Read: "Answer me when I call to You, O my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress. Be merciful to me and hear my prayer" (Psalm 4:1, NIV).
Think About it: "Why should I pray?" was his question. "Prayer just seems like a lot of asking for things. Seems a bit selfish." For many people, this is the question that poses much internal conflict around the topic of prayer. "Why pray?" "Prayer appears a lot like weakness." "If I need something done, I'll just do it myself." "Seems a little strange to just call out to God every time I need something." Prayer has become an increasingly uncomfortable habit or discipline because its simplicity has become lost in the routine and ceremony. Prayer is talking to God. It is a communication with the ONE who created all time, yet is not limited by His creation. God stands before the first tick of the clock and will continue to stand unshakably strong when the last tick has tocked and the alarm has sounded the end of all time. Prayer is not an obligation, but rather an opportunity to talk, to tell, to ask, and to listen.
Going Deeper: Psalm 4 is a song of David that was sung to the music played on a stringed instrument. David was a musician. Music was the language in which his soul connected with the realms of Heaven. David cried out to God. No matter how alone he may have felt during the isolated seasons of shepherding sheep, serving the king, or being king himself, he called out to God. Even during the moments when he became overwhelmed by the run-a-way train of his emotions, he still recognized that God was still with him. He trusted that God would respond. From the tone of his prayer it is easily seen that David didn't always receive the evidence of his prayers being heard by the immediate answers he hoped for. Yet, he continued to pray. He continued to call out to the One he depended on. He was confident in his relationship with God. His reliance upon God would be the key to unlocking the relief he desired from the trial he was in. His communication wasn't solely founded upon "needing something," but rather on the trust that his connection with God was built on a solid relationship, not just between Creator and created, but between Friend and friend.
Next Step: When you are feeling as though your own ropes are being rapidly unraveled, fight the temptation to "work it out" in your own way. Cry out to God. Pray. As though you might text a friend in the middle of the day, take a moment and connect with the Creator, the Father, and the Friend. It has been suggested that when you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot at the end and hold on. Prayer is not having to worry about tying the knot in the quickly unraveling rope. You are tied to God through a relationship with Jesus. When you get to the end of your rope, LET GO. Call out. Trust, as a friend to a friend, and a child to a father, that He will regard you, respond to you ,and grant you the relief you seek and the peace you require. No matter what you face, know that as long as you trust Him, your relationship with Him is secure. He is your God. He is also your Friend.