayer. Prayer is coming completely before God without any pretense. That’s exactly what Elijah did. He came before God as a child; He was completely vulnerable with God. God was his safe space. God wants to be that for us also.

  11. Marcey KIEBERT says:

    Yes, but it does should like a whine or complaint and I have a hard time doing that before God, I know my heart is saying it but I don’t want to trouble him or sounds like a tattle tail, silly I know but being more earnest and real in my prayer life is what I am working on

  12. Rishera Graham says:

    God definitely wants me to be patient and do not doubt him.

  13. steph Gutmann says:

    It shows the intimacy of Elijah’s relationship with God. That He was a very present help in his time of need, and provided for him practically, as well as spiritually and emotionally.

  14. Stephanie Berling says:

    It’s not really what I was expecting but I respect it. Forgive us Lord for what we say when we are hangry and thank you for providing good food when we pray in hanger. I have prayed for the relief of the end of life. Both of my grandmothers had a terrible time at the end and they were both believers so there was no need to keep them here to help them realize faith. It’s a difficult prayer with intense emotions.

  15. Claire B says:


  16. K says:

    The prayer and the situation were surprising to me. I hadn’t fully meditated on this passage in a while, and not in this current season of my life. It was unusual, but full of striking grace, of comfort to the exhausted, of mindful and tender provision for the next few steps. It’s I think what I need for the days ahead, and I’m thankful. Maybe I’m just projecting onto the Scripture, but that’s the beauty of God’s word. May the Lord bless us all, sisters :)

  17. Adrianne Richardson says:

    No, with todays traditional viewpoint on how you pray, at least how I was taught to pray, this didn’t really seem like a prayer at first glance. But reading it now and with the context of seeing it as a prayer I can see it and understand it. It is a plea to our Lord during hardship and fearing a horrible death. Being in a place where you are terrified and need our Lord’s guidance. Again, learned something new today! Thnx SRT!

  18. Mercy says:

    The prayer of Elijah is what I expected prayer to be. There is a difference when praying on a flee and praying in the bedroom -all communications to God with our different state of mind and distress levels. But the merciful God, how merciful, He sent replacement to Elijah. God knew the heart and the brokenness and He granted the relief. Happy Thanksgiving to all dear lovely shes. May we learn to count our blessings everyday. I love the song “Count your blessing” lyrics below. Be blessed dear sisters.

    Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
    Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
    Count your many blessings; ev’ry doubt will fly,
    And you will be singing as the days go by.
    Count your blessings;
    Name them one by one.
    Count your blessings;
    See what God hath done.
    Count your blessings;
    Name them one by one.
    Count your many blessings;
    See what God hath done.

    When you look at others with their lands and gold,
    Think that Christ has promised you his wealth untold.
    Count your many blessings; money cannot buy
    Your reward in heaven nor your home on high.

    So amid the conflict, whether great or small,
    Do not be discouraged; God is over all.
    Count your many blessings; angels will attend,
    Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

  19. Dorothy says:

    No it doesn’t look like what I have come to expect in a prayer. Most prayers don’t ask God to take their life, they usually ask for help.
    To all my sisters who live in the USA, Happy Thanksgiving.
    Be blessed and be thankful even for the little things.

  20. Tricia C says:

    A good reminder that God often speaks in the silence. We need to be quiet and listen.
    Happy Thanksgiving to all me Sisters! So much to be thankful for, even amidst chaos.

  21. Rhonda J. says:

    Wishing you all a wonderful, blessed Thanksgiving! :) I LOVE this community of SHE”S so much! SRT is for sure one of my best blessings! I love to be in God’s word every. single. day and expanding upon His word with you.

  22. Audren Bruszer says:

    The prayer doesn’t look like what I expected prayer to be. Oh but it’s what I hoped it would be. In my mind, prayer is supposed to look like honoring God, thanking Him, praying for the Kingdom, praying for my needs, then asking for forgiveness

  23. Audren Bruszer says:

    The prayer doesn’t look like what I expected prayer to be. Oh but it’s what I hoped it would be. In my mind, prayer is supposed to look like honoring God, f

  24. Hali Y. says:

    admittedly there is a lot of hurt in my heart today, but one thing I am thankful for is knowing the Lord is near and cares deeply for me. feelings of loneliness and frustration well up, but holding onto that truth is enough for me. happy thanksgiving, She’s! I am thankful for this community of faithful sisters

  25. Mari says:

    Happy Thanksgiving SWEET sisters! I am SO grateful and BLESSED by all of you! I’m SO thankful for this BEAUTIFUL community of BEAUTIFUL sisters as we gather from all-over-the-world in one accord and study THE WORD together. May you all enjoy gathering with your families and praying for all those who will be travelling. TODAY’s devo is EXACTLY what I needed, James as I’m trying to consider it all JOY when there’s already some tension in the kitchen. I’m keeping in mind WHY we are doing this. I know as family it be just fine here soon. There are three generations (a grandma, a mom and a teenage daughter/grandaughter) in the kitchen and sometimes that can be FUN or challenging. Yesterday was fun prepping. This morning is another story. I’m considering ALL joy! Happy Thanksgiving!

  26. Jennifer Loves Jesus says:

    THANKSGIVING. I pray with a thankful heart: Psalm 5:3 “O Lord, in the morning You hear my voice; in the morning I plead my case to You, and watch.” I pray with expectancy, not expectations. I enter the Lord’s house… “through the abundance of Your steadfast love… I bow down… in awe of You. Lead me, O Lord in Your righteousness…” (vv. 7-8). This is the way to the heart of God, complete humility. This is the ultimate Thanksgiving because “all who take refuge in You rejoice; let them ever sing for joy” (v. 11). Spread Your protection over us Lord, because we love You, cover us with Your favor as a shield. (v. 12). Amen. I quiet my cries at the evil I see in the world and wait for God to show Himself in the silence like He did for Elijah. In 1 Kings 19, he is threatened by Jezebel to kill him so He flees. Just after God uses his faith and prayers to end the drought, and before that he was used in the miracle of fire on a water soaked altar to prove to the people that God was God. But the stony, cold heart of Jezebel remained set on evil. He fled feeling defeated, he asked God to let him die being “no better than my ancestors ”, he prayed. But God answered him with a miracle of food and water, delivered by the angel of the Lord Himself. He went on “in strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mount of God ” (vv. 4-8). In a cave the Lord communed with Elijah. He was commanded to stand out on the mountain because “the Lord was about to pass by”- There was a great shaking wind that split mountains, there was an earthquake, there was fire. “After the fire a sound of sheer silence” (vv. 11-14). Wow, I always stop in awe here. God was not found in the powerful quaking or roaring fire, he was found to be in the silence. And here is where I seek Him now. I trust His voice to lead me where I should go. Like Elijah, and like Paul, I long to be with God, with Christ. But as long as I am here, I trust it is necessary for God’s will to live for Christ and share in His love. And His suffering. It is an honor, for “it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure… do all things without murmuring… be… children of God without blemish in the midst of a perverse generation, in which you shine like stars in the world.” (Philippians 2:13-15). Yes and amen. Until… Maranatha.

  27. Lehua K. says:

    Happy Thanksgiving ladies! I am grateful to God and to all of you for being so passionate and hungry for God’s Word, for your loving and encouraging words, and for the gracious and supportive community here.

    I don’t have much to say today but I am catching up on the readings. I’m also starting to use the PrayerMate app to organize my prayers and get into the habit of focusing on God more, turning to Him first throughout the day in the mountains and valleys of life. Thank you to the She who mentioned this app. I found the Abide app too during my search and it has been useful for short scripture meditations and reflections on God’s Word.

  28. Traci Gendron says:

    In my 30’s I would read James all the time. It helped me to persevere through life being a single mom to my child with such a rare illness. I know that God was who helped me through all of it. I could never have done it on my own. He saw me in my fears and helped me through. When I couldn’t pray and only cried, He heard me.
    Happy thanksgiving everyone!

  29. Michelle Patire says:

    Wow @ Linda praise God He protected them!!! What a testimony!

    Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!!

    I have been meditating on Hebrews 4:15- that Jesus sympathizes with our weaknesses.

    It’s crazy how when I consume even the littlest bit of media, my heart begins to build idols. (Social media, music, TV, sports…) I’m not sure why that is, but I’m definitely still learning how my heart is prone to giving too much attention to even good things. I have compassion for my brothers, now. I often think “man, they put watching sports before God all the time!” — it would bother me that one of them would skip church to watch a game. But I can see how slippery that slope is in even me. May God continue to help me grow more in love with Him so that I don’t even desire attention for lesser things. Grace and mercy, as my friend Eve says to me. Grace and mercy.

  30. Sarah D. says:

    Happy Thanksgiving SRT sisters!! Thankful for you all and for Jesus, who never leaves us and uses the difficult times to produce endurance. He restores and brings life from the storms. Have a wonderful day everyone!

  31. Susan Lincks says:

    Being able to approach God in times of fear and weariness is exactly what I want to be able to do.

  32. Andrea Anderson says:

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  33. Kimberly Z says:

    2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. – James 1:2-4. Loved todays reading. I find alot of peace in the fact that God is with us even when we are not following him. Happy Thanksgiving!

  34. Lisa M. says:

    I have heard Elijah’s prayer preached and taught about before, but something new stuck out to me this time as I looked at it through the framework of this SRT study: who is praying, type of prayer, posture, purpose, and God’s response. Specifically, God’s response to Elijah’s prayer. In my Bible next to his prayer I have H.A.L.T written. Elijah is hungry, angry, lonely, and tired and when we humans are feeling all these things, often what is truly in our hearts comes out. The Lord knew what Elijah needed; food, rest, purpose. God is the safest place for our truest selves. The thing that really stood out was verse 4, “I have had enough!” and God’s response in 19:16, “You are to anoint Elisha…as prophet in your place.” I think God knew what Elijah’s deepest need was at this point and answered no to the end of his life, but yes to a new direction of not being “the” prophet anymore.
    This story of Elijah has always resonated with me, especially so at this point in my life when I recently had a huge shift in my life in regards to career and calling. Like Elijah, my heart had been crying out, “I have had enough!” and the Lord was so kind in how He responded to me.

  35. Gal Jebbia says:

    Oh Lord, we have so many needs! But how thankful we are that we can come, sit at your feet, and receive grace, mercy, forgiveness and love. There is nothing better than your love. Your mercies never fail. Your faithfulness continues from generation to generation. You protect us and sustain us in this broken, sinful world. We lift up praise and thanksgiving to you today for there is none like you.

  36. Liz T. says:

    I think it’s so very tender to see that God provides bread to Elijah even in his complaint- just like he provided manna for the Israelites who were complaining in the desert- he provided sustenance that was more than enough for the journey. Our Father knows what we need and looks beyond what we are afraid of and supplies what we need in the moment and for the days ahead out of his great love and tender care. Happy thanksgiving From Colorado SRT sisters!-liz t.

  37. LindaK says:

    Prayer can look this way. Elijah was overwhelmed, depressed and exhausted, but he cried out to God in prayer. In Hebrews God says that we can come boldly to the throne of Grace and receive mercy. James tells us to count it all joy when we go through various trials. Many times when you are going through a crisis all you can do is cry out. “But God” God provided rest, nourishment and comfort to Elijah.
    Happy Thanksgiving Shes

  38. Caroline Bridges says:

    In case you didn’t know, it’s Thanksgiving in America. I wasn’t expecting a response to a complaint because it’s so unusual to me.

  39. Debbie-Pursued by Him says:

    @Thebestisyettocome…so true! No matter what or when, God is with us, always caring for us, even when we don’t thing about Him because we are too busy with Thanksgiving preparations! My preparations will be much better now that I have stopped to spend time with HIM!

    Happy Thanksgiving, Shes!

  40. TheBestIsYetToCome says:

    I love that, even when we give up and say we’re done, we are tired and exhausted and discouraged, God never gives up! He restores, he heals, and he is very practical, giving bread and water. So very grateful this morning for this group, and so grateful that my foster baby gets to be with me today, God is so very good!

  41. Danielle B says:

    I agree with comments of so many other She’s this morning, God wants all of us. He wants the pretty parts and what feels like the ugly parts. He desires a deep real honest relationship. Bring it all to him, he can handle it.

    Praying for your family Linda & praising God with you.

    Happy Thanksgiving She’s! I’m grateful for this community and all of you!

  42. Aimee D-R says:

    Broken and authentic and honest with God. Let me always be that way.

  43. Linda says:

    This Thanksgiving morning I am so grateful for mercy and protection of a loving God! Our daughter and her husband were on their way to visit us for the weekend when they were in a bad car accident. They walked away from a totaled car with minor injuries! Two of their sons were able to go after them. They are now back home safely. Thanking God for so very many blessings among which are you, my precious SRT sisters!!

  44. Kelly (NEO) says:

    I agree, this is what prayer looks like – a conversation. God begins the conversation with a question that prompts the complaint. God’s response is giving His prophet things to do for Him.
    The Lord empowers us to serve Him, even when we are afraid.

  45. Angela Van Dyke says:

    Happy thanksgiving!

  46. Erica Wilson says:

    I LOVE prayers like Elijah’s that remind me that I can bring my whole self to God, that I don’t have to “clean up” before coming to Him. He knows the depths of my heart anyway- why not come to Him in honesty and see how she works in the most despairing of my emotions?!

  47. Angie Mills says:

    This is exactly what prayer is to be. Prayer should be an honest conversation we have with God. We should bring everything to the Lord. He knows every thought we think and understands them. Our hearts may deceive us, but they never deceive the One who created us. Through prayer, God helps us to process and accept our circumstances. We may not understand the trials we go through, but we can trust that our Great High Priest sympathizes with us and understands our weakness. He will help us grow in endurance and every other spiritual gift that trial is sent to produce in us.

  48. Nitz . says:


  49. Karen Roper says:

    Yes and no. For years the idea of complaining to God was foreign. Then I learned that God wants to be a personal God and wants me to

  50. Inses De Braganca says:

    No matter what we bring to Christ he responds and supports us. Thank you Jesus for your guidance. Amen.

  51. TIna says:

    Nothing to complain about today..

    Approaching the throne of grace today, with Thanksgiving in my heart..

    Thank you Lord God for your listening ear, love, grace, mercy, hope… and these wonderful ladies I do my mornings with..

    BUT GOD..

    Thank you Lord God, Thank you!

    Happy Thanksgiving sisters, wrapped in love, hugs and prayers for precious time with family and friends..❤