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How Long
by Gary Sims
06/21/05
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The Songs
Psalm 13 - How Long?

Key Verses:
(CEV)
  • 1-2: "How much longer, LORD, will you forget about me? Will it be forever? How long will you hide? 2How long must I be confused and miserable all day? How long will my enemies keep beating me down?" - There are times when it feels that no matter how hard we pray, our life's situations seem out of control.

  • 3: "Please listen, LORD God, and answer my prayers. Make my eyes sparkle again, or else I will fall into the sleep of death." - Without the hope, peace, love, and joy of God, life becomes meaningless.

  • 4: "My enemies will say, 'Now we've won!' They will be greatly pleased when I am defeated." - At times our enemies stalk about in search of ways to defeat us; at others they are simply uncontrollable circumstances.

  • 5-6: "I trust your love, and I feel like celebrating because you rescued me. 6You have been good to me, LORD, and I will sing about you." - In prayer we remember the many blessing God has poured into our lives.
Points to Contemplate:
  • How long have you been seeking God? Have you been searching to find a closer relationship with Him throughout your life, or are you just now, in your time of need, calling out His name? Are you expecting instant answers and immediate resolutions to your problems? If your life's troubles are slow to be healed does this mean to you that God has not heard your prayers? Do you measure His love for you based on the results you can see around you? Do you feel He has forgotten you?

  • How long have you prayed? What is your prayer life like? Do you only pray a few times a year when your needs and frustrations mount beyond your control? Or is your every breath and action a prayer to God? Do you pray at regular times each day or sporadically as though God is an occasional acquaintance? Do you pray long and hard, listing each of your needs, joys, and concerns; or do you quickly utter a rehearsed prayer without much thought? Do you go to God with a wish list of items to be fulfilled or do you pause and listen to His still small voice?

  • How long have you been blessed by God? David begins his prayer by listing his worries and concerns. He asks basic questions and lays out his problems. As he does this his heart is calmed, anxiety is erased, and peace returns. By the end of the prayer he has remembered all that God has done for him and he is ready to sing songs of praise. Does prayer help you to remember God's goodness? Does it bring peace to your soul? Do you walk away with the assurance of God's love in your heart? Do you feel like celebrating because of the times God has rescued you? Does it cause you to sing songs of praise regardless of what struggles you may encounter in your day?
Promise of the Gospel:

In this Psalm, David shows us that it is okay to be human when we pray. We can say and think anything when we talk to God. We can tell Him of our worries and our doubts. We can lay out our fears and we can question His involvement. Prayer does not need to be in a flowery language or only about certain topics. Everything is fair game. God wants it this way because when we are able to speak plainly, openly, frankly, and completely He is then able to respond fully. It is very likely that we will not always find the answers we seek but God will remind us of His love for us. When these memories flow into our minds and when His peace flows into our hearts, regardless of our life's situations, we become more capable of celebrating and singing praises for the bounty of blessings that God has provided.

FUMC Devotionals
Faithwriters Magazine


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