As an English major, I have come to be a voracious reader, and one of my favorite past-times is cuddling up with a good novel and a cup of coffee. In all my reading, I’ve come to see patterns in books. I am now able to discern what I will like to read and what I won’t. A common thread through all the books I like is how they display a wide range of emotions of humanity, not just the good aspects. Instead of painting a glossy, rose-tinted picture, the novelists try to capture how broken the world is, and by doing so, show something much deeper, a common humanity.
I love novels and reading, but I will be the first to say that I do not look to these things for my hope and salvation. When I want to look to something that speaks to my life now, I look to the Bible. As I read through the Psalms, I recognize in scriptures the same thing I love in literature through these prayers and praises. The Psalms we read for today, Psalms 25-30, were all written by David. In these Psalms, David pleads to God for vindication and deliverance and praises God when he does so. These wonderful prayers model for us how we can come to God in all our pain as well as our joy. In both of these places, God longs to hear from us.
Like novels and books help the author to communicate to us, Psalms shows us how we can communicate with God and the many ways that God can communicate back, through His word, nature, and more. These prayers show us how to come to God in a way that is pleasing to Him and open up our hearts to what He wants from our lives.
God longs for us to pursue Him with prayer, and the New Testament focuses on this heavily. Jesus gives us an example of prayer in Luke 11 with the Lord’s prayer. Paul says in Ephesians 6:18 and 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to pray constantly. These examples and admonitions about prayer point to the same thing that David’s psalms do: we should communicate with God all the time. James says it best in his letter, chapter 5 verse 13, “Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone cheerful? He should sing praises.”
As we can see in the Psalms and through the life of Jesus, prayer is the backbone of our faith. To know and pursue God we need to communicate with Him, and prayer is where that communication, that relationship, begins. We don’t have to gloss over our problems or focus on them solely. God longs for our whole humanity, and we, like David, can bring it to Him.