“With my voice I cry out to the Lord; with my voice I plead for mercy to the Lord.” (ESV – Read the chapter)
This is one of those psalms to pray when the wheels have fallen off the thing and nothing is going your way. The context note tells us that it was a prayer of David’s when he was in the cave. That alone gives us some hope that this is a good prayer for hopeless-seeming situations even without any of the other words.
Maybe you’ve walked a path like that one. David didn’t start in a cave. He started in a pasture. Then he moved to the frontlines of a war where he bested the other side’s champion and became a legend for it. This brought him into the king’s house. He even became the king’s son-in-law. But then his star rose too high and the king became jealous.
A jealous king who still had the eyes of the nation soon turned David’s world upside-down. Now, instead of living in the palace and traveling freely, David was on the run. The people no longer celebrated him, they hated him and sought to help the king eliminate him. The only place for him to go was the cave. There he hid, waiting for something he could not make happen on his own. He waited for God to come through on His promise to make him great, to make him king.
Have you been there? No, you probably haven’t been on the run from a king after having been one of his chief generals, but perhaps you were in a place where everything was going your way. You were riding high on life and then lost it all. Your situation didn’t merely turn south, it reversed itself completely. Fortune abandoned you and friendship with it. You were left in a metaphorical cave wondering how exactly you got there and whether you were ever going to get out again.
These are words for you. Pray them and know you aren’t alone. Pray them boldly and know they were answered before. And if they were answered before, they will likely be answered again. Pray them and then live with the confidence David expresses at the end. Live confidently out of the character of God no matter how distant He seems, because just as He did not abandon David to the cave forever, neither will He do so to you. Give Him your heart in all its ugliness and He will make you His prize. He is for you.