I suggested a couple of weeks ago to our church to read two Psalms a day, one in the morning and one in the evening, and to write down one thing that struck you from the passages. If you are doing the two Psalms a day, we are up to Psalm 31 and 32 today (May 11). I had to write down where I was supposed to be each Monday myself in order to keep track. I encourage you to keep on the plan, as it is a good way to stay in God’s word, plus it is an encouragement and example on how to pray. Lots of mornings I simply pray some of the verses that I am reading. God intended for the Psalms to be one way for us to learn to pray since they are prayers and praises themselves.
I love the last verse of Psalm 31: “Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!” (v. 24, ESV) Amen. I want my heart and your hearts to take courage as we wait for the Lord to answer our prayers and to get us through this crisis. Wait for the Lord can also be translated “hope in the Lord” (NIV). We need hope in order to wait for the Lord to answer our cries and prayers. Hope means we believe what we are praying for can actually happen.
This was written by a man who spent years of his life fleeing from men who were trying to kill him. So when David tells us to wait for the Lord and to be courageous because the Lord will come through, he knows what he is talking about. Ingrid noted to me this morning how David was an emotional guy. He declares that the Lord is his refuge and fortress, and famously stated what our Lord quoted on the cross: “into your hands I commit my spirit” (verse 5).
Yet he also prays “be merciful to me” (v. 9); “my life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning” (v. 10); “I am the utter contempt of my neighbors and an object of dread to my closest friends” (v. 11). His life was hard and he was not always a happy camper! So he let the Lord know how he was feeling. Yet he always rallied and put his faith in God: “But I trust in you, LORD” (v. 14). “You heard my cry for mercy when I called to you for help” (v. 22).
What is the “right” way to pray? By telling the Father exactly what is on your heart. You can be honest and real. But do not give in to unbelief and discouragement. Always determine to end with “but I trust in You, oh Lord”. Then you will find your heart taking courage. God’s grace and strength will come to you.
You will be strong! “Yes, wait for the LORD.” (Psalm 27:14, NASB)
Waiting and hoping with you,