Our Groaning not Hid from God
Psalm 38:9
Lord, all my desire is before you; and my groaning is not hid from you.

The wistful look of a dumb creature, or a moan of pain, is a prayer to a merciful man. Man deals tenderly with those who are robbed of the organs of expression. He watches with sedulous earnestness each faint indication of pain or need, that he may be ready with his ministry. Is the ear of God more dull, think you, than man's, to these unutterable groanings; or is this human pity and sympathy the faint and finite image of an infinite pity and sympathy which are waiting to respond to us there? Pity which, great as may be the power of prayer which words can frame, finds in the longing that is too deep for words, the groaning that is too sad for tears, an appeal which is irresistible, and would even endure the sharpness of death rather than that such a suppliant should be sent empty away.


1. It cleans and purifies the desires. The effort to utter them before God in prayer is a purification. Many a mixed desire which lies confusedly in the mind, filling it with distress, gets purified by the effort. The bringing it into God's presence is like bringing a mass of rank vegetation into the sunlight. Leave it there awhile. The pure fire of God's presence kills all that is noxious in the desire, all that is born of worldliness and lust.

II. The second clause opens a yet deeper depth. There are groanings which cannot become prayers, and "MY GROANING IS NOT HID FROM THEY." Would that I could pray! is the language, in moments of deep religious feeling, of many a vain, selfish, worldly, or lustful heart; I should feel then that the battle was really gained. There are times when the effort to pray seems almost impious. A kind of dull despair weighs on the spirit, and crushes down all its energies. "When I would do good, evil is present with me," "O miserable man that I am." What help can there be, what hope, for such an one as I? "Brethren, the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." But there is a mightier thing still; something that lodges a more resistless appeal in the very heart of the Divine compassion: it is the pain that cannot tell its misery in a prayer. It is a blessed thing for me that God heareth and answereth prayer; more blessed still, that "My groaning is not hid from Thee."

(J. Baldwin Brown, B. A.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee.

WEB: Lord, all my desire is before you. My groaning is not hidden from you.

God's Knowledge of Our Desires
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