For the next few days we will return to the account of the abduction of David’s family at Ziklag. From it we may learn a few things to help us pray during these forty days.
The first thing David and his men did was . . . weep! They wept, in fact, until there was no strength left in them.
We remind ourselves . . . this is not a fairy tale. This man and his soldiers returned to their families to find them gone, taken captive, and the encampment burned up. May God grant us all to hear today, if any of our family members have been abducted, if our hopes and dreams seem to be nothing but a pile of ashes, if we have cried until we haven’t strength left for tears . . . we may do as David did, and we may yet see a victorious end to every terrible ordeal.
David wept, and when he was weak with crying, his men thought perhaps they would stone him for letting this thing happen. David did what ought to be the first thing we might do in our own grief or fear, he “strengthened himself in the Lord.”
If we are praying for others, people whose lives do not touch so immediately upon ours own, we may still weep for them, if we will, and we may still strengthen ourselves in God. We know that the Holy Spirit is praying with “groanings that cannot be uttered.” We may enter into God’s divine and exquisite compassion. We may begin to care that much by that Spirit. For that kind of care, the strength of God is required.
The Scripture tells us that the Lord hears the groanings of the people of earth. If we are praying for those who groan in their private anguish, or if they are so lost to the dangers of their condition that we must groan for them, God will hear. The Lord Jesus Christ, we know, is touched by the feeling of our infirmities. (Hebrews 4:12) Once again, we may join Him there on behalf of others. Entering into His deep compassion, we may strengthen ourselves in the knowledge that He is near to the broken-hearted. (Psalm 34:18) When we share His compassion, we will be strong in faith, hope, and love.
Jesus commended us to the care of widows, orphans, those sick and in prison, and the poor. We don’t need to harden our hearts against what we cannot help; we need only begin to care deeply, to care continually. He will show us what can be done. Tomorrow we will look at that aspect of David’s victory.
Memorial House of Mother Theresa,
by permission, Danielmkd