Summer Selah: Growing Prayer

Ross Lester | June 25, 2021 Christian Living Faith, Rest, Sabbath, Spiritual, Summer Selah Series

Summer ought to be a season when we’re able to rest well—a time we can spend with the Lord and His goodness. But, oftentimes, we actually fall out of healthy spiritual habits and end up trying to rest from the Lord instead of resting in Him.

That’s why we’ve created the Summer Selah Series. Over 40 days, we’ll be sharing daily devotions during a season where you may not feel very devoted.

Based on excerpts from his book Selah: Devotions From The Psalms For Those Who Struggle With Devotion, Ross Lester, our Pastor of Preaching and West Congregation Pastor, will provide readings from select Psalms, a brief devotional reflection, and some prayer points for each of the 40 days.

Reading

Take some time to read Psalm 5. Then, come back and read the following verses again.

“Give ear to my words, O Lord;
consider my groaning.
Give attention to the sound of my cry,
my King and my God,
for to you do I pray.” (Psalm 5:1-2 ESV)

Reflection

I get to pray with people a lot. It’s part of my job, but it is an immense privilege whenever I get the opportunity. I have prayed at hundreds of tables laden under feasts, and I have prayed with the homeless who had no idea where their next meal was coming from. I have prayed in maternity wards—giving thanks to God for a future full of possibilities—and I have prayed in ICU wards while the doctors turned off machines. I have prayed at weddings with families whose eyes were moist with joy, and I have prayed at funerals with families whose cheeks were stained with sorrow.

Sometimes these prayers came easy and I knew exactly what to say. But, sometimes they were tough, and I ran on very little in terms of inspiration. Often, I left the event and only then felt truly free to express myself to God—not having to worry about the impact of my words on others, but free to speak my mind and heart to my heavenly Father. Sometimes, it was only when I ran out of words that true communication between God and I took place. I have laughed till it hurt. I have shouted at the sky. I have groaned out aloud, wept uncontrollably, banged on my steering wheel, and even sung at the top of my voice. Sometimes I have done all of these in one day.

David says that this is okay. In his anguish, he doesn’t need to have words. God hears his groans and pays attention to his cries. His prayer doesn’t need to be eloquent, it just needs to be true.

Don’t have words to express how you are feeling? How about a shout? How about a groan? How about a laugh? All of those can be prayer.

It seems to me that when we run out of things to say, we get to the place where we make the most sense.

“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” (Romans 8:26 ESV)

Prayer

This prayer is up to you today. Be honest and open.


Ross Lester, Selah: Devotions From The Psalms For Those Who Struggle With Devotion (Magnolia, Texas: Lucid Books, 2017)