Habitual Prayer

Psalm 77:2, In the day of my trouble, I seek the Lord.”

This verse is the perfect summation of all the Psalms—seeking God in the day of trouble is ubiquitous in the Psalms. The Psalms are the oratio (prayer), meditatio (meditation), and tentatio (temptation) of daily Christian life—that is, God uses spiritual attacks/affliction (tentatio) to drive us towards prayer (oratio) and dependence on His external Word (meditatio). In other words, our God uses our spiritual afflictions to seek Him through prayer and constant reflection on His Word and the comfort He brings in it.

In our Western way of thinking, we want control over all things—that’s why Westerners are disgusted with the reality of God the Creator who controls all things (this originates from our American forefathers, those indiscernible deists). Thus, we buy self-help books and find we return back to our same old spot and oxymoronically join self-help groups. Self-help is a vicious cycle of losing control over control, seeking to control that loss of control. You can see how dizzying this is.

Such is how the Devil works—that he makes us so dizzy in our control freak habits that the last thing we consider is prayer. For prayer is to do as Jesus did at Gethsemane and surrender control to the will of God—to surrender our will to God’s will. (This is not semi-Pelagian, for by “surrender” I mean trust in God’s will over our own—surrendering trust in ourselves and trusting rather in God.) It is to prostrate ourselves before our King, lay out our afflictions before Him, beg for mercy, and trust in His חֶסֶד (chesedmercy, grace, covenant faithfulness, lovingkindness). For the Lord, the Creator of all things, has promised to be our eternal caregiver (cf. Matthew 10:26-31). Thus, as we cry out to God, let us perennially contemplate on His Word and what He says about us concerning our filial relationship to Him.

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