5 Steps in Passionate Ancient Prayer

5 Steps in Passionate Ancient Prayer

November 9, 2019 0 By Janneke

 

“Awake! Why are you sleeping, o Lord?”

Phew! This is quite an approach to God, who is Holy and Triune, and more than we can think of or imagine! And yet it is the Word of God and the ancient Psalm 44. There is a whole mix of emotions in this psalm.

This last half a year for our family has been a bit comparable to a rocky road or a wild sea. Maybe you are in a situation that is very different from mine, and yet, your situation might be very unsettling too. Whatever you face, this ancient way of prayer might be a tool for you to pour out your heart to God. It is an ancient and balanced way of talking to God in an intimate way. 

A few years ago, I joined a psalm meditation group online. Every month, we focus on a psalm, and lately, we have been meditating on Psalm 44. I struggled a lot to understand this psalm. On the one hand, the writer calls Him “my King” (vs. 4), and on the other hand, he blames God: You have rejected us and disgraced us. (vs. 9) This is seemingly so contradictory. I lacked an understanding of context. So, I took up the ESV Study Bible and found something that greatly encouraged me, which I will gladly share here. I especially loved the intimate way of prayer and conversation with God. And the structure! It is like a journal. The people of God are faithfully journeying with Him. (1) In the meantime, stuff happens—(2) hard stuff. But they want to stay faithful, remind God of that (3) (renew their covenant, in a way), and pray boldly: (4) Come, Lord! You are steadfast in Your love for us. Help us, therefore, out of this situation. (5) Redeem us for the sake of Your steadfast love! Ps. 44: 26  

So, now, if you want to dive into this psalm a bit deeper, get a notebook, a pen, and some time apart to think about a certain period in your life (now, or in the past) and write out step by step what you would love to say to God. 

Five steps in an ancient prayer in Psalm 44.

  1. Remind yourself of the journey with God. The psalm opens with a recounting of what God did for them. (1–8)1; drove out the nations; planted his people there; saved them from their foes. And because of all that, give thanks to His name forever. (8) 

Now for your own situation:

Remind yourself of your journey with God and how you have travelled with Him so far (and He with you). Use a few lines to write this down.

 

  1. Tell God what bothers you. After the people in the psalm remember what God did in the past, they say, “But now, we are rejected!” God has rejected and disgraced them and allowed the nations to taunt them. 

Now for your own situation:

Tell God what bothers you. Why are you upset? What is your need? 

 

  1. Stay focused on God; do not lose heart; renew your love for Him. The people in the psalm reply with: “But we still love You!” (we have not forsaken You!) (17) 

Now for your own situation: 

If you face difficulty, stay focused on God; do not lose heart, and renew your love for Him.

 

  1. Tell the difficulty. The people say what is happening: “We are killed all day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” Paul says later in Rom. 8:36 that God’s people have always had to face such situations, yet they must not conclude that they are thereby separated from the love of Christ. 

Now for your own situation:

Speak the difficulty. Open up your heart, and write down what it is. In the psalm, it is also quite passionate: Why are You asleep, o Lord?

 

  1. Remind God of His steadfast love. Pray boldly. Therefore: Lord, come now to help us. They pray boldly and remind God of His own steadfast love.   

Now for your very own situation:

Remind God of His steadfast love. Pray boldly.Catch God with his own words,” is a quote from Martin Luther. He might have gotten it from this psalm, because the psalm closes with: Redeem us, for the sake of Your steadfast love! Ps. 44 : 26  

 

I hope that you enjoy this exercise. Feel free to use it in a group or however. And yes, please let me know what your thoughts are about it!

 

5 steps in ancient passionate prayer, while life can be as a storm on a wild sea.