Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but my ears you have opened, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require. Psalm 40:6
Psalm 40 shows us an example of how we should pray in times of distress. David described himself as being caught in a desolate pit and in miry clay (verse 2). The pit is described as a “pit of destruction" in the NASB, “horrible” in the KJV and “desolate” in the RSV.
Surely every one of us can relate to the feeling of being in a pit. It is a sense of helplessness, desperation, and apparent hopelessness. Different situations in life can cause us to feel like we’re in a pit. It could be impossible expectations and schoolwork for students; constantly crying children for an exasperated mother; or the grinding stress of a lingering illness, to name just a few examples.
What do you do when you feel like you’re in a pit? Do you quickly get someone to talk with? Perhaps you won’t just talk to one person but two or three or even more. Perhaps you hope to get comfort from others. After all, humans are social beings and we need each other, right? This is often how people, without knowing God, try to solve their problems in life.
For us Christians, when we feel like we’re in a pit, instead of talking and talking to others, we should go to God and pray. We do not rely on our own strength, wisdom, or experience. We pray by waiting patiently for God and crying out to Him (verse 1).
What does it mean to be waiting patiently for God? If we keep on talking nonstop in our prayers, we may miss out on hearing from God. That is why we should wait patiently as we pray and expect to hear from God because He will open our ears to hear from Him (verse 6).
What do you expect to hear from God? Surprisingly, you may hear something not directly related to getting you out of your pit. In David’s case, as written in Psalm 40, it is actually a Messianic passage that tells of the coming of the Messiah (verses 6-8). As we know, the author of Hebrews applies these verses to Jesus (Hebrews 10:5-7).
Of course, God will turn to you, hear your cry (verse 1) and lift you out of your pit (verse 2). But more than that, He will also give you hope for the future and bring joy to your heart. Yes, God will do all that if you talk to God and let God talk to you. This should happen as we pray.
Let us learn about prayer as a form of communication by:
- Thanking God that He knows your situation better than you and His plan is to prosper you.
- Asking God to open your ears so you are able to hear Him talk when you pray.