I am restless in my complaint.

So I took my own advice yesterday morning. I read Psalm 55. I am familiar with the prayer, particularly the part in the middle where David talks about being betrayed by a close friend.

If an enemy were insulting me,
    I could endure it;
if a foe were rising against me,
    I could hide.
But it is you, a man like myself,
    my companion, my close friend,
with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship
    at the house of God,
as we walked about
    among the worshipers.

In our terms, David is talking about being attacked by someone from church. They had been in youth group together, they had worked together on construction projects. They had attended potlucks together, had complained about the same bad coffee. They were on the same committees.

And now, something changed.

My companion attacks his friends;
    he violates his covenant.
His talk is smooth as butter,
    yet war is in his heart;
his words are more soothing than oil,
    yet they are drawn swords.

I’ve noticed that before. I’ve offered it to others who were feeling that sense of betrayal, to show them that David would have understood, that his response can be our response. His fear, his frustration, his cry of despair, he plea for destruction, his trust.

But I never noticed the first part, where David is talking about his praying.

Give ear to my prayer, O God,
    and hide not yourself from my plea for mercy!
Attend to me, and answer me;
    I am restless in my complaint and I moan,
because of the noise of the enemy,
    because of the oppression of the wicked.

David couldn’t think straight, couldn’t pray right. He started to talk to God, and the voices in his head and in the hallway were pulling him away. He had fear-induced ADD.

I missed that. Until, I needed it today.

“God, I can’t concentrate, but would you sort through my thoughts and make the requests make sense? And then answer? Please?”

For another prayer, listen to Psalm 130 from the Bethel College Choir.

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.