This Week’s Main Idea:
The Lord is attentive to the prayers of those in pain.
How honest are you with God when you pray? Do you think that we often fear to tell God how we are really feeling?
What do you think God’s posture is toward us when we are frustrated with His plan and tell Him so? Is it safe to “vent” to God?
Life can be very difficult, and many people live in almost constant pain. For some, the pain is physical; for others, it is spiritual. For many, it is both. What do we do when our dreams are shattered? How do we cope when we are beset with illness? Where can we go to vent our grief and pain?
The psalms teach us that our Lord is a safe haven. He gives ear to those who hurt. God can handle the difficult questions, and He is patient with our attitudes. The Psalms teach us that we can ask God for anything, that we can tell Him anything, and while God may not answer us exactly how we hope, He will always answer us. Most importantly, He will love us.
Read Psalm 6:1-3.
- Why do you think David begins by asking God not to rebuke him in His anger?
- Does it matter whether his weakness is from a physical or spiritual malady?
- What do you think he means by asking the Lord, “How long?” How long for what?
Read Psalm 6:4-7.
- What is the psalmist depending on for an answered prayer?
- Do you think it is possible to worship through grief? What examples can you give?
- The Psalms were written to be sung by God’s people when they gathered together. Do you struggle with the idea of singing songs in church that focus on pain and suffering the way this psalm does?
Read Psalm 6:8-10.
- What do you think it means that his prayer is “accepted” (v.9)?
- The final verses of this psalm are directed at “my enemies” (v. 10). How does the Gospel change the way we understand these words? (See Ephesians 6:10-13; 1 Corinthians 15:24-26; Revelation 20:14.)
Taking it Home:
- How important is it for us to enter into prayer with humility? What does humility in prayer look like, and can you think of any examples of praying with false humility?
- How can you become the kind of person that people come to for support when they’re experiencing pain and sorrow? (If you are that type of person: what particular behavior, practice, or demeanor do you have that you think most contributes to this?)
Heavenly Father, you are so gracious toward us in always listening to our prayers. We know that You hear and see our pain, and that You are proactive to help us through our sorrows—and we thank you for this! Shape our hearts to be like Yours, so that we would be aware of the sorrows and difficulties of others. And move us not only to pray for them, but also to help them in their time of trouble. Be glorified in us as we love others with Your love, and make Your Name great as Your love is more clearly shown in the world.
Other Scriptures to Engage with this week:
Psalm 69; 1 Kings 17:8-24; Isaiah 49:13-23; 2 Kings 4:1-37; Lamentations 3:19-33; Romans 5:1-11.