Psalms for Prayer

Day 16: A Prayer for Help in Trouble

Psalm 142:1-7

 

I love my job, the ministry for which I work, and the people with whom I get to work—but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect all the time. Earlier this year, I changed jobs and took on a new role with a lot more responsibility. The job itself was bound to be a growing experience, but before it even got rolling, the transition into the new role was a growing experience in and of itself. A series of miscommunications, a case of pure unfortunate timing, and a couple of other factors left me wondering if I had made a terrible mistake leaving my old job for this new one. For years I looked forward to waking up for work each day, and now I dreaded it. What had I done?

The difficult time I endured was nothing compared to the struggles of many, but for me, it was an incredibly discouraging three weeks. During that time, I came across Psalm 142, which is headed as “A Cry of Distress.” Indeed, this is why it was so comforting amidst my time of distress.

In Psalm 142, the psalmist feels as though evildoers are hunting him. While I never felt like anyone was out to get me in my difficult time, it felt as if the forces of the world were out to get me. It felt like everything that could go wrong was going wrong.

The psalmist writes in verse 6, “Listen to my cry, for I am very weak.” I prayed this short prayer dozens of times in that period, as I was experiencing deep emotional, spiritual, and even physical weakness. I remember waking up one morning feeling like I had done a three-hour muscle workout the day before because I had been bearing so much stress.

This psalm reminds us that when we feel as though we are weak to the point of withering away, God remains faithful and steadfast, and He can free us from whatever prison we feel has bound us. In Christ, we have been freed from sin and saved to the hope of eternal life with God. This simple truth itself ought to lift our heads and enlighten our spirits when we feel as though life cannot get any worse.

The next time you are in trouble and feel you’ve hit rock bottom, or close to it, cry out to God and ask Him to meet you in your place of utter and complete weakness. He is faithful, and He loves us enough to meet us in our need and bring us peace. He does not expect us to become strong in order to enjoy His presence.

Written by Chris Martin