By Melissa Stone - October 6, 2023
February-June and September-December usually find me in my prayer garden in my backyard. (On the colder days I'm in my she-shed with the heater going and dressed like an Eskimo.) But sometimes I like to pray on the front porch in view of Eastwood Baptist Church's steeple. This beautiful sunset on February 11 of this year was definitely an impetus for awe-inspired prayer. But for whatever reason there are times when prayer may be difficult.
The Psalms, especially those of David, read like a journal entry. Through praises, complaints, and laments, David poetically illustrates a life of intimacy with God. It seems he just couldn’t help but pour out his heart to Him. Even when he tried to suppress it, conversation just happened, as we see in Psalm 39:1-3: "I said, ‘I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth as long as the wicked are in my presence.’ But when I was silent and still, not even saying anything good, my anguish increased. My heart grew hot within me, and as I meditated, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue."
After this, David bemoaned the brevity of life to God and appealed to His mercy. Seven verses into this thirteen-verse psalm David reaffirmed his confidence in God: "But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you." In the following verse he resumes his lament, continuing it until the end of the chapter. It’s as if David took a breath and God put His hand on David’s shoulder saying, “Tell me more.” And throughout the book of Psalms, we see this pendulum swing, this infinity symbol of how confiding in God builds David’s confidence in Him, freeing him to confide again.
We, too, can have this divine dialogue; but it all begins with trust. We usually don’t confide in those we don’t trust. But since God made us in His image with His emotions—breathing His very being into us—we have no need to hide anything from Him. He knows anyway, so we can trust Him with every anger, every fear, every problem, and every worry. This is the essence of prayer and brings us to 1 John 5:14-15: "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. "
He hears you. He knows you. He loves you.