Read: Psalm 4
In the middle of crisis, relying on God—begging him to answer us—relieves our stress. David reminds us here that instead of relying on worthless and deceptive information and techniques (which refers to our propensity for idolatry), he has turned to the living God. Only God has answers. Not only does this empower David to give actual sound advice to others (vv. 4 – 5), he can sleep in peace. Are you able to be angry without lashing out right now? Let’s search our hearts in silence and stop speculating. Let’s bring everything we have before God and trust him by waiting on him to answer.
“Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
“Listen, O Lord, to my prayers. Listen to my desire to be with you, to dwell in your house, and to let my whole being be filled with your presence. But none of this is possible without you. When you are not the one who fills me, I am soon filled with endless thoughts and concerns that divide me and tear me away from you. Even thoughts about you, good spiritual thoughts, can be little more than distractions when you are not their author.
O Lord, thinking about you, being fascinated with theological ideas and discussions, being excited about histories of Christian spirituality and stimulated by thoughts and ideas about prayer and meditation, all of this can be as much an expression of greed as the unruly desire for food possessions, or power.
Every day I see again that only you can teach me to pray, only you can set my heart at rest, only you can let me dwell in your presence. No book, no idea, no concept or theory will ever bring me close to you unless you yourself are the one who lets these instruments become the way to you.
But Lord, let me at least remain open to your initiative; let me wait patiently and attentively for that hour when you will come and break through all the walls I have erected. Teach me, O Lord, to pray. Amen.”
Henri Nouwen, A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and Other Servants.