I read again today an old poem of prayer. It’s 3,000 years old, but tell me, can you relate?
I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
and he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along.
He has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
They will put their trust in the Lord…
Lord, don’t hold back your tender mercies from me.
Let your unfailing love and faithfulness always protect me.
For troubles surround me–
too many to count!
My sins pile up so high
I can’t see my way out.
They outnumber the hairs on my head.
I have lost all courage.
Please, Lord, rescue me!
Come quickly, Lord, and help me… (Psalm 40:1-3, 11-13)
Desperate. Truthful. Humble. Direct. Real. That’s good and proper prayer.
The author’s name was David, the Hebrew King and his lyrics are in the Bible as Psalm 40. David lived as a man totally honest with God. His prayers didn’t get trapped into formulas or religious rites. He spoke his mind, and his heart. And God honored that simple honesty and said that David had a heart after God’s own heart. I want that as my byline! How? I’ll follow David’s model of down-and-dirty, honest-to-God prayer.