Psalm 22:1-5 (NRSV)
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer;
and by night, but find no rest.
Yet you are holy,
enthroned on the praises of Israel.
In you our ancestors trusted;
they trusted, and you delivered them.
To you they cried, and were saved;
in you they trusted, and were not put to shame.
Philippians 4:6-7 (NRSV)
Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” If these words sound familiar, it’s because Jesus said them from the cross. But what we often forget is that Jesus was quoting from the first words of Psalm 22. The Psalms are so amazing because they show the wide range of human emotion and experience in the world.
The Psalm we have today is a prayer for help. It’s obvious that the person or group praying this Psalm is suffering, yet they alternate their complaints with praise and trust in God. This group is not afraid to come before God with pleas for deliverance, yet they always remember that God is there with them.
During busy weeks, it’s not unusual for people to forget to pray even prayers of supplication and help. Recently, I had one of those weeks where life became overwhelming, stressful, and busy. In the midst of my week, I received a beautiful bouquet of flowers that I was not expecting. The card read, “Dear Annamarie, remember Philippians 4:6-7. Love, Mom and Dad.” I was so thankful for the reminder of beauty and peace in the world but even more thankful for the reminder that I should “not worry about anything but…let your requests be known to God.”
Life can be stressful and busy. Yet, God is always there to listen to us cry out in prayer and always shares in our suffering. Prayer and trust in God is not just for Sundays. It’s for every day of the week.
Gracious God, you are always listening and always faithful even when we forget to talk to you. Thank you for sharing in our suffering and for your love and patience that is beyond our understanding. Help us to feel your presence in this world even as we cry out to you. In Jesus name, Amen.
Rev. Annamarie Groenenboom