“Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.” (Psalm 50:15 ESV)
Note that our text, Psalm 50, does not read, “Call upon Me” once “in the day of trouble; I will deliver you.” No, rather Scripture’s direction is to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17 ESV), and such is the case with the psalmist here. Indeed, sometimes our Heavenly Father delays His answer so that you will keep on crying to Him and thus build your reliance completely on His mercy. If you think that God does not hear you when you expect His reply, don’t stop and say as some have done, “I simply cannot pray anymore!”
The devil tells you that because he is a liar (see John 8:44), but God would have us be steadfast and constant in prayer. Christ says in His opening words on the parable of the persistent widow that we “ought always to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1b ESV). As a pattern and example for us to follow, Jesus Himself knelt and pleaded in the depth of His agony to ask His Father three times that the looming cup of suffering might be removed from Him (see Matthew 26:36-56). Since this is the case with God’s own Son, why then do so many of us stop beseeching the Almighty when He does not reply immediately?
Therefore, in this day of tumult and trouble, let this cry re-echo throughout the land: O God, make America pray! Make Christians of the world pray! Give us Your Holy Spirit to teach us the power of earnest and personal prayer. Help us plead in our churches, our homes, and our private rooms. Lead us to see You in the morning, in the evening, and in the spaces in between. Show us that we must raise our hearts to You, not only on Sundays, but during each day of the week—that we must ask not only for ourselves, but also for our suffering fellow men and women. Strengthen us to keep on asking for Your goodness, Your mercy, and your grace, always coming before You in the Name of Him without whom our prayers are empty babblings, but in whom Your sacred promises are “Yes and … amen” (see 2 Corinthians 1:20): Jesus Christ, Your beloved Son, our all-atoning Savior!
Then, though Satan deny this, though unbelievers contradict it, though our own weak faith question it—heaven’s truth will triumph eternally, and we will have the victorious confidence, which, looking confidently to Christ, exults and proclaims, “God will deliver us!”
Prayer: Heavenly Father, give us voices raised to You, our almighty Deliverer. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
From “God, Make America Pray!” a sermon excerpt from Rev. Dr. Walter A. Maier, the first Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
1. When and where do you pray most often?
2. What do you think is meant by the “day of trouble”? Is that a day unlike other days?
3. Are there any situations where you are unable to pray?