O Lord, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I pray to no one but you. Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.” Psalms 5:1-3 NLT
Once again David, the king of Israel, expresses himself to God. He cries out to God in anguish. He groans over the weight of the struggle. His prayer is only to God. He knows that no one else can deliver him from this situation. Not only does he pray to God, he prays to God every morning! David knows that God is listening and that He responds to those who diligently seek Him. Following his prayer he waits expectantly for the answer because he knows that God will respond.
We see several things here:
1. The anguish of David's struggle.
2. The One David prays to.
3. The time of day and how often he prays.
4. The patient expectation of David as he waits on God to respond.
David's anguish drove him to God in prayer. His situational desperation brought him before God.
Many of us wait until despair to turn to God when we should be looking to Him each and every moment of every day. In His mercy, He so often responds to our cries for deliverance. Lamentations 3:22 and 23 speak very clearly about this. “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” Lamentations 3:22-23 NLT How often we have used God like a snack vending machine to satisfy our cravings and yet He so mercifully comes to our aid. Deep within, we know that there is no one but God that we can turn to for help. Instinctively, we turn to Him in our most desperate times. There is a problem here. We shouldn't be calling on God only when we think we need Him. In reality, we need Him every moment of our day. We need to ask God to forgive us for using Him like a spare tire to to get us out of our moment of breakdown. Yes, it's good to know that He is patient and loving, but there must be a recognition of our selfish motives and a realignment of our priorities. Each and every morning we should take the time to cry out to God in praise, confession of sin, thanksgiving for His benevolent provision, and the trust of our daily concerns into His hands. There is a prayer outline that goes like this:
A - Adoration
C - Confession
T - Thanksgiving
S - Supplications
When we pray, we must wait on the Lord to answer. We cannot place something in God's hands and then yank it back because He was "too slow" to respond. We are impatient people, especially here in America. We are so used to having our way that we expect God to respond to our prayers like the wave of a magic wand. We must wait on God to respond in His infinite, omniscient way. He knows what is right and best.
“The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord. And it is good for people to submit at an early age to the yoke of his discipline:”
Lamentations 3:25-27 NLT “Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.” Psalms 27:14 NLT In your day to day transactions, try a simple, yet profound practice. Before making a move on something that you need wisdom and direction concerning, simply pray! Once you pray, wait until you hear from God before acting. This will save a lot of unnecessary anguish in your life. Let me give an example: How many of you have gone to the dealership to purchase a new car? Perhaps you needed more reliable transportation. Perhaps you just wanted the latest and greatest. Perhaps you like the thrill of new stuff! In that situation, did you ever stop to pray over your consideration before you signed on the dotted line? When you bought that new car, did you ever have buyers remorse once the payments started? It's so easy to get ourselves into something and so hard to get out. How many issues have we created for ourselves all because we didn't have a regular prayer life that lifted us up out of the mire and muck of the culture to help us see things from God's perspective. Today, no matter where you are or what mistakes you've made, start praying to God over everything in every day. Watch the transformation that will occur. God is mercifully and patiently waiting for you to come dine with Him. After all, He is your Father! He desires your fellowship and He longs to help you and deliver you from the anguish of the struggle.
Prayer for today: Father, in Jesus name, I humbly bow before You! You are the One and only Lord! There is no one like You! Forgive my selfish motives and cleanse me from sin. Help me develop a relationship with You that is constant and devoted. Give me Your heart on each and every matter of my life. I trust in You. I love You! In Jesus Holy Name, Amen!
Rev. Curtis Norris