by: Denise Robinson
Today's psalm is a prayer for help made by a person who devoutly believes in God and knows that God is ready and wiling to hear prayer, but finds it necessary to get God's attention. Do you ever feel that way when you pray? I think at some time or another, while we know deep down that God always hears us, we all think we need to do something different this time to get God's attention because this prayer we are praying is really (really!) important.
Hear my prayer, O Lord; let my cry come to you. Do not hide your face from me in the day of my distress. Incline your ear to me; answer me speedily in the day when I call .. My heart is stricken and withers like grass .. My days are like an evening shadow. But you, O Lord, are enthroned forever; your name endures to all generations .. The nations will fear the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth your glory .. He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and will not despise their prayer. Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people unborn may praise the Lord; that he looked down from his holy height, from heaven the Lord looked at the earth, to hear [our] groans and set [us] free .. Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you endure .. you are the same, and your years have no end. The children of your servants shall live secure; their offspring shall be established in your presence. (Ps. 102)
When our days are like an evening shadow, we often feel alone and abandoned by God. We can feel like there is a wall or some other barrier between God and us or like God's face is turned away from us and doesn't see our pain. This psalmist admits to God that he feels this way, but then states plainly his faith in God and belief that God will hear his prayer and "not despite [it]" God is in heaven but God looks at us on earth, hears us, and is with us. Finally, the psalmist remembers the great promise of God - that just as God endures, we shall live secure and be in God's presence. Think about your prayers. Isn't it incredibly freeing that we also can be honest with God? When you pray, tell God how you really feel - express your fears, your doubts, your feelings of abandonment, and even your anger. God is big enough to handle your emotions and loving enough to hear you.
Prayer: God, hear my prayer and let my cry come to you. These are difficult days for our world, for your church, and for your people. Our hearts are stricken and we are afraid. I am afraid. I am afraid because of all that is happening around me and to people whom I love. I know that you hear prayer and are with me every moment of every day, but some days fear and doubt take hold of me. But I know that you created this world and everything in it, and that somehow you see the goodness in it and in me. Your name endures forever and your promise endures that we shall live secure and be established in your presence. Thank you that you hear my prayer; restore to me a sense of peace and security in your presence. Amen.