S214P2 – The cry in faith: the object of the prayer

Psa. 22: 6-8

But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people. All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads. “He trusts in the Lord,” they say, “let the Lord rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.”

No one wants to have a Job moment, but some of us will have more than one of them.  It is the season of everything going wrong.  During those times, we might feel as if we simply do not measure up.  I have heard people proclaim that they are just not good at life because nothing really seems to work out.  There can be a pressure for people in that position to prove that they can make something happen.  It is tempting to pray in those moments from a place of feeling as if we have something to prove.  We ask God to move, but we are really focused on showing that we can get it together.  All of a sudden, the battle becomes about us and not about God.  Yet, we know from the story of Job that there will be times when we are simply a part of a matter which is not about us at all.

David experienced being ridiculed, ostracized, and persecuted.  His writings describing how he fled to the caves to save his life were no exaggeration.  Skilled killers were after him.  In this passage, David hits on a very critical point for every believer who faces opposition because of their faith.  To those who despise him, his flaw is that he trusts in the Lord; that is their issue with him.  This recognition of such a key component of our spiritual battles is a critical part of effective prayer.  David can choose to enter the land of self-pity and self-deprecation if he thinks that he is the focus of this battle.  Yes, God wants to keep him and guard him, and David is the one suffering from persecution, but this is about God.  When his persecutors directly challenge God to save him, David must know that their quarrel is really with the Lord.

Not every battle we face fits this mold.  We can make bad decisions that bring trouble upon us, but that is not the same as being persecuted because of who we call Lord.  We must have the discernment to be able to distinguish between the two.  When our battle is of this kind, our plea to God is for him to glorify himself.  It is not about what we can do or about trying to save face for ourselves.  When the battle is the Lord’s, then it is for the Lord to claim his victory.  If we do not understand the spiritual conditions of our circumstances, it only makes it that much more difficult for us to pray effectively.  Father, give us discernment to recognize when the battle is yours so that we can put ourselves aside and pray for your victory and glorification to come forward.