Hear me when I call, O God of my right! Thou hast given me room when I was in distress. Be gracious to me, and hear my prayer. Psalm 4:1 rsv+
This week’s Psalm is Psalm 4. It is a song about the connection of prayer and peace.
Psalm 4 begins with restlessness. Whatever it is that David is facing at this time in his life has him in distress. He reminds the Almighty that he (David) is righteous because of his relationship and obedience to God. He remembers that in the past the Almighty has given him relief from the circumstances that cause him distress. I personally think that David wants a sign that he is not just saying words but that God hears him and is answering. I can almost hear David begging the LORD to show him something, let him see that his words have been heard. I bet you know how that feels.
As believers, we try to live our lives in The Way that we believe is pleasing to YHVH (the LORD). Sometimes we have an attitude that living according to what we understand the Bible to say about The Way is some kind of currency we can spend when life gets hard. “I’ve been careful to tithe, I do not swear, I hang with people who love Jesus, I try to be kind… “ but our prayer does not seem to be answered. We know why those who do not believe in Jesus are having distress, but why are we?
Psalm 4 lets us in on one of the Almighty’s secrets! We have nothing to offer to YHVH but listening ears and a heart that will do exactly what He tells us to do. Psalm 4 is telling us to sit still and listen to the Almighty. Verse 3; the LORD has set apart believers for himself and hears our prayers. Maybe we need to stop talking when we are distressed and start listening from our heart.
Verses 4 and 5 remind me of Proverbs 3:5 and 6.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. nkj
During your most distressful time the Almighty will give you supernatural peace even while you sleep. He has heard you pray. If you feel as if things are not going your way and you are still feeling restless with worry, you do not need to repeat your prayer, you need to listen.
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17 nkj
With each prayer YHVH answers, you will grow in confidence that you are precious to Him. He protects you with his mighty hand. Do you think that the last thing he will ever do for you was done at the cross? Or in the upper room (Acts chapter 2). I’m telling you, the life you live as a believer is dynamic, up-to-date, in the moment. (Galatians 2:19-20) Keep walking The Way, keep your eyes on Jesus. You will grow in your trust in the LORD and the sweet rest of Psalm 4 comes when we are able to stop being frantic about what we want God to hear and start to listen to the Almighty. Remember Peter in Acts chapter 12? Go read it if you don’t remember. Peter was about to be killed for political gain. The church prayed through the night. Peter was in prison, chained between two government thugs, men who were accustom to keeping the public safe from murderous criminals. What did Peter do? He slept soundly, just as Psalm 4 says. (really, go look at Acts 12 and see for yourself just how soundly Peter slept on what could have been the last hours of his life on earth).
Is something bothering you today? Is your stress level making you feel as if your prayers are bouncing off the ceiling? Remember what God has already done for you, starting at the cross. Remember the day you were born-again (and if you do not remember, then please, take care of that right now!). Go to your favorite Psalm or passage of scripture. Look for what God says about himself and praise him for it. It can be as simple as, “Abba (Father) I praise you (or love you) because you are my righteousness” Ps 4:1 Or, “I Love you because you hear prayer” Ps 4:3. Or maybe, “I praise you because you are trustworthy” Ps 4:5. Or even,” I love you because you are my safe place” Ps 4:8. You get the idea.
It used to bug me when my mother-in-law would tell me that reading scripture and praying would put her to sleep when she was restless. I wondered if it didn’t bother the Almighty that someone would fall asleep while He was talking to them. I am pretty sure that Psalm 4 answers that question. He is the one who gives us peaceful sleep when our mind is on him. Give it a try.
Mrs. Hagerty; September 29, 2015