O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger,
nor discipline me in your wrath.
2 Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing;
heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled.
3 My soul also is greatly troubled.
But you, O Lord—how long?
4 Turn, O Lord, deliver my life;
save me for the sake of your steadfast love.
5 For in death there is no remembrance of you;
in Sheol who will give you praise?
6 I am weary with my moaning;
every night I flood my bed with tears;
I drench my couch with my weeping.
7 My eye wastes away because of grief;
it grows weak because of all my foes.
8 Depart from me, all you workers of evil,
for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping.
9 The Lord has heard my plea;
the Lord accepts my prayer.
10 All my enemies shall be ashamed and greatly troubled;
they shall turn back and be put to shame in a moment.
For our church:
Please pray for the members of our church that they would not resist the work of the Holy Spirit by refusing to enter into a prolonged state of lament or mourning and that they would know the joy and assurance that is promised to the people of God who embark on such a journey.
Our teaching moment:
James, the half-brother of the Lord Jesus, according to church history, was nicknamed “Old Camel Knees.” He must have spent a long time in prayer to earn such a name! Old Camel Knees described the prayer of a righteous person as “powerful and effective.” (James 5:16, NIV) In this verse, however, he does not mention praying for a long stretch of time. As a matter of fact, some of the most powerful prayers are quite short. King David prays, “O Lord—how long?” The tax collector prays, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” Nehemiah sends a short prayer to heaven as he gets ready to answer the question of the king. (Psalm 6:3; 13:1; 35:17; Luke 18:13; Neh. 2:4) Many examples abound. One of the things that these short prayers have in common is that they grow out of rich soil, a prolonged period of brokenness and repentance. David’s penitential cry occurs after he is “weary with moaning” and after he has “drenched his couch with tears.” (Psalm 6:6) Nehemiah’s short prayer comes after he had “sat down and wept and mourned for days.” (Neh. 1:4) Today, seek the Lord, even if that means you pass through a season of moaning and mourning, remembering that “weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” (Psalm 30:5)
A prayer from the past:
“Lord, you know I have been carried along many times toward what is good, carried against my own nature. You know I have been carried further in a good way than I ever intended.
You know when my soul has been dead and hardened. I have said, mercy is gone—and then you have persuaded me that Jesus Christ is in me. Amen.
[William Bridge, cited in Elmer, Piercing Heaven, 71.]