woman-praying-2Read Psalm 102

This Psalm is called the prayer of the afflicted, of someone in great suffering. 

 

Psalm 102:1-2 ( The Message)

God, Listen!  Listen to my prayer,

listen to the pain in my cries.

Don’t turn your back on my

just when I need you so desperately.

Pay attention!  This is a cry for help!

And hurry—this can’t wait!

 

  • Have you ever prayed like this?
  • Poured your heart about before God and wondering if He hears you?
  • When and if He will answer you?
  • Do you want to yell:  Pay attention!  I am crying out for help!!
  • HURRY Up!  and answer – this can’t wait!!

 

I am feeling this way today.  I have been praying this way today…

I have been sick for two days now and the time of our long anticipated trip to see our daughter is quickly approaching.  I have done a lot to prepare, but here is still much to be done and I already missed two weeks recovering from an unexpected surgery. 

I want to say, “Come on God… Please!  Heal me AND quickly! “You know how important this trip is for our relationship with Emily… God, you know her worry that I will be too sick to travel and cancel at the last moment as I had to do so many times during years of chronic illness that impacted all my kids and our relationship.   I am trying not be angry, trying rather unsuccessfully not to cry…  You know my own fears about being strong enough for the mission trip with her (as staying well for the extended days in Paris with John).  You know how he loves to travel and how my heart aches that my health issues have held us back from – not only travel, but numerous others things in the past 10 years.

You know my fears God.  Please don’t let this be a deterrent to my hopefulness and joy from such a quick recovery post-surgery.  Don’t let my mind go to the negative, help me stay focused on You and trust that You have the details of this trip covered.  I need to be physically well, and strong… and QUICK!  Please Hurry Lord with Your healing hand.

 

It is a Psalm of Lament- songs from the soul as prayers to God about the difficulties that seem unending.

The Psalmist assumes God would and could answer him, but desires a quick response,   throughout the history of Israel, God has seen their affliction and answered them, delivered them, restored them.  The Psalmist pours out his heart, his needs, his conditions to God and begs for a speedy answer with a sense of confident that God will respond… and quickly.

 

  • Can you think of a time you prayed like this?
  • Can you look back on time when God answered your prayers and provided a speedy answer?
  • How did pouring out your heart before Him, help you deal with the struggle you were going through?
  • Can you think of times when God’s answered tarried?  What was your response?
  • As you read through the Psalm, see if you can relate to his distress, wounds, affliction, sorrows… and try to put your struggles, difficulties and pains into words like his.
  • God asks us to pour out our heart to Him, and calls it worship.  (see day 27)

 

In Verse 12– the Psalmist turns to praising God… reciting – Who God Is and what HE has done and this Reality stands greater than the problems at hand.  (See Day 29 )

  • This is both comforting and difficult for me. 
  • I want to Praise God in the Storm, and believe that whatever I am going through He will carry me through it and use it for His good, but this is difficult when I am longing for the difficulty to end.
  • I can see the good in hindsight, but it required great faith and a discipline to remember the goodness of God in the middle of the difficulty… all the while  crying out: 

God, listen! Listen to my prayer     

listen to the pain in my cries.

Don’t turn your back on me    

 just when I need you so desperately.

Pay attention! This is a cry for help!     

And hurry—this can’t wait!

Can you relate?

Listen to the song : Praise You in the Storm by Casting Crowns

 

Digging Deeper:

read this article on Psalm 102

Psalms of Lament are usually laid out as follows:

  1. Address & introductory cry
  2. The lament- or real problem
  3. Confession of trust
  4. Prayer – what the Psalmist wants God to do about it
    1. Reasons God should answer the prayer
  5. Vow or shout of Praise

 

Read Psalm 102 and see if you can divide it accordingly.

 

Daily Lectionary Readings: 

Numbers 21:4-9; Psalm 102:2-3; 16-21; John 8:21-30

 

If you want to read through the New Testament during Lent (about 1/2 hour a day)

Read on Day 35: Philippians & Colossians

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