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Feeling persecuted? Pray!

"With words of hatred they surround me; they attack me without cause. In return for my friendship they accuse me, but I am a man of prayer." Psalm 109:3-4
( [email protected] ) Jul 19, 2005 04:06 PM EDT

Let us be reminded. Those whom the Bible calls wicked are those whom in their sinful nature suppress the knowledge of God as their creator, thus refusing to glorify Him. And that persecution results largely out of the wicked seeking to suppress the righteousness of God in those who do glorify Him.

This persecutor might just as well might be our friend, our neighbour, our colleague or our own family member; people whom we might on any given day call a "good person," never thinking to call them wicked. But were we to live out before them the righteousness of God by glorifying Him, and calling them to glory Him through accepting Jesus Christ, they might change their behaviour towards us. For by God's grace, He might draw them to Christ through our witness, softening their hearts. Or He might harden their hearts against us, so that through them He might display His power and glory to all the earth, just as He did through Pharoah. For "God has mercy on whom He wants to have mercy, and He hardens whom He wants to harden," (Rom 9:18).

In such a position David finds himself. His friendship is returned with accusations, words of hatred, and lies spoken against him. Human nature requires that we react in kind, shedding any former hint of friendship to hit back with the same wicked deceit.

But David astounds with a response the world scoffs at: "I am a man of prayer." David's resolve, his focus, his very sense of identity is to deal with this persecution through the channel of prayer.

In verse six through 20 of Psalm 109, David seeks through prayer, God's divine justice written in that Old Testament voice of a self-righteous plaintiff. In this portrait of a wicked man that David paints, we see the true heart of every "good person" who rejects God's sovereignity in their life. But more importantly, we see David turning all his feelings of anger, frustration and indignation not against his persecutors, but towards God who alone can hear his case.

In verses 21 through 31, David's prayer is turned towards seeking God's deliverance from his plight. He calls on God to save him, so that his attackers might be shamed by God's power and glory. And he finishes with the promise to continue singing God's praises.

See the power of prayer to turn our hearts back to the glorification of God.

Glorious Father, teach to react to the natural frustrations and indignations of those who attack us for our faith with the resolution of bringing it all to You in prayer. Amen.