Psalm 70

Hasten, O God, to save me; O LORD, come quickly to help me. May those who seek my life be put to shame and confusion; may all who desire my ruin be turned back in disgrace. May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!” turn back because of their shame.

But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation always say, “Let God be exalted!” Yet I am poor and needy; come quickly to me, O God. You are my help and my deliverer; O LORD, do not delay.

Back when fax machines were the hottest things in the written communications world, we used to call these “fax prayers,” a quick message to the Lord informing Him of our immediate need. As if he needed informing.  Today I guess they’d be called e-mails, or text messages. It’s the kind of prayer Peter instinctively cried out when he was sinking while trying to walk on water. “Lord! Save me!”

My guess is that David found himself surrounded by enemies and more to admit His own distress than to inform the Lord, he made an urgent plea for help. In a way, it demonstrates our faith when we do this, not just our helplessness. When we’re in deep trouble, we don’t go to someone we don’t believe can rescue us, nor to someone whose ability we’re not sure of, but to the one we feel is most able.

Someone once remarked, “If you want to know a person’s true feelings, watch what he does when you catch him off guard.” When we’re surprised by some looming disaster and instinctively call for help, whom do we seek? Is it the Lord? If so we can at least take comfort in the knowledge that our claimed reliance on Him is grounded in truth.

but sadly, many of us are members of what I call “The Church of Last Resort.” That means we’ll try every human means at our disposal to affect our own rescue, and then if all else fails we’ll start praying as a last resort. We say it’s because we don’t want to bother the Lord with every little thing, but the truth is we’re just too self-reliant. We don’t like to think of our selves as being dependent, even on the Lord. It’s a put down to our self-esteem, as if by resorting to prayer we’re being forced to admit we aren’t equal to the task of solving our own problems.

But every now and then, something comes out of the blue and catches us totally flat footed. Then all bets are off, all illusions of self-reliance shattered, and like Peter we cry out, “Lord! Save me!” And He does, for His strength is made perfect in our weakness.