Seasons Of Trouble
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In the course of this life, nearly every Christian will face seasons of great trouble. Pressure and attack--from Satan, circumstances, or from people--flood in with crushing force. These are times to pray, and Psalm 143 gives us a model of how to pray in such times.

In Psalm 143 (NASV), David calls upon God to hear his prayer and answer him, trusting not in his own righteousness but in God's (vs. 1-2). He declares his trouble and how it has affected him:

The enemy has persecuted my soul; he has crushed my life to the ground; he has made me dwell in dark places, like those who have long been dead. Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed within me; my heart is appalled within me. (vs. 3-4).

He remembers and meditates on what God has already done in the past (vs.5). Then he reaches toward God in heart-desire and longing, positioning himself to receive by faith and in trust:

I stretch out my hands to Thee; my soul longs for Thee as a parched land (vs. 6).

In a position of receptivity, David then asks God for three things (vs. 7-9): the manifestation of His lovingkindness, direction in how to walk, and deliverance from his enemies. And for each request, he states the reason he expects God to respond: regarding lovingkindness, because "I trust in Thee;" regarding direction, because "I lift up my soul to Thee;" and regarding deliverance, because "I take refuge in Thee."

Having prayed, he declares that God is his God and that he is God's servant, and he boldly prays again, requesting the same three benefits from God (vs. 10-12): lovingkindness ["revive me" and "bring my soul out of trouble"], direction ["teach me to do Thy will" and "lead me on level ground"], and deliverance ["cut off my enemies and destroy all those who afflict my soul"].

When we are oppressed, crushed, and overwhelmed, we must take hold of God's Word. If we conform our hearts and our prayers to His Word, then we may be confident that God hears us and will intervene to save us. For we have His promise that "if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us." And when we pray according to the patterns of David's prayers in the Word, our prayer corresponds to God's will. Knowing that, "we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him" (I John 5:14-15).

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