Praying In Pain
Spirit of God, I am honored You make Your home in me. Form me to be more like Jesus.
Read Psalm 6:1-10
 For the director of music. With stringed instruments. According to
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.
“This prayer (psalm) reflects severe pain, deep depression, and, at the same time, faith and relief in the presence of God” (Don Williams).
How do you feel when you are ill (2), scared (1) or under pressure from others (8)? The psalmist’s problems are not given in detail, but they seem to be a combination of physical, emotional and spiritual sufferings. His enemies could be literal enemies out to oppose him, or this could be a poetic reference to spiritual forces or even inner thoughts. Whatever his problems, the psalmist knows that God alone can help.
This psalm is a beautiful example of supplication (Hebrew tahanun), a pouring out of one’s heart to God. It is said every day in the Jewish prayer book, as a general prayer for any circumstance of need. The psalm begins with invocation (1,2), calling on God, followed by a series of imperatives describing the problems (2,3) and the reasons why God should answer (5,6,9,10). God not only hears and understands our cries (9), he also accepts our prayers (9) and answers them according to his faithfulness (4). All we need to do is to bring our needs and problems to him, being honest about how we feel and trusting that he knows and cares.
Prayer works. We do not know how and, of course, it is for God to say yes, no, wait, or even “don’t ask!”, but what loving father does not want to bless his children? What caring mother does not want to provide for all her children’s needs? What teacher does not want to see their students excel? What doctor does not want to see their patient in full health? In Christ, and through the gift of the Holy Spirit, we have the assurance that our prayers will be heard by our loving, Heavenly Father and will be answered in his perfect way and time.
Read the psalm again, substituting your own name and the names of those you know who are in need. Then bring to God the needs of your church and nation.
Lord, I pray for myself, that in times of distress I may trust in You. I pray for Your presence with others going through hard times.
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