Psalm 142 King James Version (KJV)
1 I cried unto the Lord with my voice; with my voice unto the Lord did I make my supplication.
Jesus taught us that even before we speak, the Lord knows our needs (Matt 6:8). So why must we speak them out loud? This question puzzled me for a long time. If God knows my needs, why doesn’t He just take care of them before they get out of hand? That sure would save me a lot of misery and heartache.
When I was an alcoholic, I could not overcome is until I admitted I was an alcoholic. When I was a drug addict the same thing applied. When I was full of pride, I could not overcome that pride until I recognized it inside of me. That was a hard one, because pride masks itself to the one who has it. It took a long time for me to overcome that one, but with God’s help I have it in hand. You see, whatever you want to accomplish you have to admit it to yourself first.
This is the principle behind speaking our prayers to God and making our requests known. When we speak them out loud, God knows that we understand our own needs, however big or small they may be. He knows we have come to a place of needing Him too bring an answer, that we have given up on trying to figure it out ourselves, and that our dependence rests on Him. We are right where He desires us to be – broken and contrite before Him. Then He can answer our requests.
2 I poured out my complaint before him; I shewed before him my trouble.
The picture here is like water pouring out of a cistern, or of someone rolling out a scroll before Him. David’s prayers were not short prayers – they poured out of him before the throne of God. I can see His tears mingling with his requests, dropping to the ground at the feet of Jesus. Heartfelt and specific, these prayers laid out for God he exact nature of his need. We see it inn the psalms over and over again. Deliverance from his enemies and that he would be avenged were the most frequent prayers David prayed. Sincerity was at the heart of these prayers, and desperation was evident.
Are my prayers like that? Do I come to Him with my heart in deep need, desperate for an answer, desperate for a solution? Do I really know my need? Have I searched deeply within myself to make sure I understand the nature of my dilemma, and the solution I should ask for. When I come to God and pour out my soul to Him, and lay out my requests before Him like a scroll, He is compelled to answer my request.
3 When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path. In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me.
4 I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.
I love this! When I am overwhelmed, God knows my path. I have been overwhelmed many times in the past year and a half going through cancer. There were times I felt so alone and helpless against this disease that had invaded my life. The Chemo sapped my strength and the stem cell transplants knocked me down.. I had little strength and slowly had to work my way back, especially after the second transplant. That was brutal on my body, and it took a long, long time for me to even think about walking without any aid.
But I always know God knew the path I was on, and hat He had my reins in hand (Psalm 139:13). He was the director of my life, and He would never lead me astray. No one could bring me calm, but God was there to walk through it with me. That dreaded enemy called cancer tried to get me down, but it could not. Good had my hand and that’s all I needed.
5 I cried unto thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.
6 Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I.
Cancer was stronger than I was, but it was much weaker than my faith, and my God. When I cried unto Him in the middle of the night, He became my refuge – a place of rest when I was weary. Sleepless nights turned into nights of joy and worship. God became my portion in the midst of a time when I had very little. He was all I needed in those days, and especially in the night. The Lord was with me all the way through, and He still is. He can be with you too. Get desperate for Him
7 Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.
He has dealt bountifully with me! All the way through I have said the same thing. “God has been merciful to me”. I have cancer, had a shoulder that quit working, have neuropathy in both feet and hands, have had pneumonia twice and in the ER two other times besides, can’t go back to work for another year and a half, have restricted driving ability – yet I proclaim with the utmost confidence that He has been merciful to me. And I know His mercy will take me all the way to complete healing. His mercy will open up doors for me to share what He has done for me. His mercy will work through me to bring healing to many and hope to others. His mercy will move through me to see souls saved. His mercy never fails!