Is There Anybody There?
As you pray, thank God that he is always with you, even when you feel most alone.
Read Psalm 10:1-18
 Why, LORD, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?  In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak, who are caught in the schemes he devises.  He boasts about the cravings of his heart; he blesses the greedy and reviles the LORD.  In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.  His ways are always prosperous; your laws are rejected by him; he sneers at all his enemies.  He says to himself, “Nothing will ever shake me.” He swears, “No one will ever do me harm.”  His mouth is full of lies and threats; trouble and evil are under his tongue.  He lies in wait near the villages; from ambush he murders the innocent. His eyes watch in secret for his victims;  like a lion in cover he lies in wait. He lies in wait to catch the helpless; he catches the helpless and drags them off in his net.  His victims are crushed, they collapse; they fall under his strength.  He says to himself, “God will never notice; he covers his face and never sees.”  Arise, LORD! Lift up your hand, O God. Do not forget the helpless.  Why does the wicked man revile God? Why does he say to himself, “He won’t call me to account”?  But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.  Break the arm of the wicked man; call the evildoer to account for his wickedness that would not otherwise be found out.  The LORD is King for ever and ever; the nations will perish from his land.  You, LORD, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,  defending the fatherless and the oppressed, so that mere earthly mortals will never again strike terror. 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 is the main concern of the psalmist's prayer?
The psalmist gets straight to the point: where is God when life is tough (1)? It is easy enough in the safety of a church service to sing that “our God reigns” (16), but when we read the newspaper or face problems nearer home, the world appears to be at the mercy of unscrupulous people (2-11). Rather than murmuring pious platitudes, the psalmist takes up his cause with God, calling on him to act (12). Even as he pours out his needs, he comes to the deeper realization that God has not abandoned him (14a) and that God is ultimately in control (16,17). Pretending that all is well when it is not helps neither us nor others who, listening to our false confidence, feel more alone with their own struggles. If, when praying, we forget to worry about how we think we should feel and, instead, tell God what we really want to say, it helps us put everything into perspective. We learn to trust God not only to help us in our trouble but also to love us with all our weaknesses, doubts and frustrations. Committing ourselves to him in that weakness (14b) is the real way to find security.
What do you really want to say to God today? Whatever it is, say it to God freely and humbly now.
Lord, I’m grateful for the privilege You’ve given me of praying honestly and sincerely, knowing You’ll always listen.