Psalm 102.12-28

“God will turn to the prayer of the impoverished;
he won’t despise their prayers.”
 
            When you are destitute and hurting, it’s easy to feel alone as if no one really understands.  The healthy, the wealthy, and the powerful do not often take notice of the needy.  Whether you are in chronic pain, constantly deal with sickness, feel like you’re drowning in bills, or labor long hours in obscurity with little pay, or all of them at the same time, there is good news for you: God specializes in situations like yours.
            Contrary to popular characterizations of the Old Testament, God is merciful, gracious, and kind.  The dominant motif is not a God of wrath, but a God of steadfast love – a God who makes and keeps promises to his people.  His wrath is reserved for those who have the power and privilege to care for others, but, instead, fleeces them of what little they possess.
            This was the situation for the psalmist.  He didn’t have a clue why he was the victim – he just knew he needed God.  So, he turns to him – trusting that God is good for his promises – knowing that God will be attentive to his need.
            It’s interesting that we don’t get a wonderful or miraculous answer to the psalmist’s plea to God.  There is only pain, petition, trust, and hope.
            Sometimes, maybe for you oftentimes, all you have is faith, hope, and love.  Yet, and I’m just throwing out a notion for you to consider, if you have these virtues you are the one who is healthy, rich, and strong.
            God is attentive to your prayer.  God hears you when you adopt this psalm for yourself and pray it with some fervor and some flavor.  That he doesn’t immediately respond does not mean he isn’t planning something spectacular for you.
            To pray in a time of trouble is to dwell in the presence of God; to be in the presence of God is to find an answer to prayer that you might not have been looking for to begin with.

 

O God Almighty, sovereign of all and the One in whom is my hope: Help!  I pray to you alone.  I know you bend your ear to pay attention, so hear my prayer for mercy in the middle of my hardship.  You are always the same, even though everything and everyone else changes.  Be my rock in a time of trouble; in Jesus, through the Spirit.  Amen.

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