O LORD, I am calling to you. Please hurry! Listen when I cry to you for help! — Psalm 141:1
Temptations come when you least expect them: when you’re off guard, when you’re feeling down, when you’re rejoicing in a triumph, or when you’re licking your wounds in defeat. Without warning, without consideration, without compunction, and without asking permission, they come roaring in like a whirlwind or sliding in like a serpent. Overt or covert, obvious or insidious, temptations have only one goal: to bring you down.
When temptations come, reaction time is cut to a minimum. That is why prayer must be instantaneous and urgent. “O Lord, I am calling to you. Please hurry!” (Psalm 141:1).
“Please hurry, Lord, because if you delay it might be too late. I may already have said what I ought not to have said. Out of malice I may have spoken a half-truth, out of anger I may have retorted viciously. My words may already have been fired at their target without any chance of recall, arrowing their way to an unsuspecting heart. They may already have poisoned someone’s thoughts about an innocent person, ruined a reputation, or opened a barely healed wound.”
“Please hurry, Lord, or I may already have entertained such lustful desires that I have actually fed on the delicacies of evil. How could I do it, Lord? How could I think such desires were delicious and partake of such evils, knowing how wrong they are? But I’m capable of this, Lord. I need your help because, after I’ve tasted what seemed delicious, I can scarcely rid my mouth of the lingering, loathsome taste.”
“Lord, my prayer is urgent to the point of being abrupt, but it comes from a heart that trusts you to see it as a pleasant offering of need and desire. A declaration of dependence!”
“Lord, should you see fit to answer my prayer by sending a friend who will put me straight, that will be fine. It may hurt, it will probably sting, but it will save the day. I’ll accept what he tells me as being a word from you, and I’ll do what he says as if you were standing right there. But please send him quickly. Reaction time is desperately short.”
When temptations rear their ugly heads, if God doesn’t make haste the devil will wreak havoc. But the only reason He would not make haste is because we haven’t made a point to cry for help.
For further study: Psalm 141
Content taken from The One Year Book of Devotions for Men by Stuart Briscoe. Copyright ©2000. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.