"Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Lord; Lord, hear my voice! Let Your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications" (Psa. 130:1, 2).
We need to offer prayer in all matters, temporal and spiritual.
In temporal matters we face challenges every day. David serves as an example of this. When he was being pursued by Saul, due to no fault of his own, David turned to God (1 Sam. 19:1-12). He asked God to deliver him from his enemies, the workers of iniquity who were bloodthirsty (Psa. 59:1-4). He looked to God as his refuge during these troublesome times (Psa. 57:1).
David also prayed to God when his newborn son was sick and dying (2 Sam. 12:15, 16). This example shows us that he petitioned God when it mattered, not after the problem had passed (2 Sam. 12:20-23).
We, too, need to look to God in all situations. We are to cast all our care on Him, because He cares for us (1 Pet. 5:6, 7). This is true in persecution and sickness.
Today we likely do not have a king or ruler of the nation chasing us through the country determined to kill us. Yet, we do face those who would do us harm. They either want to harm our reputation or personally demean and destroy us. Our enemies may call us names, slander, or gossip about us. They might even verbally assault us in front of others to humiliate us. However the persecution is manifest, it is still persecution and it still is a problem we must deal with. Too, it can really hurt. The way through it is by trusting in God, seeking refuge in Him.
We also must face the reality of frail bodies, whether it is our own or those of our loved ones. Most often we see the health of our parents deteriorate over time. Sometimes it seems that within the space of a few months they go down fast. It is heart breaking to see a parent, once viewed as strong and healthy when you were a child, to become frail and feeble. Still, even more difficult, is the time when a parent must watch their little child go through serious health problems or facing death. What can we do? Doctors, nurses, medicines, and surgeries can only do so much and sometimes nothing at all. We have to find support in God. He has the power to heal and help, and will if it is His will. If not, He can sustain us through the trial.
David continues to serve as an example of one who faced great spiritual challenges. The one that stands out the most is his sin with Bathsheba (2 Sam. 11, 12). After he was confronted with his sin, he did not reject God or His prophet, but humbled himself. He prayed, "Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions" (Psa. 51:1). He sought God’s forgiveness while openly admitting his sin (Psa. 51:2-4).
We further know that David transgressed when he numbered Israel (2 Sam. 24). His trust in God had failed. He began to look to the power of men, the strength of his army. For this, God punished not only David, but also Israel. Recognizing his sin, David placed himself in the hands of the Almighty God (2 Sam. 24:10-17).
There are times when we face spiritual problems. It may be that we sin against God in pride and rebellion. Perhaps we fail to pray, study, or give thanks as we ought (1 Thes. 5:17; 2 Pet. 3:18; Phil. 4:6, 7). There are times when we sin against man by lying, cheating, or cursing. However it is that we sin, we must go before God. When in sin, we need to confess it to God (1 Jn. 1:8-10). It is not that He does not know what we have done, but it is a matter of honesty and an apology on our part. If our sin is before or against men, we need to confess it before them (Jas. 5:16).
In The Depths
Let us also realize that we must recognize how low we go. It was in the "depths" that the Psalmist prayed to God. When some people hit hard times, they turn to booze and drugs. Others seek fulfillment and happiness in sex. Still, many people turn to their peers who do not have a godly attitude and outlook on life.
When we hit rock bottom, let us be like the prodigal son and turn to our benevolent Father (Lk. 15:14-19). He will receive us back if we are leaving sin. If we are simply going through difficult times–facing temptation, sickness, persecution–He will surely give us comfort and strength to endure (2 Cor. 1:3-5).