Psalm 88:1-3 (ESV)

O Lord, God of my salvation;

I cry out day and night before you.

[2] Let my prayer come before you;

incline your ear to my cry!

[3] For my soul is full of troubles,

and my life draws near to Sheol.

The privilege of calling out to God without ceasing is an immense one. We should never lose sight of the fact that an audience with God that does not result in being destroyed is a gift of grace. And it is obtained for us through the work of Christ.

The fact that Old Testament saints were not destroyed even though Christ had not yet died is explained in the truth that the Law pointed to Christ and even in the Old Testament faith in God was a requirement. While the Law was just a shadow of better things to come, believing OT saints knew that they needed the intermediary work of God through the sacrificial system if they were going to be able to approach God and live.

All that given, God wants us to commune with Him always, and that truth should absolutely boggle our minds. But we do not pray without ceasing. We allow things to get in the way of sweet prayerful communion with our God. The reality of prayer and its privilege escapes us. Schedule, sin, work in the church …. Any number of things can get in the way of our prayer lives.

This Psalm begins by asserting that the Psalmist calls out to God day and night. Then he says that his soul is full of troubles and that is why he so incessantly prays. How sadly true this is of all of us. In a crisis we pray much. When things are relatively trouble free we are more prone to forget God and go on as if we did not need Him. If God wants us to pray without ceasing and the only thing that gets us to our knees is crisis, what is God going to give us in order to get us praying? Exactly. Trouble is a fact of life. But for the believer it should never be that which he needs in order for him to pour out his soul to God.

May the prayer lives of the saints of God never be less when things are well than they are in a crisis. May prayer without ceasing be the mark of all the blood bought saints of God at all times.