“That which begins not with prayer, seldom winds up with comfort.” –John Flavel
There is nothing like the listening ear of a close friend when you feel overwhelmed by tribulation and tragedy. This type of compassion almost always eases sorrow’s burden and endears our confidante to us. For this reason and more, the Lord delights in our coming to him with our struggles. He loves to be the Great Physician not only over our bodily infirmities but also our soul’s travails.
This psalm reveals the curative power of prayer. David begins the psalm with a lament. Four times he cries, “How long?” His sorrow has not been a sharp and stabbing pain but an abiding ache that wears down the defenses and drives one to despair. He feels that God has forgotten him and that his enemies are triumphing over him. He pleads with God to, “Consider and answer.” (Psalm 13:3) If God does not answer soon David feels that he will “sleep the sleep of death.” (v. 3) How doleful the opening notes of David’s prayer!
These same notes that open in an overture of despair will close in a crescendo of praise. David, in the midst of this duty called prayer, finds the grace to believe in the Lord. He, through the clear lens of prayer, gazes on the beauty and character of God. This vision causes David to change his tune. He now prays, “But I have trusted in your steadfast love.” (v. 5) Trust is nurtured at the teat of prayer, it grows strong on the milk of the word. (see 1 Peter 2) This idea that the duty of prayer channels grace to the believer is not new. William Gurnall noted, “How often do we find the holy prophet, when he first kneels down to pray, full of fears and doubts, who, before he and the duty part, grows into a sweet familiarity with God, and repose in his own spirit.” [Treasury of David, 156.]
David would have close friends, like Jonathan, in whom he could trust. 1 Samuel 23:16 discloses that fact, “Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God.” Friends are a great source of comfort for us but greater still the listening ear of our Father. Today pour out your concerns to the Lord first and then look to see if God will send a Jonathan into your life. Have a blessed week and we will see you soon.
Love in Christ,