earnestness, but the feeling of it; it is the cry of faith in the ear of mercy": yet either pangsof body or of soul are usually needed before we will cry out in reality."In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried to my God: and He did hear my voiceout of His temple, and my cry did enter into His ears" (v. 7). So many neglect prayer when they are quiet and at ease, but as the Lord declares, "In their affliction they willseek Me early" (Hosea 5:15). Yet it is well if we do seek unto God in our affliction,instead of sulking in rebellion, which is to forsake our own mercy. The Lord is a very present help in trouble, and it is our holy privilege to prove this for ourselves. TheHebrew word for "cried" here is an expressive one, signifying such a cry as issues fromone in a violent tempest of emotion, in the extremity of grief and anxiety: in factAlexander Maclaren renders it "shriek." David was all but sinking and could only givevent to an agonized call or help."Prayer is that postern gate which is left open even when the city is straightly besieged bythe enemy: it is that way upward from the pit of despair to which the spiritual miner fliesat once, when the floods from beneath break forth upon him. Observe that he ‘calls,’ andthen ‘cries’; prayer grows in vehemence as it proceeds. Note also that he first invokes hisGod under the name of Jehovah, and then advances to a more familiar name, ‘my God’:thus faith increases by exercise, and he whom we at first viewed as Lord is soon seen to be our God in covenant. It is never an ill time to pray: no distress should prevent us fromusing the divine remedy of supplication" (C. H. Spurgeon)."In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried to my God." The fulfillment of these prophetic words in the case of out suffering Redeemer is well known to all who areacquainted with the four Gospels. Blessed indeed is it to behold that One, who wassupremely the Man after God’s own heart, betaking Himself to prayer while His enemieswere thirsting for His blood. The deeper His distress, the more earnestly did He call uponGod, both in Gethsemane and at Calvary, and as Hebrews 5:7 tells us, "Who in the daysof His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying andtears unto Him that was able to save Him from death, and was heard in that He feared."Let us not hesitate, then, to follow the example which He has left us, and no matter howhardly we are pressed, how desperate be our situation, nor how acute our grief, let usunburden ourselves to God."And he did hear my voice out of His temple, and my cry did enter into His ears." This isin explanation of all that follows: the gracious interpositions of the Lord on David’s behalf and the wondrous deliverances He wrought for him, were in answer to prayer.God’s lending a willing ear to the cry of His distressed child is recorded for our encouragement. It is indeed deplorable that we are often so prayerless until pressure of circumstances force supplication out of us, yet it is blessed to be assured that God doesnot then (as well He might) turn a deaf ear unto our calls; nay, such calls have the greater prevalency, because of their sincerity and because they make a more powerful appealunto the divine pity. Let the fearing and despondent believer read through Psalm 107 andmark how frequently it is recorded that the redeemed "cry unto the Lord in their trouble,"