How do you pray in the pit?

by Bethany

Today’s Readings: Ezekiel 3, Psalm 39-40

The Pit

Sometimes things seem like they just can’t get any worse.

Although we don’t know what situation led David to write Psalm 40, we know that he is in a “slimy pit.”  He is desperate and helpless, sinking deeper and deeper every time he tries to climb out.

David’s pit reminds me of George Bailey’s Christmas Eve in It’s a Wonderful Life.  At twelve, George lost hearing in one ear when he fell through a frozen pond to rescue his brother.  Years later, when his father unexpectedly died, he put his travel plans on hold to manage his family’s company and gave his college savings to his brother.  When the town slumlord threatened to close down his company after it lost money in a bank run, George and his wife used their honeymoon funds to satisfy the outstanding debts.  Then, when George’s uncle was about to deposit a large sum into the company account, the slumlord inadvertently stole it and then arrogantly refused to make a corporate loan to George.

The Cry

Not only did George and David experience similar pits, they also expressed similar cries.  In desperation, George prayed, “Dear Father in heaven, I’m not a praying man, but if you’re up there and you can hear me, show me the way. I’m at the end of my rope. Show me the way, O God.”

Yet, this is where their similarities end.  Within five minutes, when George faced another adversity, he immediately doubted God: “That’s what I get for praying.”  Unlike George, David was a praying man.  He cried to the Lord and then intently and patiently waited on Him: “I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry” [1].

The Rescue

Even though the Lord seemed distant when David was in the pit, He was near.  Thus, at the proper time, the Lord rescued Him: “He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.  He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God” [2].

When you’re crying for help in the pit, how do you wait on God – like George or David?  What does your response evidence about your faith – that you doubt His care for you or that you trust that He will rescue you?


[1] Psalm 40:1 TNIV  |  [2]  Psalm 40:2-3 TNIV

2 Comments to “How do you pray in the pit?”

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