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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Praying from Besieged Cities

The Psalmist wrote these words thousands of years ago but they are just as fitting today when we go through difficult times.

He wrote “Praise be to the Lord for he showed his wonderful love to me when I was in a besieged city. In my alarm I said, ‘I am cut off from your sight!’ yet you heard my cry for mercy when I called to you for help.” (Psalm 31:21-22)

Most of us have found ourselves in besieged cities (virtually if not literally) at times, and often we felt like we were cut off from God’s sight. We didn’t feel His Presence and were sure at the time that He was not listening. But when we pray about it (specifically talk to God about our situation and ask for His help rather than just worrying and pretending that was prayer) God is always there and he always answers. Every one of us can say with the psalmist, “…you heard my cry for mercy when I called to you for help.” We’ve all had those times when God intervened in our times of need, or when we looked back and saw God had been there all the time when we felt so alone.

It is really important, if we want answers to prayer, to pray specifically to God for what we see as our need, then trust God to do what is best for us, whether it is what we ask for or not. The “besieged cities” we find ourselves in may be psychological, emotional, financial, occupational, or dozens of other types of struggles, but in all of them, God is our helper if we can just learn to trust him to do what is best.

I tend to believe our faith grows more in the besieged cities of our lives than anywhere else. Those times when we don’t feel God’s Presence, but go on doing the best we can, or when we fail, but instead of quitting we pick ourselves up, brush ourselves off and try again, refusing to quit the faith, I believe God is hugely blessed, just as you and I are when we see our children struggle through to success from a difficult place.

I know it is hard to do, but I think we need to learn to thank God for the times in our lives when we’ve had to pray from inside those “besieged cities”.

I'm Rick Blumenberg . . .
and that's my view, from Tanner Creek.

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