It can be so easy to read David’s psalms or the sufferings of Paul and feel completely detached from what they experienced. As we ourselves in modern America hardly deal with similar external struggles, we end up cowering in prayer before God to commend Him for being willing and able and instead return to stress and loneliness, feeling inadequate due to our “easy lives” to go before God in such a way. So what can be said of this? I would concur that yes, we do not experience the same levels of distress (most of us at least); however, it is the inner dilemma that must always be addressed- the matters of the heart. There is no rubric of appropriateness in prayer before God that we must use to know when to plead with Him in such a way as we hear David doing. He is our God, for us and not against us, willing and most certainly able to assist us in all our needs. The words of John Owen never grow old for me:
“We may ask, What will Christ not do for us? He who emptied and humbled himself, who came down from the infinite height of his glory to take our finite nature into union with his infinite nature, will he not meet all our needs and answer according to his infinite wisdom all our prayers for help? Will he not do all that is necessay for us to be eternally saved? Will he not be a sanctuary for us? We have no reason to fear his ability and power, for in becoming man he lost nothing of his power as the Almighty God, nor of his infinite wisdom and glorious grace. He could still do all that he could do as God from eternity. So Christ is indeed most willing and able to help us. And if we do not see his glory in this, it is because we have no faith in us.” -John Owen, The Glory of Christ, page 48
This says it all. He who gave us the Gospel through His Beloved Son, Christ Jesus, wants to assist His children. After all He has adopted us as sons and daughters to obtain a perfect inheritance prepared for us eternally! I end with my own heart’s desire: May God be constantly encountered by his children. May we not be hesitant to plead for Him, telling him all our concerns and needs, the inner turmoil that we ourselves were never intended to bear. He is willing.