“Bend down, O Lord, and hear my prayer;
answer me, for I need your help.”
Psalms 86:1 NLT
Yet again the imagery in the Psalms impresses me. Straight away, this verse develops within me a picture of a parent bending down to hear what a small child is saying. David is back again, pushing the Psalmist’s pen. And once again he is calling out to God for help. If the only information about his life was contained within the Psalms then we would perhaps have a very skewed picture of his existence, as he seemed to stumble from one disaster to the next. From one petitioning audience with God to the next.
But this picture of God bending down to hear our prayers. My prayers. Your prayers. The world’s prayers. So many of them incessantly rising up into Heavenly places. But we read that God doesn’t loftily wait for them to arrive, holding out a net to catch the best ones, letting most fall back to earth unanswered. No, God actually bends down to hear them – David wouldn’t have asked otherwise. Our hurried whispered prayers. Not making much sense. But God knows – He bends down to hear them. And just in case the words from our mouths are garbled and incoherent, He checks out what is in our hearts, where the source of our prayers are birthed.
The wonderful thing about our relationships with our Heavenly Father, is that He is always there for us. “An ever present help in times of trouble”, (Psalm 46). And we can call upon Him at any time. Day or night. From wherever we are. From a prison cell or a palace. In bed, on our knees, at our office desk, anywhere at all. There in no place where God is unreachable. So why do we hold back in our petitions, in our prayers for help when we need it?
David’s faith was such that he was convinced God would always answer him. He wrote in verse 7 of this psalm, “I will call to you whenever I’m in trouble, and you will answer me.” And he also knew that God would never tire of hearing his prayers. He wrote in verse 3, “Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I am calling on you constantly.” David knew the wonderful love and provision of His Heavenly Father. But He’s our Father as well and He has no favourites. We can all stand before Him, equally able to offer up our prayers. His unfailing love and mercy means He is always ready and waiting to hear us, bending down if necessary to hear our heart-felt petitions. Oh – just one more thing – we mustn’t forget our manners – we mustn’t forget to thank Him. And offer Him our praise and worship, in constant wonder that the Creator of everything cares enough to bend down and hear our prayers.