52 Workday Prayers: Psalm 35 - When God Seems Not to Hear Your Prayers
You have seen, O LORD; do not be silent!
O Lord, do not be far from me!
Wake up! Bestir yourself for my defense,
for my cause, my God and my Lord!
O Lord, my situation at work has been so draining, so discouraging. You know all about it, of course, not only because you know all things, but also because I’ve been telling you about it, again and again. I worry that you’re getting tired of my persistence in prayer.
Is that why you seem so distant, Lord? Have I tired you out? Is that why you don’t seem to answer when I cry out to you? It feels like you’re not even listening. Or, worse, that you’re listening but don’t care about me. My faith tells me otherwise. I believe you love me and care about my life. But sometimes it’s hard to hang on when you are so silent, so seemingly inattentive.
Thank you for the encouragement of Psalm 35. The psalm writer knows just how I’ve been feeling. He has cried out to you for help and wondered why you’re so quiet. He speaks to you in a way that would seem to be completely out of line, except it’s right here in Scripture. “Wake up!” he exclaims, “Bestir yourself for my defense” (35:23). Wow! I don’t know that I’d be bold enough to insist that you wake up. But, honestly, that’s exactly how I feel sometimes.
So, in this time of desperation, your Word teaches me to tell you exactly what’s on my mind and heart, without holding back. Thank you for the example of the psalms, their honesty and gutsiness, for their utter humanness as well as their divine inspiration. Thank you for the supporting affirmation in Hebrews, where it says that because of Jesus our high priest, we can approach your “throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb 4:16). Boldness! Telling the whole truth. Not holding back.
Standing on the foundation of Scripture and exercising my freedom in Christ, I cry out to you today for help. Wake up, Lord! Hear my cry. Help me in my time of need. Bestir yourself. Contend for me. Rescue me. May the time come soon when those around me cry out, “Great is the LORD, who delights in the welfare of his servant” (35:27.
Ponder Throughout the Day
You don’t have to hold back when you pray. God, who knows everything in your heart, invites you to be completely honest. Tell God exactly what you think and feel, exactly what you need from him. Take hold of the boldness that is yours because of Christ. You can be completely honest with God.
For Further Reflection
Read all of Psalm 35, paying attention to what the Spirit of God is stirring up in your heart, especially in relationship to your work. Talk with God about what you are thinking and feeling.
Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. – Hebrews 4:14-16
This prayer is part of a collection: 52 Workday Prayers: Learn from the Psalms How to Pray through Your Work. To purchase this devotional and small group guide, visit the De Pree Center store.