April 23 PDF Print E-mail
"From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the Rock that is higher than I. For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy." — Psalm 61:2,3.

He does the most important service, who instructs us to pray. We may here learn much from the example of David.

How would he pray? "I will cry unto Thee." Crying is a substitute for speech, and also the expression of earnestness. A child can cry, long before it can articulate, and its cries as much move the parent, as any eloquence of words. A person in great danger, or want, or pain, not only utters himself, but cries out, and often aloud, according to the pressure of his feelings. Let me pray as I can. I may not be able to express my desires as some do, but, if I am deeply affected by them, and they spring from a broken heart and a contrite spirit, they shall not be despised.

Where would he pray? "From the ends of the earth will I cry unto Thee." He means any condition, however desolate or distant, distance of place being put for greatness of extremity. Sometimes we may be thrown into situations the most trying and remote from human aid. But wherever we are, God is there to hear and succour us. Thus Joseph found him, when sold into Egypt; and John, when he was exiled in Patmos; and Paul, when tossed far off upon the sea. We are as near the Throne of Grace in one place as another. Prayer can reach Him, wherever we are, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. "While they speak I will answer; and before they speak I will hear."

When would he pray? "When my heart is overwhelmed." Not that he would restrain prayer at other times — we are to pray without ceasing. It is the character of a hypocrite, that he will not always call upon God. There are birds who only make a noise at the approach of bad weather; and there are persons who only pour out a prayer when God's chastening hand is upon them. But what should we think of a neighbour or friend, who never called upon us, but when he wanted to borrow, or to beg? Yet, what is always proper, may be sometimes peculiarly seasonable, natural, and necessary. And this is the case when we are in trouble and affliction. Therefore says God, "Call upon me in the day of trouble". The answer will in due time relieve and deliver. The exercise will immediately soothe and sanctify. "Is any afflicted? Let him pray."

For what would he pray? "Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I." What means he by this Rock, but something which could afford him support, when he was ready to be swallowed up? The perfections of Jehovah, the everlasting Covenant, the doctrine of Providence, the Lord Jesus, who is our hope — this is the rest, and this is the refreshing. And yet, when the relief is provided, and when we see it too, we cannot reach it of ourselves. We need a divine agency to conduct us to it. We live in the Spirit, but walk in the Spirit.

Whence does he derive his encouragement to pray? "For Thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy." Nothing can be more confirming and exciting, than the review of God's former interpositions* on our behalf, and to reason from what he has been, to what he will be, and from what he has done, to what he will do. For he is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. "And they that know his Name will put their trust in him."

"His love, in time past,
Forbids me to think
He'll leave me, at last,
In trouble to sink. Each sweet Ebenezer
I have in review,
Confirms his good pleasure
To help me quite through."

Morning Exercises For Everyday In The Year
By Rev. William Jay

* To step in between parties at variance —Ed

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