“Oh God, do not keep silence. Do not hold your peace or be still, Oh God!”
And this psalm is a cry from the very beginning for help from God amidst all kinds of turmoil and trouble. The rest of the psalm, you go on to see that the context is people who are opposing God’s people.
God, we need your peace in the middle of the unkown. Help us to turn to Your Word in dependence on You, for You are our only hope.
But the cry is something we hear all throughout the Psalms. I just want you to think about this verse, first verse in the Psalm, Oh God, do not keep silence. Do not hold your peace or be still, Oh God. Why is the Psalmist crying out, God, don’t stay silent don’t hold your peace, don’t be still?”
Because the Psalmist knows that if God is silent, then he has no hope. The Psalmist knows that if God holds back peace, there will be no peace. The Psalmist knows that if God is still, nothing will happen to help God’s people in the midst of this trial and trouble. And that’s, in a sense, the heart of prayer, isn’t it?
Like we are crying out to God because we know we need his word. If he is silent, we are hopeless. If he holds his peace, we will have no peace. If he is still, then we will have no help. We depend on God for all of these things. We depend on his word for wisdom, for guidance. We depended on his peace in a world where there’s so much temptation to anxiety and worry, particularly in times like this. Particularly when we’re walking through the middle of a pandemic, we cry out to God. We need your word. You just think of all the different sources of information that we are prone to look to right now. Like we’re constantly attuned to our phones, just thinking, “okay, what does the latest person say here or there? What is the latest development here or there?” Like we need to look far beyond our phones ultimately to God’s word. We need to be hearing from the one source who is ultimately able to bring an end to this pandemic.
We don’t need him to be silent. We need to be hearing his word and we need his peace. We need him to move, to work and so we are driven to pray with the heart, with the cry of Psalm 83 verse 1. God, please do not keep silence.
God, we pray that as we read your word, you would direct our minds and our hearts, that you would form our thinking and our desire, in our acting, in our speaking. God, we depend on your word in a world where if you are silent, we have no hope.
We need your word and God, we need your peace. Don’t hold your peace. We pray for your peace. God, I pray that your peace would overwhelm the hearts of every single person listening to this prayer right now. God, I pray that people would know your peace. A peace that Philippians 4 says passes all understanding and guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Oh God, I pray that amidst all the unknowns around us, God, that your peace would reign in us. Amidst all the temptations to worry about this or that in our lives and our families and the world around us, we pray that your peace would rule in our hearts and guard our hearts and our minds. God, may your peace be ours and we asked you, don’t be still.
If you are still, we are left to ourselves and we are hopeless. So God, don’t be still. We pray that you would provide, that you would help doctors and patients and researchers and officials, God, that your mercy would be over all during these days in the United States and countries around the world, in Italy and Spain and China. God, we pray, we pray for your mercy, for your help. Do not be still, oh God. And we praise you for this privilege, the privilege to call out to you, to know that you hear us, that you answer our prayers and that you do according to your word. So we trust that you will not keep silent, you will give peace and you will not be still, and in this, we find hope. In you, we find all our hope and all our peace and all our joy. In these days and whatever days and whatever this world may bring, we say to you, your word is our strength, your peace is our joy, and your work is our hope. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.