The Lord has heard my supplication, the Lord accepts my prayer. Psalm 6:9

Whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your father who is in secret; and your father, who sees in secret, will reward you. Matthew. 6:6.  

Much of Psalm 6, attributed to David, consists of lament. We hear how awful things have been; how awful he feels. Not to mention the insecurity and fear as it seems everything is going wrong. But then the Psalm ends with much more hope. He has made his request known to God and now he is very confident that his sorrow will be turned into joy. David is fully sure that God will accept his prayer even though it may sound like he's mostly complaining.  

Just imagine David praying. When David does he pray? Is he praying consistently? Does he have a daily prayer habit, or does he pray when he finds himself trouble? As in  “it's really time to pray now.” That sounds like what a lot of us do. We hit a roadblock in our life, things are going really bad. And then we say, oh, I can pray. God is there there to hear us, even though maybe he'd like to hear from us a little more often. We too are assured that the Lord will listen and receive our prayers.  

As we read the verse from Matthew there is an assumption that Christians pray regularly. After all this verse starts out saying whenever you pray. Doesn't say whenever you pray because you're in trouble, just whenever you pray. It's between us and God. We don't need to stand out on the street corner and pray loudly. In fact, it was probably assumed that everyone has a quiet place. A place where you can go by yourself and talk quietly to God. A spot where it's peaceful. And calm. We don't have specified times to pray, but many suggest we can pray in the morning, we can pray in the evening, we can pray when we're embarrassed, when we're troubled, when we're happy, when we're grateful.  

We can be assured that when we pray, God has promised to listen to our prayer. This assurance should allay our fears of the future and should help calm us down. As one commentator says: ”The Lord has heard my prayer, I am assured that he will do it hereafter; I have, therefore, nothing to fear.”  

Lord, we thank you for your listening ear. Why do we so often wait to pray until we meet a roadblock? We want to change. Help us change. In humility, we come to you with the burdens and concerns of our hearts, knowing that you care for us, and we are not alone.    We thank you for the assurance we find in this blessing. Amen.  

Chris Gabel