Turn It Up
1To 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. 2Hear the voice of my pleas for mercy, when I cry to you for help, when I lift up my hands toward your most holy sanctuary.— Psalm 28:1-2
Several years ago now, I read a great little book called The Power of Crying Out, written by Bill Gothard. This might be one of the best things Bill Gothard ever did. That slim volume absolutely changed my prayer life. The undeniable power in this book comes from the way it helps focus on a particular theme in God’s Word. Bill draws our attention to how many times in Scripture we're told to call to the Lord, to cry out to the Lord, to lift up our voice. It’s one of those threads woven through the Bible, and once it’s pointed out to us we think, how did I miss this? And yet how often do we pray out loud? When was the last time you cried out to God?
Most of the prayers offered by believers in a typical week are expressed in a way that is inaudible to that person and anyone standing near. It's not wrong to think our prayers to God, and He can hear those, but that's not what the Scriptures tell us. That’s not the typical pattern among Bible people. The Scripture does not tell us to think our prayers, or to whisper our prayers, or to even speak our prayers—but we are to call out! And if there's something lacking in our prayers, it may be the fervency that accompanies volume.
God’s people have always understood (see how Elijah mocked the efforts of the prophets of Baal to get their god’s attention in 1 Kings 18) that volume wasn’t required because God was hard of hearing. Volume is simply one of the marks of serious business. We raise our voices for emphasis. And, given the noise that usually surrounds us and distracts us, a little more crying out to God would do us all good!
I realize the way that God wired you may not easily lend itself to high-volume prayer. You may not be called to lead multitudes in prayer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t call to the Lord in your own way. All He is asking is that you max out your dial. “If you would just turn it up to fullplease and show Me how serious you are about this thing that you are praying about.” —James MacDonald
· What are the signs in my own life that I’ve gotten serious about prayer (tears, silence, groans, shouts, posture, etc.)?
· How often am I serious about prayer? What’s holding me back?
Father, I will borrow David’s cry as I pray today. “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. Hear the voice of my pleas for mercy, when I cry to You for help, when I lift up my hands toward Your most holy sanctuary.” Thank You that I can lift this cry in Jesus’ mighty name, Amen.