Most of us pray best when a crisis hits and there’s nowhere else to go but to God.
I have to admit it: Even in crisis, praying is not my first response. First, I try everything I can think of to fix what needs fixing, and generally make things even worse in the process. Only when I’ve exhausted all other options do I finally turn to God. And by that time, it’s not just a normal prayer asking for help. It’s a scream begging for His supernatural intervention.
David would have understood. He was drowning in desperation when he wrote Psalm 69. Insulted, mocked and humiliated, David cried out to God until he was physically exhausted:
Psalm 69:1-3: “Save me, O God, for the floodwaters are up to my neck. Deeper and deeper I sink into the mire; I can’t find a foothold. I am in deep water, and the floods overwhelm me. I am exhausted from crying for help; my throat is parched. My eyes are swollen with weeping, waiting for my God to help me.”
Oh, how I love the raw prayers of David! And I’m so grateful that the Book of Psalms captures so many of them.
Despite feeling as if he was drowning, David turned to the Lord first and trusted God to save him. By the end of Psalm 69, David had turned his screams for help into praise, knowing that God was with him and would never abandon him.
Dear God, please forgive me for those times I forget to come to You first when a crisis hits. When I finally sink into prayer, I often don’t have any words left. So thank You for the Book of Psalms, and especially for David. He gets me, and he has just the right words to pray.
Thank You also for the people who make other resources available to help us get through the storms in our lives:
Teach us how to pray the Psalms and then trust that You’ve heard us and are answering our prayers. Amen.