I Will Call on the Name of the LORD

In 2009, my wife, Mylene, was missing for three days while in Manila. She was unreachable by cell phone. Nobody knew where she went in Manila. On the third day, she called from SM Fairview. She had amnesia. She couldn’t remember where she slept or ate. But she remembered me.

After one week, she arrived in Cebu. I brought her to the doctor. She was diagnosed as having brain aneurism, which caused her amnesia. Aneurism is a ballooning of a part of a blood vessel. When the aneurism increases in size, rupture occurs, resulting to complications or death. I asked the doctor to operate on her aneurism on Friday within the week.

On Thursday night, I held her hands and told her. “You know, life is short. We will serve the Lord.”  Then I prayed, “Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or the earth brought forth its fruit, from everlasting to everlasting, you are God. This is something that you alone can solve. You alone can save her, O Lord. You alone can do a miracle. You have brought her this far. I believe you will save her!”

It was a good thing that they operated on her on Friday. The blood vessel was already leaking. Any day longer could have killed her. We thank God that the operation was a success.

I asked her, “What do you no longer remember?” She said, “I no longer remember most of my painful memories.” But she could remember some pleasant memories. Isn’t that a blessing—to forget the pain and recall the pleasant? What a beautiful blessing from God!

In v. 4, the psalmist already called on the name of the LORD. (READ v. 4) But in v. 13, he will again call on the name of the LORD. This time, his call will be part of a thanksgiving ritual in the house of the LORD. He will do it in the Temple, the house of God. “I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the LORD. . . in the courts of the house of the LORD, in your midst, O Jerusalem” (Ps. 116:17, 19, ESV). His call on the LORD is part of his offering of the sacrifice of thanksgiving in the house of the LORD.

This means that his call on the LORD is not a prayer for help, but a proclamation of His praise and thanksgiving.[1] It will be during worship and not just in times of distress.

Every Wednesday, each one in our prayer group would recall the blessings of the Lord, answered prayer, words of Scripture, etc. We would thank the Lord and encourage one another. Then we would call on the Lord in praise and thanksgiving.

Do you call on the Lord only in times of trouble? I encourage you to rise to the next level of prayer. Call on the Lord as part of worship in the church. Make prayer a vital part of worship in church. It is in prayer that the church gives herself to the Lord.

For prayer is but an act of giving ourselves to God. That is the value of prayer. In prayer, we give ourselves. In prayer, we do not pay God something. Rather, we give ourselves to God.[2] That is prayer.

In going to church or serving God, we can say to God, “God, you have given me something. Now, I will give you something.” But in prayer, you give nothing to God, except yourself. That is the value of prayer.

[1] Carl Bosma, Introduction to Psalm 116: “Love and Gratitude No Matter What.” Cited September 29, 2012. Online: http:// worship.calvin.edu/resources/resource-library/i-love-the-lord-psalm-116/, n18.

[2] Jerry Hoek, “What Is the Goal of One’s Prayer Life?” Cited September 30, 2012. Online: http://www.faithcrc.net/?p=740


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