Once we do look around and discover needs, the General Rule points us toward another important dimension of Christian discipleship: acts of justice, those ways in which we not only minister to people in need but also ask why they are in need. This is the area in which many faithful disciples are rusty, to say the least. Yet to neglect this aspect of our walk with Christ indicates a profound misunderstanding of his teachings. Jesus was steeped in the Hebrew Scriptures, where divine righteousness and justice are no less powerful than divine love.
— Gayle Turner Watson,
Guide for Covenant Discipleship Groups
Complain: 1 : to express grief, pain, or discontent
2 : to make a formal accusation or charge
"The formality and reticence of ecclesiastical prayer is utterly foreign to the Bible. Biblical prayer is impertinent, persistent, shameless, indecorous. It is more like haggling in an outdoor bazaar than the polite monologues of the churches. … We are to hammer away in prayer until a breakthrough comes."
-- Walter Wink,
“Prayer and the Powers," Sojourners
Chauntecleer trembled where he stood. He closed his eyes against the darkness to control the trembling – not because he thought his words were wicked; simply because he did not want to tremble before God… Chauntecleer drove hot air deep into his lungs. He roared: “And by my will I demand to know now – it is most certainly time now to know: O God, where are you? Why have you hidden your face from us? Why now, of all times, when things are on the rim of disaster, have you turned away? Nine months! I have not seen the stars for nine months! In nine months we have not seen a single passing of the sun, and the moon is only a memory. Faith, right? By faith I should believe that the spheres still turn above these everlasting clouds. Tell me! Tell me! Infinite God, tell me what we have done to be shut from the rest of the universe! But you won’t tell me. You’ve dropped us in a bucket and let us be. It wears a person out, you know. Yeah, well.” Then the Rooster did move. His head sank between his shoulders. His wings drooped. He broke into tears.
— Walter Wangerin, The Book of the Dun Cow
· How do you get God’s attention? What do you do if you don’t get a response? Does your prayer change?
· How comfortable are you complaining to God?
· Has it ever worked for you to badger God? If it did work, what changed, the situation or yourself?
· Are you willing to badger God, and others, to bring about the change needed for justice in our world?