Heavenly Father, I’m thankful today that You are a God who hears my prayers and answers them with wisdom and love.
Read Psalm 55:1-23
 For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A maskil of David. Listen to my prayer, O God, do not ignore my plea;  hear me and answer me. My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught  because of what my enemy is saying, because of the threats of the wicked; for they bring down suffering on me and assail me in their anger.  My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen on me.  Fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me.  I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.  I would flee far away and stay in the desert;  I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and storm.”  Lord, confuse the wicked, confound their words, for I see violence and strife in the city.  Day and night they prowl about on its walls; malice and abuse are within it.  Destructive forces are at work in the city; threats and lies never leave its streets.  If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were rising against me, I could hide.  But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend,  with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship at the house of God, as we walked about among the worshipers.  Let death take my enemies by surprise; let them go down alive to the realm of the dead, for evil finds lodging among them.  As for me, I call to God, and the LORD saves me.  Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice.  He rescues me unharmed from the battle waged against me, even though many oppose me.  God, who is enthroned from of old, who does not change- he will hear them and humble them, because they have no fear of God.  My companion attacks his friends; he violates his covenant.  His talk is smooth as butter, yet war is in his heart; his words are more soothing than oil, yet they are drawn swords.  Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.  But you, God, will bring down the wicked into the pit of decay; the bloodthirsty and deceitful will not live out half their days. But as for me, I trust in you. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat caused David’s distress and how does he deal with it?
We can all relate to the kind of anguish David describes here. Our painful experiences may be very different, but we have all felt that desire to run away and hide (6-8). Perhaps that’s how you are feeling right now; perhaps you’re praising God that your anguish is over. I love David’s honesty, both in expressing his pain and also in telling God what to do with those who have hurt him (23). He doesn’t pretend to be fine. No, David screams out to God: it hurts! Maybe God won’t always destroy those who hurt us in quite the way we would like (if we’re honest!), but he will always listen to our prayer and lead us to a place of peace (18). Whatever the cause of your own anguish, whatever battle you’re in, David sets an example of how to bring our pain to God in prayer. He cries out to God (16), honestly expressing his feelings (17) and casting his burdens on to him (22). David is convinced–and we can be, too–that God always hears our cries (19) and that he will enable us to stand (22).
Be honest with the Lord about your pain and sorrow. Give them to God, knowing that he does care for you (1 Pet. 5:7).
Good Lord, I pray that You will help me to trust Your love and care in the tough times as well as the good ones.
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