When a child wants a parent to grant them something, they start by simply asking for it. If told no, they begin again with reasons why they should be allowed their request. If that fails, promises are made about what they will do if allowed to get what they want.
Our reading today follows that same line of reasoning. The child is Israel and God, the parent. Three times the psalmist pleads with God to save them and each time follows the pattern described above. Finally, the promise is that they will not turn away from God and will call on God’s name if God hears and grants their plea.
Their pleading and promise to turn back to God can also be a pattern in our lives if we have taken for granted the blessings we receive. When we are in situations that threaten the life we live, health issues arise or a relationship falls apart, we plead with God to save us. Prayers like this aren’t wrong. We should be praying for God’s help in everything, thanking God in good times and bad. God listens and will help in the way that is needed. Prayer is a powerful thing, so never stop praying!
God of mercy, hear our prayers. Amen. — NK