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The Scriptorium

Relentless Faith

So, where is it? Psalm 88.13-15

Man of Sorrows (5)

Opening Prayer: Psalm 88.13, 14
But to You I have cried out, O LORD,
And in the morning my prayer comes before You.
LORD, why do You cast off my soul?
Why do You hide Your face from me?

Sing Psalm 88.13-16
(Picardy: Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence)
Morning comes and, Lord, I am crying: Why do You my soul reject?
From my youth have I been dying; pain and terrors sore afflict.
Fear and anger, sorely trying, overwhelm, destroy, reject.

Read Psalm 88.13-15

Preparation
1. When and how did the psalmists pray?

2. What was the essence of their prayer?

Meditation
As Christians, we do not expect our lives to be all fun and sunshine. Jesus said that in this world we would have tribulation (Jn. 16.33). So we expect, from time to time, to feel downcast in our soul, alone and rejected, and as if God was not listening to our cries.

But that doesn’t mean we stop crying to Him. He is our only hope. He is our reliable help in times of need (Ps. 46.1). He can bring us through every valley of tears by carrying us in His strength (Ps. 84.6, 7). The sons of Korah saw this kind of relentless faith in Heman, who even as the light of life was going out within him, called on the Lord and cast all his burdens on Him.

Our trials may sometimes be prolonged. Day after day, morning by morning (v. 13) we will pray for relief and feel as if God has hidden His face from us (v. 14). We will once again set before Him the catalog of our distresses and cry to Him for relief (v. 15).

And then we will wait (Ps. 27.13, 14). By the grace of God, faith is unrelenting in the face of trials. Like Jesus, facing the greatest of all trials, we will groan and plead, but in the end, we will say, “Nevertheless, not my will, but Yours be done, O Lord” (Matt. 26.39).

Treasure Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
“But to You I have cried out, O LORD, and
in the morning my prayer comes before You” (Ps. 88.13).

Where else or to whom else should we go?
“You have the words of eternal life” (Jn. 6.68).

Jesus spoke a parable for the purpose of encouragement,
teaching that His people “always ought to pray and not lose heart”:
“There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man.
Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying,
‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’
And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself,
‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me
I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’
Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said.
And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him,
though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily.
Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” (Lk. 18.1-8)

Will He?
Will He find our faith in prayer believable?
Will He find us working in prayer day and night?
Will God be wearied with our cries for righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit? (Rom. 14.17)

We will be found faithful when we are relentless in persistent prayer;
and persistent in our pursuit of peace and holiness in Him (1 Pet. 1.15, 16).

Reflection
1. Would you describe your own faith as “relentless”? Explain.

2. Why is it so important that we know how to seek the Lord in all kinds of situations and circumstances?

3. How can Christians encourage one another to a more relentless faith?

…he modestly intimates by these words, that his pining away in long continued miseries was not owing to his own sluggishness, as if he had not sought God. This is an example particularly worthy of notice, that we may not become discouraged if it happen sometimes that our prayers are for a time unsuccessful, although they may proceed from the heart, and may be assiduously persevered in.
John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on Psalm 88.13

Closing Prayer: Psalm 88.1-5
What challenges, trials, difficulties, or fears are you currently facing? Have you entrusted them to the Lord and His care? Do so now in prayer, and go forth from prayer to live in joyous faith.

Sing Psalm 88.1-5
(Picardy: Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence)
Lord of my salvation, hear me, as I cry by night and day;
Hear my plea, O Lord, bend near me; O, receive me when I pray!
For my soul is weak and weary, and my life draws near the grave.

Like a person thought to be dying, like a man whose strength is gone.
Like one with the slain now lying, like a dead and buried one:
For Your mercy I am sighing, cut off from Your hand and gone.

T. M. and Susie Moore

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore

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