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A Leaf from our Church’s Prayer Guide—November 19, 2020

Psalm 6 

O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger,
    nor discipline me in your wrath.
Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing;
    heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled.
My soul also is greatly troubled.
    But you, O Lord—how long?
Turn, O Lord, deliver my life;
    save me for the sake of your steadfast love.
For in death there is no remembrance of you;
    in Sheol who will give you praise?
I am weary with my moaning;
    every night I flood my bed with tears;
    I drench my couch with my weeping.
My eye wastes away because of grief;
    it grows weak because of all my foes.
Depart from me, all you workers of evil,
    for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping.
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.]