When You Want To Run Away—Choose Prayer
Psalm 55 gives us a vivid picture of a man, King David, in great terror because of his enemies and deeply grieved by treachery. His first reaction to his current circumstance is to turn and run—and let’s not be hard on the “man after God’s own heart,” because that might be our response as well when were under this kind of pressure. David, however chooses to offer earnest prayer for relief. He chooses to fervently seek God and His confident assurances.
We can feel his yearning for God in the first verse, “Give ear to my prayer, O God, and do not hide Yourself from my supplication.” He is asking God to “lend His ear.” The Hebrew word he uses is (‘āzan) the same word the prophet Jeremiah used to get the people’s attention to the prophecy God gave him (Jeremiah 13:15). David is pouring out his heart to God and he’s pleading for Him to listen.
The Psalm continues and David expresses great pain. Many commentators believe he wrote this Psalm as a result of his son Absalom’s betrayal. He is hurting deeply, but in the midst of his pain he is crying out to God in bold and fervent prayer.
Verses 16 and 17 show us exactly how he prayed, “As for me, I will call upon God, and the Lord shall save me. Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice.” David uses the Hebrew word qārā, which expresses far more than calling. It’s a word that implies “accosting.” David accosted God with his prayers throughout the day. He confronted God and forcefully proclaimed his need.
Then, in verse 17 David goes even further. He says, “I will pray, and cry aloud.” The word he uses is hāmāh which is an action word meaning to murmur, growl, roar or howl. David went after God in passionate prayer. While everything inside him said, “run!” he chose to stay and seek God. My guess is he was probably on his knees in tears and shouting his prayers to his Father in heaven.
And, when we feel like running away, we need to do the same thing. I know, I hear about things going on every day. We all face a common desire to run away. We all deal with disappointments in life. Many of us want to get away from hassles, and the frustrations. We are weary of arguments, and bickering and sometimes we feel like we are incapable of doing what we think should be done. I know that.
Why does David hang in there? But God. Just read verses 22 and 23, “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. But You, O God, shall bring them down to the pit of destruction; bloodthirsty and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in You.”
David rested and trusted completely in God’s promises and knew that the Lord would uphold the believer in their life struggles. David knew that when he called upon God, He would listen, and He would sustain him (give him enough to get through the struggle) no matter what was happening in his life.
We are reminded today that when we want to run away we have a better place to go when we run to God, accosting and boldly speaking our prayers to Him.