Encouragement in Prayer

Encouragement in Prayer

David’s trust in God as his Protector and Deliverer enabled him to overcome seemingly insurmountable difficulties. When his son Absalom became his greatest enemy (2 Sam. 15-18), David turned to God for encouragement. Psalm three is a lament for the increased troubles and discouragement of the deposed king (Psa. 3:1, 2; cf. 2 Sam. 16:7, 8). But David’s lament turns to praise as his trust in God lifts him above one of the darkest hours of his life.

From Psalm 3:3, we learn that David’s trust enabled him to acknowledge God as his Protector, glory, and pride:

“But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.”

The remainder of this psalm expresses the encouragement David finds in prayer to the God he trusts.

David begins his prayer with a confidence that God will hear: “I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah” (Psa. 3:4). The faithful of God have an abiding assurance that God will hear both their praise and their plea (Ps. 34:15; Prov 15:29; 1 Pt. 3:12). In truth, the Lord is not simply attentive to the prayers of His children, but delights in their supplications (Prov. 15:8; cf. 1 Kgs. 3:10; Ps. 141:2).

Jesus admonished,

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Matt. 7:7).

God will neither hide His face, nor turn His ear from a confident trust expressed in prayer: “he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears” (Psa. 18:6; cf. 22:24).

David’s confidence in God’s attentiveness provided a calmness to face uncertain times: “I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me” (Psa. 3:5). Those who trust in the Lord enjoy a “peace that passes understanding” (Phil. 4:7). Such peace comforts and reassures in hours of trials. The psalmist affirmed: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me” (Psa. 23:4). Paul noted that Christians have “access with confidence” by a trusting faith (Eph. 3:12). And John instructed, “this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us” (1 Jn. 5:14). Solomon penned, “In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge” (Prov. 14:26). Trust and confidence expressed in prayer provide peace during times of trouble.

Trusting in God’s salvation, David found the courage to face seemingly impossible odds:

“I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about. Arise, O Lord; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly. Salvation belongeth unto the Lord: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah” (Psa. 3:6-8).

Like David, we may find that those of our own house become our enemies (Lk. 12:52, 53). When one lives ac-cording to the truth he is often opposed by his fellows (Gal. 4:16) and forsaken by his friends, especially when difficulties arise (2 Tim. 4:16). Nevertheless, in prayer to the God of our salvation, we find the confidence, calm, and courage to persevere.

In praise to God, the psalmist sang:

“O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works. Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord. Seek the Lord, and his strength: seek his face evermore” (Psa. 105:1-4).

What encouragement can be found when we seek the Lord in prayer!

-Ronnie Scherffius


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