Groaning – Psalms 5 & 6

I love the Psalms, the hymnal of Israel. Even now, thousands of years after David penned these words, they touch God’s people. I remember learning a worship chorus at camp as a teen, that was taken word-for-word from Psalm 5:1-3. I loved it and still sing it whenever I read this passage. These are prayers, prayers of joy, for protection, of thanks, of penitence, for mercy, of praise. I make them a part of my daily time with God.

There’s a word in Psalm 6 that caught my attention: groaning. This Psalm is a prayer for God’s mercy. It sounds as if David had sinned and he is feeling the guilt of his conscience and the convicting of the Spirit. He is feeling weighed down by it. You’ve been there. I’ve been there. Even if  no one else knows, we do and we know that God knows as well. So we wallow in it a while. We throw ourselves a pity party (poor me). And finally when we can’t take it anymore, we cry out to God for mercy and forgiveness.

            In Romans 8:26 Paul says: Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words (ESV). Have you ever been so distraught that you just cried out to God without  knowing what to say? That’s how I felt when my mom died and I couldn’t get there in time to say goodbye. My heart was broken and I just lay on the bed crying, weeping with no way of expressing myself. The Spirit interpreted those tears, my broken heart, into groans that He lay before the feet of God, who touched my aching heart with His love.

No matter the sound, the tears, the groans, the questions, the need, God is there in His mercy, His grace, His love, His forgiveness to hear the prayers and meet our need. He just waits for us to come.

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