Psalm 51:11-19

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Broken

Praying Effectively

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God you will note despise. Psalm 51:17

The 2010 non-fiction book, Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand, and the 2014 movie by the same name is the biography of USA Olympian and army officer Louis Zamperini who survived in a raft for 47 days after his B-24 bomber crash-landed in the ocean during World War II and was then sent to a series of Japanese prison-of-war camps where he “courageously endured torture and psychological abuse” for more than two years. In spite of his cruel and overwhelming circumstances, Zamperini's will remained “unbroken.” In his own 2009 autobiography, Devil at My Heels, Zamperini tells the rest of the story the book and movie left out. “On his return home, memories of the war haunted him nearly destroying his marriage until a spiritual rebirth transformed him and led him to dedicate the rest of his long and happy life to helping at-risk youth.” Though he remained unbroken through his military career, Zamperini realized that no matter how strong his will, it was only through brokenness before God that he could truly experience healing.

David came to the same conclusion when he realized that only through his brokenness could he be restored to spiritual health following his unconfessed sin with Bathsheba. Psalm 51 is his demonstration of a contrite heart and broken spirit as well as his plea for restoration. Before God heals, we must become humble, pray, and turn from our wicked ways (2 Chron. 7:14). Someone once said, “Confession is good for the soul.” That being true, brokenness is good for spiritual, physical, and cultural healing.