PRAYING THROUGH TRIALS
Teach me today, Abba; show me the facet of Your character which You long to share with me.
Read Psalm 143
1 Lord, hear my prayer,
listen to my cry for mercy;
in your faithfulness and righteousness
come to my relief.
2 Do not bring your servant into judgment,
for no one living is righteous before you.
3 The enemy pursues me,
he crushes me to the ground;
he makes me dwell in the darkness
like those long dead.
4 So my spirit grows faint within me;
my heart within me is dismayed.
5 I remember the days of long ago;
I meditate on all your works
and consider what your hands have done.
6 I spread out my hands to you;
I thirst for you like a parched land.
7 Answer me quickly, Lord;
my spirit fails.
Do not hide your face from me
or I will be like those who go down to the pit.
8 Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
for to you I entrust my life.
9 Rescue me from my enemies, Lord,
for I hide myself in you.
10 Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God;
may your good Spirit
lead me on level ground.
11 For your name’s sake, Lord, preserve my life;
in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble.
12 In your unfailing love, silence my enemies;
destroy all my foes,
for I am your servant.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectPhilip Yancey advised: don’t ask why this crisis is happening, but what is the Lord wanting me to learn through it?
This psalm may have been penned when David was fl eeing from his rebellious son Absalom (3,4). Another son had raped his daughter, another had died after David’s own adulterous relationship (2 Sam. 12). David’s life had become a mess, and he requests that God not judge him (2).
The psalms often poignantly express what we’re thinking and experiencing. How does David feel (3,4)? What is his reaction to his fear and depression (5,6)?
David turns to God, and it’s not necessarily an automatic response to do that in dark times.David was a great leader, chosen by God, yet how did he describe himself (2,10)? Being a leader, a man after God’s own heart (1 Sam. 13:14) does not exempt anyone from tough situations and dark times. David doesn’t actually ask to know God’s will.
David uses this crisis to think more deeply about God and where he has seen God at work in the past. He is seeking God, not merely for a quick magic-like solution, but for a deepening of his relationship with God.
How have you come to know God more deeply through past trials? List God’s attributes that you have personally discovered through diffi culty. Who might you share these truths with?
Choose one or several of the verses in this psalm to be your prayer today.