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Prayers of Desperation with Steadiness

Prayers of Desperation with Steadiness


In Psalm 55, David held back nothing as he cried out to God in prayer. This seemed to be characteristic of David when he approached God. He was “distraught” perhaps as revolution began with his son Absalom. He desperately pleaded with the LORD to hear his prayers three times in verses 1-2, and he anticipated a powerful answer. He expressed the anguish of his heart and expressed his fears (vs. 4-5). The effect of his emotions on his mindset was evident (vs. 2-8). He was witnessing in “the city,” Jerusalem, violence, strife, malice, abuse, destruction, and insults (vs. 9-11), and even the treachery of a close friend (vs. 12-14).

It seemed that his world was falling apart and closing in on him, but it became almost unbearable when he was betrayed by a close friend and companion (vs. 13) with whom he had shared close fellowship in the LORD, and worship of God in the temple.

It is likely that this passage has a familiarity as if it was written in the early 2020’s, as the effects of such violence, destruction, abuse, strife, etc. have been seen and felt in the cities of America and around the world. Current thinking, deception, culture and choices have even divided friendships and families leaving many people confused, disoriented and broken-hearted.

In prayer, David renewed his mind and trusted the Lord to turn things around. He prayed, “Confuse the wicked, O LORD, confound their speech….” (vs. 9) This is a powerful prayer against spiritual enemies when engaged in battle. Charles Spurgeon wrote, “The Lord can soon change our condition, and he often does so when our prayers become fervent. The crisis of life is usually the secret place of wrestling.”

As David passionately called out in such distress, the LORD encouraged him. He found a steadiness, and almost a rhythm in prayer as he prayed throughout the day and was heard. “But I call to God and the LORD saves me. Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice.” (vs. 16-17). David exhorted with a promise and his own resolve. “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall…. But as for me, I trust in you.” (vs. 22, 23b)

Whatever weight the LORD allows to be laid on us, we are strengthened when we lay that same weight back on the LORD in prayer.  As we cast our cares on the LORD, he sustains us. Cry out in prayer without reserve or restraint. Continue to be steady and faithful in prayer. He will renew your mind to His peace transforming you first, and in time, He may transform circumstances and bring His outcomes.

Greg Murphy – Pastor, Pastoral Care, Prayer, and Recovery