Yesterday, we saw the psalmist calling everyone to see that the Lord’s “steadfast love endures forever.” (v1-4)
In today’s verse (v5), he begins to give testimony. It is a testimony of answered prayer.
Firstly, we see the situation. “Out of my distress.” He was in great trouble. It is important to remind ourselves: trouble is normal. Trouble doesn’t mean that we are bad Christians; it means we are normal Christians. Preachers who say that Christians should never have trouble have not read the Bible.
Secondly, we see the psalmist’s instinct. An instinct is something that comes naturally, without thinking. If you accidentally put your hand on a hot dish, your hand pulls back. It is a natural reaction. This was true of the psalmist’s prayer: “Out of my distress I called on the Lord.” Prayer was the natural response to trouble. It should be for us, too.
If a person has damaged nerves then they won’t automatically pull their hand back from a hot dish. Some of you who have had Covid-19 found the natural instinct to breathe was a real struggle. You had to fight in order to do something that should be so normal.
Christians can lose the instinct to pray because of trouble or doubts and fears, or neglecting to pray for a time. It becomes hard to pray. When trouble comes, we don’t pray but we grumble and complain, we get gripped by fear. We need the Holy Spirit to revive our instinct to pray.
Brothers and sisters, let me challenge you today in love:
- If, for you, prayer is still as natural as breathing should be, then give thanks – and pray!
- If prayer is hard and not natural, if it is not instinct to call on the Lord out of your distress, then ask the Lord to heal your spiritual instinct and to stir your hearts to pray when times are good and in times of trouble.
- Also, let’s not stop praying for those whose road to recovery from Covid-19 is long, and for who breathing is still not natural. Pray for God’s healing, in Jesus’ name.