Prepare to Listen. As you light your candle of hope, pray: Jesus, light of the world let your light shine brightly among us today.
Prayerfully Read Psalm 55:1-8, 16-23
1 Give ear to my prayer, O God; do not hide yourself from my supplication.
2 Attend to me, and answer me; I am troubled in my complaint.
I am distraught by the noise of the enemy, because of the clamour of the wicked.
For they bring trouble upon me, and in anger they cherish enmity against me.
4 My heart is in anguish within me, the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
5 Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror overwhelms me.
6 And I say, ‘O that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest;
7 truly, I would flee far away; I would lodge in the wilderness;
8 I would hurry to find a shelter for myself from the raging wind and tempest.’
16 But I call upon God, and the LORD will save me.
17 Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he will hear my voice.
18 He will redeem me unharmed from the battle that I wage, for many are arrayed against me.
19 God, who is enthroned from of old, will hear, and will humble them--
because they do not change, and do not fear God.
22 Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you;
he will never permit the righteous to be moved.
23 But you, O God, will cast them down into the lowest pit;
the bloodthirsty and treacherous shall not live out half their days.
But I will trust in you.
‘Give ear to my prayer, O God; do not hide yourself from my supplication. Attend to me, and answer me; I am troubled in my complaint.’
‘Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he will hear my voice.’
The psalmists often beg God to hear their prayer and not hide from them. This isn’t indicative of weak faith, but a troubled heart. Hence, the frequency with which they bring their complaint [lament is a complaint] to the Lord their God—evening, morning, noon. They call to God often because: a) they believe God will hear their prayer and rescue them; b) God has yet to hear their prayer and answer them. We don’t need faith when the answer comes the moment we cry out to God. We do need faith when the answer doesn’t come immediately. Those who keep calling on God to hear and respond are those who have true faith. They ‘cast their burden’ (which can be translated as ‘cast what God has given you’) on the Lord and leave it there.
As restrictions and lockdown situations are being eased and we slowly go back into the world we’re discovering nothing is the same as it once was. We’re entering a different world, one not known before. And so we continue to pray, ‘Give ear to my prayer, O God; do not hide yourself from my supplication.’ Sometimes we pray in strong faith and sometimes in not so strong faith. But we pray.
There are some beautifully poetic lines in this psalm. Which ones struck a chord with you today? Live with the imagine for the rest of the day as you also keep asking God to hear your prayer.
Respond to Jesus
Lord, I offer my prayers each day to you because I believe you will, in your time and in your unique way, hear and respond. I continue to complain about the effects of this virus, and I cast back on you what you have given me, trusting you to bring me through this trying time. Amen.