At first, this cry for help seems very demanding of us on God. Closer inspection shows that this is really a cry of desperation. Have you been there? I surely have, and I regularly hear from folks who are there now. But, dear friend in Jesus, read how this Psalm ends! What is the secret to surviving a long agony? I believe three things are important:
- Honesty in our prayer life with God.
- Confidence that God hears and cares even when our prayers sizzle with pain and frustration.
- Genuine praise for God that is included in our prayers even when things seem bleak and God feels distant.
Such an approach to prayer is not a magical formula but a Spirit-inspired one — check it out in Psalm 4!
O God, please hear my cry for relief and the relief of those I love who are in agony from their burdens and suffering. Please answer in amazing and miraculous ways so that we may not only be relieved, but you may be glorified by those who see you working in the lives of ordinary but desperate people. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.