Read Psalm 54-55
When famous missionary Hutson Taylor was sailing to China to begin his missionary work, his ship was in great danger. The wind had died, and the current was carrying them toward sunken reefs which were close to islands inhabited by cannibals—so close they could see them building fires on the shore. Everything they tried was to no avail.
In his journal Taylor recorded what happened next: "The Captain said to me, 'Well, we have done everything that can be done.' A thought occurred to me, and I replied, 'No, there is one thing we have not done yet.' 'What is that?' he queried. 'Four of us on board are Christians. Let us each retire to his own cabin, and in agreed prayer ask the Lord to give us immediately a breeze.'"
Taylor prayed briefly and then, certain that the answer was coming, went up on the deck and asked the first officer to let down the sails. "What would be the good of that?” he answered roughly. I told him we had been asking a wind from God; that it was coming immediately. Within minutes the wind did began to blow, and it carried them safely past the reefs.
Taylor wrote: "Thus God encouraged me ere landing on China’s shores to bring every variety of need to Him in prayer, and to expect that He would honor the name of the Lord Jesus and give the help each emergency required." Knowing that our prayers touch the heart of our loving Father in Heaven and that He can meet any need, we should be confident that He will hear and answer when we cry out to Him.
It is obvious in our two psalms for today that David believed strongly in the power of prayer. In these psalms he is being attacked by former companions of his. He is on the run for his life. He is desperate and prayer is his lifeline. David would have agreed with the theologian, MC Hammer who sang, "You have to pray just to make it today".
In Psalm 54:1-2 David wrote, "O God, save me by your name, and vindicate me by your might. O God, hear my prayer; give ear to the words of my mouth." And in Psalm 55:1, "Give ear to my prayer, O God, and hide not yourself from my plea for mercy!" These were the desperate prayers of a desperate man.
That's not a bad thing to offer desperate prayers. It shows humility. It shows that we ultimate believe we are dependent on God in prayer. David cried out in Psalm 55:17: "Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice." How amazing is that. Anytime of the day God is there to hear our desperate prayers.
Desperate prayers show dependency. And when we are dependent God shows up in power. That's why David could move from desperate prayer to confident prayer in Psalm 55:22: "Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved."
MC Hammer had it right, we do need to pray just to make it today. And that's a good thing. Our dependency leads to God's power.
What desperate prayers do you need to offer up to God today?
How's your prayer life? Take time this week to pray in the "evening and morning and at noon".
Prayer for the day: "Thank you Lord that you are available to talk and listen at any hour of the day. Help me approach you in humility. Lord, let me offer desperate prayers to you in confidence as I approach the throne of grace. For you glory. Amen."