Praying in a Season of “How Long?“
Psalm 13:1, Psalm 17: 1&2, 6&7, Psalm 51:15-17
In the daily devotions of the past week, we have focused on the sources of reassurance for God’s people in these troubled times. Confidence in the unchanging Word of God and the call to pray, with the amazing assurance of answered prayer. Yet many of us will confess in quiet moments, as we find growing uncertainties difficult to bear, our cry is “How long O Lord?”. How long will we have to live with this life threatening health crisis and the huge changes in our daily lives?.
In Psalm 13 we read that King David found himself in a hard place and questioning God. “How long Lord?, how long will you hide your face from me?”. David had been anointed king but was in a time of waiting for God’s plan to be fulfilled. Saul, in jealously and envy, had threatened his life, and David was running to save himself. He was losing hope. From the position of fear, discouragement, and finally desperation, he uttered his cry to God, “how long?”.
It is critical for us to understand the impact of uncertainty about the future that can lead to such pleading. Unrelenting stress can weaken our faith . Indeed we may even ask, “where is God in all of this and what are His purposes for us?”.
David’s words and experience can instead strengthen our faith and empower us by the Spirit to persevere . Every ”how long” will demonstrate His power and renew our hope in His mercy and deliverance. David’s response can be ours, “O Lord, open my lips and my mouth will declare your praise- the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” We can simply let the words filling our hearts fall from our lips as we cry out to God for help.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, in your mercy help us to consider the spiritual benefits of living in this “ how long?” time in our lives. We praise and thank you for our salvation in Christ Jesus.