31 Days Challenge, Day 2: Where to Go When You Don’t Know What to Pray

31 days prayer challengeOne of my favorite books in the Bible is the book of Psalms. Written primarily by David, along with several other authors, Psalms is essentially a book of prayers and songs to the Lord. It covers pretty much all the bases–praise and thanksgiving, cries for mercy and rescue, complaints and expressions of disappointments and anguish–which makes it a great go-to book when you’re at a loss for what to pray about or simply can’t find the words to express what’s on your heart.

This morning I randomly selected a Psalm to read, which turned out to be Psalm 57:

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy!
    I look to you for protection.
I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings
    until the danger passes by.
I cry out to God Most High,
    to God who will fulfill his purpose for me.
 He will send help from heaven to rescue me,
    disgracing those who hound me. 
My God will send forth his unfailing love and faithfulness.

 I am surrounded by fierce lions
    who greedily devour human prey—
whose teeth pierce like spears and arrows,
    and whose tongues cut like swords.

 Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens!
    May your glory shine over all the earth.

 My enemies have set a trap for me.
    I am weary from distress.
They have dug a deep pit in my path,
    but they themselves have fallen into it. Interlude

My heart is confident in you, O God;
    my heart is confident.
    No wonder I can sing your praises!
 Wake up, my heart!
    Wake up, O lyre and harp!
    I will wake the dawn with my song.
 I will thank you, Lord, among all the people.
    I will sing your praises among the nations.
 For your unfailing love is as high as the heavens.
    Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.

Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens.
    May your glory shine over all the earth.

This particular Psalm was written by David in a time of great distress. He was literally fleeing for his life, living in a cave to hide from King Saul who was hunting him. In light of the tragic shooting in Oregon yesterday, in which several Christians were reportedly targeted and shot for their faith, the reading of this Psalm seems especially appropriate today. While I will hopefully never experience the terror of running for my own life, there have been times when I have cried out to the Lord in fear and sought His protection. With all the troubling events going on in the world today, it is so easy to live in a place of fear. I want to be like David in boldly proclaiming that my heart is confident in the Lord no matter what.

31 Days link button

This post is one in a series on prayer as part of the 31 Days Challenge. Read more posts in the series here.

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