13th August 2017
What is the point of prayer?
I was asked "What is the point of prayer, if we pray diligently in faith to God about wicked, horrible injustice in this world, and those same things we pray about, just continue to happen? I found myself coming back to that question again and again.
If you have ever been bothered by this question, you are among a group of people who have asked for thousands of years. And there are numerous places in the Bible that try to deal with it. For this reflection, I would like to focus on the family of Korah. We first hear of them in Numbers 3 as part of the family of Levite priests. However, their family suffered some of the worst hardships ever, almost all of the adult family members lost their lives and for many years the family found themselves in disarray. Years later King David put them in charge of music See 1 Chronicles 6
Below are a few verses from Psalm 42 which is a prayer to God written in great distress by the children of Korah, which they set to music.
It gives us a glimpse of the purpose of prayer. As we will see, prayer brings us into close contact with God and helps us situate ourselves in our present setting. We also get a glimpse of how we should pray. They called on God to help, and they praise God.
To the leader. A Maskil of the Korahites.
1 As the deer pants after the water brooks,
so my soul pants after You, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
3 My tears have been my food
day and night,
while they always say to me,
“Where is your God?”
5 Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted in me?
Hope in God,
for I will yet thank Him
for the help of His presence.
7 Deep calls to deep
at the noise of Your waterfalls;
all Your waves and Your billows
passed over me.
Deep within me I call to you O Lord, and I praise your Holy Name,
do not allow your world to be overcome by all the hardship we see around, but cover and protect us and guide us safely to life giving streams. Amen
Revd. Mark Robinson