How Earnest are Your Prayers?

The first entry in this mini-series can be found here.

When you are in a moment of crisis, what do you do?
When you are in a moment of temptation, what do you turn to?
When you are in the depths of depression, what do you force yourself to think?

David, the later king of Israel, did not have an easy trip to the throne. In fact, the years between his anointing and his kingship are rivaled probably only by Joseph in the difficulty and confusion category (Genesis 37-45). I have heard it said (though i can’t remember where or find the specific source) that the period of David’s life described in 1 Samuel 24-30 is a low point in which God is the farthest Person from His mind. However, many classic commentators want to place Psalm 141 in the context of David’s flight from Saul, being written sometime between the events of 1 Samuel 24-26.

We will come to more specific proof of that later, but if you are curious, here is a lengthy treatment of the passage in a technical sense.

In David’s moment of crisis, he prayed.
In David’s moment of temptation, he prayed.
In David’s moment of depression and uncertainty, he prayed.

Even though the narrative portion of 1 Samuel 24-30 seem to show a lack of David trusting God, the psalms tell a different story.

He could kill Saul, and all his troubles would be over. Saul is literally caught with his pants down; David’s men are begging him to kill Saul; David turns to prayer:

“LORD, I call on You; hurry to help me.
Listen to my voice when I call on You”
(Psalm 141:1).

This first verse begins with a plea to Yahweh. David uses the personal, covenant name of His God,  and pleads for help. He knows his troubles will be over if he kills Saul, but he also knows it would be sin to strike down Saul. He asks God to rush to his aid. He can’t make this decision on his own.

In the second line David begs God to hear his prayer. He boldly begs God to listen. God is not indebted to listen to any human’s prayer, but David is in covenant with God; David uses His covenant name; in a sense David says, “Be true to Yourself and hear me and heed me.”

This is how we must view prayer. In our time of need. In our time of temptation. In our time of depression. If we are the children of God by faith in Jesus, then we must see prayer as our only answer. When trouble strikes we must cry out to Him! We must implore His aid on the basis of the shed blood of Christ. We must have faith.

We are unable to make wise decisions on our own. We must take our needs and desires to God in prayer and ask Him to help us make the wisest decision. He will help us, like He helped David (as we will see clearly as this series goes on).

In addition, we must earnestly cry out to God. Just mumbling a prayer and saying, “I prayed,” is not enough. We must come boldly to the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16) and plead with God both to hear us and to act on our behalf.

He is willing and able to hear and help you. How willing are you to pray to Him?

Soli Deo Gloria

The next post can be read here.

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