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Calling On God:
An Earnest Prayer

(Psalm 13)

THESIS: To help Christians express their prayers to God.


A.                 We sometimes have difficulty expressing “negative” emotions to God. The Psalms assist one who is in covenant with God know how to properly approach God with all our feelings (love, joy, anger, anxiety, etc.)

B.                 The Psalms are typically divided into categories, reflecting the nature of the psalmist.

1.      Disorientation Psalm – a psalm written in the context of “seasons of hurt, alienation, suffering and death” which “evoke rage, resentment, self-pity and hatred.”

2.      Psalm 13 falls into this category.

3.      The Psalm is a lament of current situations – but it is a lament TO GOD!

C.                 Historical links:

1.      Probably written by David during the time Saul was persecuting him. David dared to cherish the hope of escaping death only by vigilance and endurance.

                                                               i.      1 Sam. 18:8-9; 19:9-11, 18; 20:1; 21:10-12

D.                 The Psalm is an earnest prayer for God’s help. Behind this plea is FAITH IN GOD to accomplish what we ask.

The Psalm divides itself easily into three parts . . .

I. PROTEST (vv. 1-2)

A.                 Four aspects of protest – “How Long” (lit. “until when”)

1.      Seemingly been forgotten by God forever (v. 1a).

                                                               i.      Up till now he had been patient and had born his trials long with hope they soon would be over.

                                                             ii.      But is has been so long he asks: “How much longer will it be?”

                                                            iii.      i.e. apostle Paul’s thorn in the flesh (2 Cor. 12).

2.      God seems to have hidden His face from him (v. 1b).

3.      He must heed his own counsel (v. 2a).

4.      His enemies were seemingly being exalted (v. 2b).

B.                 We sometimes think:

1.      God has forgotten about us.

2.      God is angry with us.

3.      We don’t know what to do.

4.      We are losing to our enemies.

II. PETITION (vv. 3-4)

A.                 Three requests:

1.      Consider (v. 3a)

                                                               i.      “Look” – “I’m here!”

                                                             ii.      Feeling God had turned away, he pleads for God to look at him again and…

2.      Hear (v. 3a)

                                                         i.      “Listen to my cry!”

                                                       ii.      “Do what I’m asking!”

3.      Lighten (v. 3b)

                                                         i.      Impart new life (cf. Ezra 9:8)

                                                       ii.      A request for God to interpose.

B.                 Two reasons behind requests:

1.      Lest – I die (v. 3c)

2.      Lest – my enemies rejoice (v. 4)

C.                 Our enemies:

1.      Family (Matt. 10:36)

2.      Death (1 Cor. 15:25-26)

3.      Satan (1 Pet. 5:8)

4.      Many others (Phil. 3:18)

III. PRAISE (vv. 5-6)

A.                 Original trust in God: (v. 5a)

1.      Although psalmist begins in distress, his original confidence had been in God.

2.      “I have trusted in the mercy of God; I still trust; I will always trust”.

B.                 Result of this trust:

1.      Rejoice – assurance of salvation. Prayer and rejoicing in the Lord connected.

2.      Sing – to the covenant God (Jehovah).

i.         “Deal bountifully” means to deal favorably or kindly.

ii.       God has shown His kindness or favor, and had thus laid the foundation for praise.

C.                 We:

1.      Our rejoicing and trust comes from the foundation already laid by God.

2.      Our celebration in God’s goodness and mercy comes from the fact that inspires us to lament to God in the first place.

IV. APPLICATION: (Phil 4:4-7)

A.                 Take it to the Lord – FIRST!

1.      A sin problem

2.      Persecution problem

3.      Depression problem

4.      Family problems

5.      Health problems

6.      Financial problems

B.                 LAMENT and then TRUST:

1.      Israel

i.         Groan – Ex. 2:23-25

ii.       Trust – Ex. 4:30-31

2.      Moses

i.         Complaint – Ex. 5:22-23

ii.       Trust – Ex. 7:6

3.      David

i.         Cry – Psa. 40:1

ii.       Trust – Psa. 40:2-3

4.      Paul

i.         Plea – 2 Cor. 12:7-8

ii.       Trust – 2 Cor. 12:9-10

5.      Jesus

i.         Inquiry – Matt. 27:46

ii.       Trust – Luke 23:46

C.                 Ask for what you need:

1.      Guidance

2.      Forgiveness

3.      Mercy

4.      Strength

5.      Understanding

D.                 Then PRAISE God:

1.      Turn TO God.

2.      Don’t turn AWAY FROM God.


A.                 Rom. 8:22-28 – all creation is groaning

B.                 We have the Holy Spirit’s assistance in our prayer life

C.                 Turn to God (Acts 3:19) means obeying the gospel.


Glory to God in the church by Christ Jesus
Franklin Church of Christ