Many bulls have surrounded me; Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled me. They open wide their mouth at me, As a ravening and a roaring lion. I am poured out like water, And all my bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; It is melted within me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, And my tongue cleaves to my jaws; And You lay me in the dust of death. For dogs have surrounded me; A band of evildoers has encompassed me; They pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones. They look, they stare at me; They divide my garments among them, And for my clothing they cast lots.
Yesterday we looked at the seeming contradiction between our experiences and our knowledge of the truth. In these moments of tension, we find strong encouragement in the Scriptures to be honest about how we’re feeling. David readily shared his heart with the Lord. When we are in distress, we don’t have to pray to the Lord in a certain way so that He will hear us; our turmoil does not come as a surprise to Him.
We often worry about whether our prayers are eloquent enough, but the Lord does not care whether we are eloquent as much as whether we are honest. When we pray, we should be mindful that God knows our hearts—He knows how we feel and how our circumstances are affecting our faith and joy. Like David, we ought to feel free to be brutally honest with God in prayer. God values sincerity (see Ps. 51:16-17)—it is only when we admit that we are weak and in desperate need of God that we will experience His spiritual healing.
- Have you ever thought you weren’t very good at praying?
- What might the vivid and dramatic language with which David prayed in this psalm teach us about how we should pray?
- Pray to God honestly about what is going on in your heart today.