The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.—Psalm 34:17
In this Psalm, young David is running for his life from King Saul. God providentially preserves him, and he has a message for all who come behind him: there is a God in Heaven who hears the cries of His children! No matter why and how far we run, God is only a prayer away.
In a time of great trial in my life, I noticed some very brief Bible prayers I was using to cry out to God. I learned, as Spurgeon said, “It’s not the length of your prayers; it’s the strength of your prayers that matters most to God.” He also tenderly declared, “Tears are liquid prayers.” The very first song I sang in church after I had trusted Christ as my personal Saviour while a senior in high school in 1981 was “Tears Are a Language, God Understands.” I am so thankful that our LORD hears and understands the cries of His children!
Note three brief heart-felt Bible prayers we can pray in our time of need:
1. “Remember Me”
In Nehemiah chapter 13, the prophet asked the Lord three times to remember all he had done for Him, His people, and His house. He had led the people to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and had reestablished the people in the worship and service of the Lord. He had put God and others before himself. The enemies of the Lord, however, tried to frustrate Nehemiah’s efforts.
We must remember that God’s servants and their work for Him will always be demeaned and disparaged by the self-willed and self-serving. We must also remember the promise of Hebrews 6:10, “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.”
Others may forget what we have done for them (Isaiah 49:15–16), but God remembers all we have done for Him and will reward us in His time.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.—1 Corinthians 15:58
2. “Undertake for Me”
In Isaiah 38:14, King Hezekiah cries unto the Lord upon the occasion of his impending death. God had sent word through the prophet Isaiah for the king to set his house in order, “For thou shalt die” (verse 1). As he humbled himself in verse 2 and asked God to remember his faithful service in verse 3, God said in verse 5, “I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years.”
Hezekiah recounts the words of his prayer in verses 9–20. The word undertake in verse 14 has the thought of “to braid and to intertwine.” It also has the idea of being a surety for, a guarantor as in a cosigner. When he cried, “undertake for me,” he was asking God to enter into his situation with him and to pick it up where he left off or came up short. Praise God that He will do just that! He hears our cry of invitation to step into our desperation and to make up the difference as a cosigner would.
3. “Help Thou Mine Unbelief”
We read in Mark 9:14–29 about a young man who was demon possessed and his father who asked Jesus for a greater faith to believe in our Lord’s heart of compassion and ability to deliver his son. He found that in Christ, “All things are possible to him that believeth.”
Often we have a measure of faith but struggle with a confidence of faith in God. God can increase our faith, and sometimes He does that by reminding us that He is the object of our faith. A little mustard seed faith in a great big God can see the impossible made possible.
Perhaps you know deep in your heart God can, but you are really wondering if He will work in a certain area of your life. Ask God to come alongside of you and relieve your wavering confidence in His promise. Hebrews 11:33 says that through faith His people “obtained promises.” That means they held to the promise of God until that promise was realized on their behalf. Hold to the promise of God and you will find the God of the promise holding you! “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”
If you have lived for the Lord for any length of time, you have taken your licks and learned many lessons. One thing we learn is that though we can be too strong for God to use (2 Chronicles 26:16), we can never be too weak (1 Corinthians 1:27). Don’t disqualify yourself because of your weaknesses. God is drawn to such that He may show Himself strong on our behalf.
Whatever we face along life’s journey, we have the assurance from God, through the promise of His Word, that He will remember who we are and what we have done for Him, that He will enter into our trials with us and make up the difference where we come up short, and that He will bless our true faith in Him.
Is your heart crying this hour? By faith, lift your cries unto Him that “heareth, and delivereth.”