Praying with David from Psalm 27 – Part 2

If you have a hard time praying, pick up Psalm 27 and learn from King David. Here are four lessons we learn about praying.

The best prayer produces a search. Prayer is not just throwing words up toward the ceiling. It is a search, an intensive exercise in pursuing. In Psalm 27:4, David sings, “One thing I have asked of the LORD, that I will seek after.” Unfortunately, we pray then drop it. David didn’t. He prayed, and he pursued what he asked. He didn’t say “Amen” at the end of his prayers (maybe). When he got off his knees, his feet got busy. He inquired, and then he chased. Prayer not only asks but seeks.

Next, we learn that prayer hides us in God (v5). “He will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble.” And our days of trouble are many! When we pray, we find asylum in God’s shelter. Your friends might criticize you if you tell them that God is your hiding place – “you Christians can’t face your problems head on.” They’re wrong! Since we hide in God, we can face any trouble with his strength and under his shelter. Everyone has a hiding place somewhere or in some thing. Ours is under the Lord of hosts.

Next, prayer restores our joy in the middle of life’s burdens. With “my enemies all around me, I will offer…shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the LORD” (v6). David did not just sing in the quiet temple. He sang in the public square with enemies all around. We don’t wait for our burdens to disappear to begin singing. When anguish weighs us down, prayer makes its melody. In prayer we recapture our joy right in the middle of our sorrows and burdens.

Finally, prayer is what we do when we are desperate. “Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud” (v7). David’s prayers were not whispers. They were shouts of desperation. Desperation is not an embarrassment. It’s a mark of dependent, humble defiance. The more godly, the more desperate. And our cry must not just get buried in our pillow. Our cries go upward – Hear, O Lord.

More on praying with David from Psalm 27 next week.