On September 11, 2001, Stanley Praimnath was working on the 81st floor of the World Trade Center South Tower when he saw an airplane flying directly toward him. Stanley prayed a quick prayer as he dove under a desk for protection: “Lord, I can’t do this! You take over!”
The terrible impact of the plane crash trapped Stanley behind a wall of debris. But as he prayed and cried for help, Brian Clark, a worker from another office, heard and responded. Making their way through rubble and darkness, the two found their way down 80 flights of stairs to the ground floor and out.
When encountering terrible threats, David asked God for help. He wanted to be assured of God’s nearness as he faced enemies in battle. In a heartfelt petition David said, “Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go . . . . Do not be far from me, my God; come quickly, God, to help me” (Ps. 71:3, 12).
We aren’t promised deliverance from every difficult situation we face. But we can be confident that God hears our prayers and will walk alongside us through everything.
Whatever comes my way, please come near to me, Lord, to help. I cannot make it through anything without You. Thank You.
Nearness to God is our conscious security. A child in the dark is comforted by grasping its father’s hand. Charles Haddon Spurgeon
In every generation, Christ-followers long for others to learn of and experience the greatness of God’s love and mercy. Examining the lyrics of Psalm 71, the first thing we learn is that this anonymous psalmist talks to God. In verse 9, we read, “Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone.” Verse 18 affirms this: “Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God.” While many of the psalms sing about God, the writer of Psalm 71 sings a prayer to God. Everything in this psalm directs upward, whether it is the psalmist’s concerns (vv. 2–4), confidence (vv. 5–6), or aspirations (vv. 16–18).