“For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken” (Psalm 62:1-2).
Inspiration for prayer dries up when events shatter our trust. Unexpected developments at work shock with revelations of gossip and betrayal, investments go awry, thieves steal treasured possessions, a loved one dies despite fervent prayer. A spouse strikes us. We “ace” the interview, but don’t get the job. These obstacles to prayer hardly are new; the writer of Psalm 62 mentions several of them. It’s hard to pray when it’s hard to trust. We seek distractions to smother our pain: frantic exercise, self-medication, anger. We go to church and sing as loudly as possible, say “Amen” to whatever the preacher says. The emptiness remains. We stlll don’t trust.
Like Elijah in 1 Kings 19, we seek God first in the spectacular and the noisy. Like the writer of Ecclesiastes, we immerse ourselves in craving for wealth and sensuality. Like the writer in Ecclesiastes, we come away disheartened; “all is meaningless.”
“For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God” (Psalm 62:5-7).
The refrain sounds again: wait for God in silence. Frantic busyness and loud worship are not the avenues to trusting relationship with God; silence and listening are. The psalmist instructs,
“Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us” (Psalm 62:8).
Trust God. Confide in Him as you pray. Yes, pray fervently. Cry and protest. Remember, however, to pause and to listen, to take time to read the words of Scripture and reflect on what God has revealed there. God has spoken. Do we pause long enough to digest what he has said? Do we remember that we can trust because God has demonstrated his love?
“Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God, and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love. For you will render to a man according to his work” (Psalm 62:12-13).