At the start of Central Prayer last night, we read Psalm 28. I was struck by the very first verse: To you, O Lord, I call; my rock, be not deaf to me, lest, if you be silent to me, I become like those who go down to the pit.  

As I read the verse, I found myself asking the question: why do we pray? I suppose part of the answer is that we are in a place of desperation. We pray because we find ourselves facing things that are more than we can handle. Our life situations can leave us feeling like we are trapped in a pit like Jeremiah was. The other day I was studying a different Psalm that talked about pits. A commentator noted that pits in Israel were normally used or even dug as cisterns to capture water. The bottom of the pits would be simple dirt. But as anyone who has made mud pies knows or has tried to dig a foundation, dirt that comes in contact with water becomes mud. If we go down into the pit, we are not simply trapped in a pit. We may very well begin to sink into the mud. And if you struggle in the mud, you will create a deeper hole with more mud. The whole thing will only get worse. We pray because we do not want to go there.

But we also pray because there is One who can offer us a profound alternative to an extended stay in a muddy pit. We pray and call out to the One who is the Rock. We pray because the God who has revealed Himself to us in creation, but more precisely in the Lord Jesus, is the God who hears and answers. And His answers move us to stand on the Rock, on Him. If you continue reading Psalm 28, I think there is a sense of urgency within David. He has been praying and he has a growing level of desperation. In an instant world that seems fueled by the speed of Google searches, why would we keep praying? Because God is the Rock. He is our only hope. If God is silent, David has no other hope. Praying is not an optional activity of some value. It is essential. We need to pray. And out of His goodness, God does answer. He is the Rock. I pray we will rejoice in who God is and in pondering that truth, we will be a praying people.