“Hear my prayer, O Lord, and let my cry come unto You.  Hide not Your face from me in the day when I am in trouble.  Incline Your ear unto me; in the day when I call answer me speedily…He will regard the prayer of the destitute and not despise their prayer.”

Psalm 102:1-2, 17

Don’t hold back; pour out your heart to Him in prayer even as a child would present his petition to a loving father.

How desperate are you, Pilgrim?  Have you reached the place where your “tears have been your food day and night while they continually say unto you, ‘Where is your God’?” (Ps. 42:3).  If so, you can likely understand what the anonymous author of today’s Manna was feeling when he composed these words.

His is a fervent plea (“Hear my prayer, O Lord”).

And, it is a desperate prayer-plea. . .for you don’t cry “And let my cry come unto You” and “Hide not Your face from me in the day when I am in trouble” if you feel God’s not readily-at-hand or easily accessible.

No, he was desperate to know God was hearing his prayer.  That’s why he likened himself to one who’s “destitute” (Heb. “ar ‘ar”—“naked, poverty-stricken, laid bare, utterly broken, etc.”).   Or, like a homeless beggar he was crying out to the God of Abraham to “incline (Heb. ‘natah’—‘to stoop, bend over, turn aside to, etc.’) His ear unto him” even as a doting father would bend over or kneel down to his child’s eye level to clearly understand his request.

Evidently, his request was urgent—for he begs the Lord to “answer him speedily.”  Most likely, he’d prayed other prayers in the past (like so many of ours) that are often forgotten (by us) almost as soon as they leave our lips.  But, this time his prayer was different—for his condition was one of “desperate destitution.”

Simply put, he was bankrupt in every way.  And, he knew he had nothing to offer God.

But, still he cried out from his forlorn soul, likening himself to “a pelican of the wilderness and an owl of the desert” (v.6).  And, to further emphasize the deep loneliness he felt, he said “I watch and am as a sparrow alone upon the housetop” (v.7).

Have you ever felt that way, Pilgrim?  Do you feel that way right now?

Are you feeling “your days are like a shadow that declines and you’re withered like grass” (v.11)?  If so, cry out to God the “prayer of destitute desperation.”  Like a prisoner “groaning in agony in a dungeon cell, who’s been appointed to death” (v.20), cry out to the Lord Jesus and say “Please help me, Jesus.  Please hear my cry.  You know I’ve been praying for _________ and __________ and ___________.  Please, loving Savior, hear my call and answer me speedily.”

Do not be surprised if your answer is forthcoming—for prayers that stir us so also touch the Father’s heart in a special way.  Go ahead, weary one, don’t be ashamed to pray this way.  He’s listening.  And He loves you very, very much.

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated September 10, 2009

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