Praying through Psalm 13 was good for me today. It reminded me of how to deal with prayers I’ve been praying for a long time but have to keep praying because they’re still unanswered. I’d suggest reading this with your Bible open to the Psalm.
The first two verses- Yes! Exactly how I feel. How long? How much longer until He answers my prayer? I FEEL like He’s not there. Like He’s hiding from me. Like He doesn’t hear me. I’m sad. Like really sad about this thing. It’s overwhelming sometimes and makes me depressed.
Then to verses 3-4: my prayer. Answer me soon, God! Give me hope, assurance. Some glimmer that You hear and are still there caring. It feels like I’ve been waiting forever and You’ll never answer. It feels hopeless. It feels mean.
But then to the end of the Psalm, verses 5-6: preaching the truth to myself. He does love me. Steadfastly. No matter what I do or say or how I fail Him. He loved me so much He sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross for me- His only Son. I can trust Him.
I have plenty of reasons for joy. When I can’t think of any, I should think about the cross. My salvation. Eternal security and my hope of living forever with Him in heaven. An awesome place with no sin or sadness or unanswered prayers. No more waiting on what I now only can hope for.
I will sing to Him. I will praise Him. It’s a determination of the will, not based on a feeling. I will decide and purpose in my heart to do it. Regardless of the circumstance or unanswered prayer. Because He is God and He deserves it.
And because He has dealt bountifully with me. I have an awesome family. Live in a free place. Have food, shelter, my health, life. All I need and more. So much blessing. But I don’t focus on that. I just focus on what He hasn’t answered yet.
This is the part of the prayer in the Psalm I usually don’t get to. The part where I should praise Him no matter what. The part that’s often hard because I want to stay in the first four verses bringing my complaints and wallowing in self pity.
But that’s why praying through this Psalm is good for me. Because it reminds me of a healthy cycle of prayer. One that’s honest but not stuck on myself. It takes me higher and challenges me to look up. I need reminded often. I need to meditate on His goodness, to be thankful and praise Him even as I’m honest and frustrated and impatient.
Because He is the most powerful and loving being in all the universe. And I’m His child. And as my Father He knows how to give good gifts at exactly the right time. And He is working to sanctify and make me better. So I should trust Him. He deserves it. And I should continue to pray and wait and expect Him to give what’s really best for me, not just what I think is best. God help me.