“How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?” (Psalm 13:1 NIV)
Let’s face it. The great battles of life are not fought in a boxing ring. They’re fought in the spiritual realm; and when we’re knocked down, we have to learn how to get up.
Life can get really hard, and the enemy comes to taunt us as we’re going through our trials. We may even feel as if God were a million miles away, though we know that he’s promised never to abandon us. In the first couple of verses of Psalm 13, David expresses just that. In fact, he has come to feel forgotten by God as he wrestles with his thoughts—thoughts of fear, and of gloom and doom. In addition, he has deep sorrow in his heart. This is the story of a real man of God facing some real life situations and a raging battle in the spiritual realm, as the enemy mocks and threatens him. So how in the world does the Psalmist go from being overwhelmed with despair to his triumphant cry at the end: “I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me”? It’s evident that he has learned the secret of how to get up spiritually. He has learned that the righteous fall seven times and get up again; and that a knock-down is not a knock-out!
Do you want to know David’s secret for getting up? He flat-out cried out to God! Many times in life, we get knocked down and we do everything but pray. We feel bad for ourselves, we panic, we complain, we have a pity party. David didn’t do any of that. He got to the point of desperation and cried out a desperate prayer: “Answer me, oh God! If you don’t help me, I’m going to go under!” Do you think God isn’t going to listen to a prayer like that? Not some namby-pamby prayer, but one that says, “Send light, Lord! Heal me! I don’t have a Plan B. You’re it, Lord!” That’s the kind of heart cry to God that Satan tries to keep us from. You don’t do it by merely quoting a memory verse and thinking it through. You cry out to God from your heart because God has sworn this to be true: “When you call, I will answer!” His ear is attentive to the sound of our desperate cry, and he runs to the rescue of his people!
The Psalmist’s prayer wasn’t even a long prayer. In a few short lines he had a breakthrough, and suddenly the atmosphere changed as it does in the natural after a storm. Now he was able to say, “I will trust you; and though I don’t have an answer, I’m going to start to praise you. In fact, I will do more than that; I will sing your praises.”
How about you? Are you facing an attack in your life right now? Are you wrestling with terrifying thoughts and dealing with pain in your heart? Pour out your heart to God in a breakthrough prayer as David did, and you too will be able to assume the posture of the Psalmist: “I will trust; I will praise; and I will sing!"
Read Psalm 13.