The Urgent Prayer


“Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me. When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek. Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.” (Psalm 27:7-9)

David’s prayers were urgent, intensely demanding God to deliver or protect him from immediate circumstances that were threatening to “eat him up.” Many prayers for help in time of trouble are very similar.

Although there is no requirement to pray out loud, there does seem to be a consistent pattern in these prayers that cry out for help in desperate times: the petitioner cries “with my voice” (Psalm 3:4; 27:7; 77:1; 142:1). Perhaps the need is so great that one forgets to be formal and just blurts out the need. Possibly the urgency of the situation is so immediate that all concern for what others may think is obliterated. Maybe, when we use our voice in our prayers, more of our “being” is involved in the praying.

Whatever the circumstances or reasons may be, the Scripture seems to bear out the need to vocalize our petitions. The widow who would not leave the judge alone (Luke 18:1-8) and the friend who pounded on the door for food at midnight (Luke 11:5-10) are two classic parables that encourage us to insist and to persist in our prayers before the Lord.

Even when every resource we have at our disposal fails, even when those closest to us desert us, God promises, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not” (Jeremiah 33:3). HMM III

Adapted from Treasures in the Psalms, Henry M. Morris III, 344-345.