When to Pray Boldly

Read: Psalm 83:1-5, 13-18

O God, do not keep silence . . . (v. 1)

We often think of godly persons in Bible times as very reverent. Yet they also prayed with great boldness. In the first verses of this psalm, the author is saying essentially, “God, your enemies are busy, you had better get busy too.”

The psalmist also identified himself with God (vv. 4-5). I am reminded of how the risen Jesus confronted a certain Pharisee on the road to Damascus and described the man’s persecution of believers as persecuting him: “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? (Acts 9:4). Believers are the body of Christ; attacks on the church are ultimately attacks against God. The psalmist was saying that the God of the past is the God of the present (Ps. 83:9). God has done great things in the past by defeating his enemies. He can do it again, and he will.

And the psalmist considered God’s answer to his prayer as having an evangelistic thrust. “Cover their faces with shame, Lord, so that men will seek your name” (v. 16 NIV). “Let them know that you, whose name is the Lord—that you alone are the Most High over all the earth” (v. 18). In effect, the psalmist is saying, “Answer my prayer so that the world will see how great you are.” To put it another way, “Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.” Come boldly to the throne of God’s grace. —Harry Buis (April 25, 2001)

As you pray, intercede boldly for believers and those who do not yet believe. Ask God to do great things for his glory throughout the whole world.

About the Author

The Rev. Harry Buis served as a Reformed Church in America pastor for 41 years, serving six congregations. He had a consuming passion for the Word of God, preached and written, and would take up his pen to share that passion at a moment’s notice. His enthusiasm for God and the Bible was his signature. Rev. Buis edited the Words of Hope daily devotional for twenty years, and wrote several books and numerous articles. He also taught as an adjunct at Hope College, Western Theological Seminary, and Kuyper College. He served the church in many capacities, and was elected President of General Synod of the RCA in 1980. Rev. Buis died of cancer in 2001.