Wednesday, February 14, 2018 – Ash Wednesday
Psalm 102: 1-28 (NKJV)
Hear my prayer, O Lord, And let my cry come to You. 2Do not hide Your face from me in the day of my trouble; Incline Your ear to me; In the day that I call, answer me speedily. 3For my days are consumed like smoke, And my bones are burned like a hearth. 4My heart is stricken and withered like grass, So that I forget to eat my bread. 5Because of the sound of my groaning My bones cling to my skin. 6I am like a pelican of the wilderness; I am like an owl of the desert. 7I lie awake, And am like a sparrow alone on the housetop. 8My enemies reproach me all day long; Those who deride me swear an oath against me. 9For I have eaten ashes like bread, And mingled my drink with weeping, 10Because of Your indignation and Your wrath; For You have lifted me up and cast me away. 11My days are like a shadow that lengthens, And I wither away like grass. 12But You, O Lord, shall endure forever, And the remembrance of Your name to all generations. 13You will arise and have mercy on Zion; For the time to favor her, Yes, the set time, has come. 14For Your servants take pleasure in her stones, And show favor to her dust. 15So the nations shall fear the name of the Lord, And all the kings of the earth Your glory. 16For the Lord shall build up Zion; He shall appear in His glory. 17He shall regard the prayer of the destitute, And shall not despise their prayer. 18This will be written for the generation to come, That a people yet to be created may praise the Lord. 19For He looked down from the height of His sanctuary; From heaven the Lord viewed the earth, 20To hear the groaning of the prisoner, To release those appointed to death, 21To declare the name of the Lord in Zion, And His praise in Jerusalem, 22When the peoples are gathered together, And the kingdoms, to serve the Lord. 23He weakened my strength in the way; He shortened my days. 24I said, “O my God, Do not take me away in the midst of my days; Your years are throughout all generations. 25Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. 26They will perish, but You will endure; Yes, they will all grow old like a garment; Like a cloak You will change them, And they will be changed. 27But You are the same, And Your years will have no end. 28The children of Your servants will continue, And their descendants will be established before You.”
The introduction to this Psalm shows it as a prayer of an afflicted person who is faint and pouring out his cries to the Lord. Various conditions of life are reflected in the prayer. Verses 3–8 paint the picture of someone in very deep distress. He hardly eats, and has been reduced to skin and bones (v4). He is taunted by enemies (v8), and feels very lonely (v7). He feels forsaken by God, as if God was very angry with him (v10). He also feels threatened by death (vs.11, 23). The prayer expresses confidence in God’s greatness and strength and his love for his children (vs.12–16). The writer has firm belief that his prayer will be answered (v.17), and prays that this answer comes speedily (vs.1 -2). He trust’s God that this is the time to receive his favour (v13).
Whatever is your present condition or challenge, present it to God in prayer. Whatever the threats around you, direct them to God in prayer! Lay all your burdens upon him, because he cares for you (1Peter 5:7). Remember to pray in faith, so as to receive the desired answers (Heb. 11:1).
Prayer: Hear my prayer, O Lord!