February 7, 2020 • Life for Leaders
Awake, Lord! Why do you sleep?
Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever.
Psalm 44:23 (NIV)
Gracious God, what an astounding verse this is! So blunt! So bold! So unexpected! If this verse were not in the Psalms, I’d never think it was okay to speak to you in this way. Yet, this verse invites so much honesty and openness. It shows me that I don’t have to pretend with you.
Thank you for the freedom to say to you what’s in my heart, even when I “know better.” I know you aren’t sleeping. I know you don’t have to be awakened. Yet there are times, Lord, when it seems as if you are asleep, times when my desperate prayers seem to go unheard. Though I know you aren’t really sleeping, I wonder why your ears seem closed to my cries.
You don’t give me an answer in this psalm. But you do encourage me to pray without holding back. You invite me to a quality of honesty that is truly stunning. Can I really speak to the God of the universe in this way? Yes, you reply. Amazing!
So, Lord, when I urgently need your help, whether I’m at work or at home, at church in at the store, when I feel as if you aren’t even there, help me to cry out to you freely. Teach me to be fully myself with you, confident in your grace given so richly through Jesus Christ. Amen.
Ponder Throughout the Day:
You can be fully honest with God. Don’t hold back!
For Further Reflection:
Several years ago I wrote a book on prayer. It’s called No Holds Barred: Wrestling with God in Prayer. You can still buy this book from Amazon in paper and electronic formats.
Explore more at The High Calling archive, hosted by the Theology of Work Project:
Best of Daily Reflections: Wake Up, O Lord!
Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.