by Sandy Kirby Quandt
When David wrote Psalm 5, he poured out his discouragement to God about the way things were in his life at that point in time. Within the first few verses different translations say David asked the LORD to hear his prayer, listen to his plea, consider his groaning, and heed the sound of his cry for help.
Have you ever gone to God with prayers that plead, groan, and cry out for help? I have.
After his plea for help, David described what God is like, what he himself is like, what his enemies are like, and what the righteous are like.
David ended his psalm praising the LORD for being a promise-keeper. He was confident God heard his prayer, and would act on his behalf.
In Chuck Swindoll’s book, Living the Psalms, he points out David asked God to lead him throughout the conflict in righteousness, so he wouldn’t become like his enemies and resort to the tactics they use.
I found that thought interesting. How many times do we get so beat down by the discouragement and disappointment of life that we lose our joy and dwell on the bad, instead of God’s good that surrounds us in the midst of our pain?
Deep down inside we know God fights our battles. We know he hears us when we pray. We know he has a plan for us to prosper and not for harm.
But we also recognize the fact we live in a fallen world full of evil and evildoers whose actions sometimes affect our lives in a negative way.
Chuck Swindoll offers these guidelines as we pray to overcome discouragement.
- Describe your attitude and how deeply you hurt.
- Review the attributes of God.
- Ask for opportunities to do things his way.
- Be specific in your prayers.
- Remind yourself of his defense.
- Recall the Lord’s promises.
He finally suggests when we’re too down to pray for ourselves, and ask someone to join us in prayer on our behalf.
One thing I began doing years ago is read through the Psalms when I’m troubled. As I read, I write out the psalm that speaks to me at that moment. I also list all the attributes of God mentioned in the psalm.
When life knocks me for a loop and I feel defeated, discouraged, and upended, I pick up that journal and read through it, noting God’s attributes. In doing this, I am reminded who God is. That in turn helps me remember who I am in relation to him.
What do you do to turn your pleas to praise?
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O Lord, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I pray to no one but you. Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly. Psalms 5:1-3 (NLT)
I wish you well.
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