Psalms for Prayer

Day 8: A Prayer in Times of Sorrow

Psalm 86:1-17

 

When my wife and I lived just north of Fort Worth, Texas, our fear of tornadoes was on red alert. Our area wasn’t just at risk of the occasional twister. We lived where many of those tornadoes tended to start. With a one-year-old daughter and a new house, we were often glued to The Weather Channel, sure that our day of disaster was going to come.

I’d like to say that we always prayed and trusted the Lord in those moments. Truthfully, we didn’t. We treated tornadoes like embodied deities, almost bowing down to them and begging them not to hit our house. We might as well have prayed to Mother Nature like David did to the Lord: “Mother Nature, you are my God, save your servant who trusts in you!” We stopped just short of leaving an offering on our doorstep.

King David faced all sorts of trials, some self-inflicted and others due to evil from the outside. He was a man who needed to confess and repent for his own sin—including a Molotov cocktail of murder and adultery. And as King of Israel, he had other nations seeking his head on a platter.

David was honest with God. He was desperate for Him. But in this psalm, he doesn’t shake his fist at God in anger or unbelief; instead, he cries out to God in worship. He feels alone and scared, but he also knows God is faithful and loving and righteous. He is confident in the Lord, but he also asks for a sign of comfort, something to help his heart believe what his mind knows to be true. And as the book of Psalms progresses, we see God answer him, over and over again. When we pray to Him, though we don’t always feel it, God is listening to the cries of His servants. He is a good Father who never shuts out His children.

Whether it’s a real storm or some other situation in life that might as well be, God doesn’t ignore our cries for help. When we cry out to Him, He hears us and is faithful to answer us (Psalm 86:7). He rises up, over and over again, to offer comfort. He reminds us that though Satan and evil forces, and even our own sin, bring about destruction, He is actively making all things new (Revelation 21-22).

Written by Brandon D. Smith