Have you ever found it tough to pray? That can happen when we’re reluctant to tell God how we’re really feeling. We might abruptly stop in mid-sentence, fearful of being disrespectful of our heavenly Father.

A trip through the book of Psalms can help us pray more openly. There we can overhear David’s conversations with God and realize that he was not afraid to be completely open and honest with the Lord. David cried out: “O Lord, do not rebuke me in Your anger” (Psalm 6:1). “Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak” (6:2). “Why do You stand afar off, O Lord?” (10:1). “Do not be silent to me” (28:1). “Plead my cause, O Lord” (35:1). “Hear my prayer, O God” (54:2). “I am restless in my complaint, and moan noisily” (55:2).

Think about David’s approach. He was saying to God: “Help me!” “Listen to me!” “Don’t be mad at me!” “Where are You?” David boldly went to God and told Him what was on his mind. Yes, God expects us to come to Him with a clean heart, and we need to approach Him with reverence—but we don’t have to be afraid to tell God what we’re thinking and feeling.

Next time you talk with your heavenly Father—tell it straight. He’ll listen, and He’ll understand.