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Prayer Lessons from a Caveman (Psalm 142)


“Life isn’t about waiting for the storms to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”   – Bear Grylls

With my voice I cry out to the LORD; with my voice I plead for mercy to the LORD.
I pour out my complaint before him; I tell my trouble before him. When my spirit faints within me, you know my way!

In the path where I walk they have hidden a trap for me. Look to the right and see:there is none who takes notice of me; no refuge remains to me; no one cares for my soul.             I cry to you, O LORD; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.” Attend to my cry, for I am brought very low!

Deliver me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me!
Bring me out of prison, that I may give thanks to your name!
The righteous will surround me, for you will deal bountifully with me. (Psalm 142 ESV)

The anointed king, running for his life, hiding in a cave from the man he was to replace, is not how it was supposed to be. Proclaiming his complete trust in God and boldly slaughtering a nine-foot giant with a well-placed shot from his sling must have been a foggy memory at best. Life has a way of getting out of kilter and not turning out as we expected. Taking care of sheep must have looked pretty appealing to David. But Rather than losing hope, getting angry with God, or turning and running David provides us with some great prayer lessons for when life seems to come crashing down around us.

Speak Openly. Like any good parent, God wants us to speak honestly with him, let him know how we feel (it’s not as if he doesn’t already know!). God wants this, not because he enjoys watching us suffer but because he wants intimacy in our relationship.

God “knows our way.” God is at work, orchestrating every moment of our lives. He is fully aware of our circumstances and, stunningly, he cares deeply. Nahum also reminds us, “He knows those who take refuge in him.” (Nahum 1:7)

We’re never alone. When all have abandoned us and all our human resources have dried up, God is our refuge. He is our true and only hope in life.

God will be worshipped. David knew that God would deliver him from the prison he was in. He knew that however God chose to deliver him he would be surrounded with others, rejoicing that God had dealt bountifully with him.

We are sons and daughters of the King of glory! We need to approach his throne without fear and in complete confidence – hoping only in him. When we do, we’ll begin dancing in the rain!

– Bob Harding Jr.