- Keith Fink
Crying Out and Watching
Give ear to my words, O LORD;
consider my groaning.
2 Give attention to the sound of my cry,
my King and my God,
for to you do I pray.
3 O LORD, in the morning you hear my voice;
in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch. (Psalm 5:1-3)
Psalm 5 records David’s morning cry for help when his enemies have spread lies about him (see vs. 9). This is a common human experience. We all know to some degree how it feels when people speak malicious lies meant to harm us. So, David takes his hurts and complaints to the Lord in prayer. He longs for the Lord to “give ear” to his words (vs. 1), and give attention to the sound of his cry (vs. 2).
As David cries out in the morning he does not speak with the despairing voice of someone who cries out into the silence: “if there is a god out there, help me.” No! David, cries out to one he not only knows as King and God but (notice the pronouns) “my King and my God (vs. 2).” The one to whom David cries is one to whom he belongs.
My guess is that none of what I have said so far is strange to our ears. As we cry out to God concerning the things that trouble us we do so as one who is “my King and my God.” Yet perhaps where David might help us is in regard to our posture as we pray. Notice that the close of verse 3 tells us that as he prays to God he watches (or waits expectantly). Here is the idea that David does not merely vent to God, hoping to simply get something off his chest. No, he cries out to God and waits for an answer like a watchman waits for the rising sun.
Charles Spurgeon asked this question in light of these words: “How can we expect the Lord to open the windows of his grace, and pour out a blessing, if we will not open the widows of expectation and look up for the promised favor?” When we first began the Saturday morning prayer time we labeled it “Expectant Prayer.” It was a name that never stuck. Yet watching or praying with expectation that our King and God would answer us is indeed a posture we should learn from David. Will you watch and wait with me?