Ponderings… I may have posted something similar previously, but the thought, the concept of this truth, stays with me…
In praying the Psalms, patterns reveal themselves about God being ever present. Perhaps at some point I may do a series on all of them.
Psalm 31:19. Oh how great is Your goodness, Which You have laid up for those who fear You, Which You have prepared for those who trust in You in the presence of the sons of men.
Psalm 23:5. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup overflows.
When reading through this Psalm 31, it becomes evident that King David is experiencing a great amount of adversity. The accounts of his life reveal unimaginable strife, turmoil, conflict, war, affliction, sin, and rebellion. All of these conspired against the right to reign over God’s people tasked to him by the Lord, for which He was anointed. He is a rough type or shadow of Christ, and called a man after God’s own heart.
What becomes clear is that his attention is set above these challenges. The progression of his prayer shows first how he brings his lament over circumstances to the Lord, and he moves into profession of faith :14 – “But as for me, I trust in You. You are my God. My times are in Your hands.”
He then asks for deliverance from his enemies and persecutors, and to be saved out of the circumstances. It was time for the wicked to have their day of shame, even to be silenced in the grave! He boldly calls on the power of God to put down the bullies (my word) who lie and speak insolent things with pride and contempt against the righteous. This seems to be the pivotal point for turning things around – where the prayer changes direction.
What follows is essentially a chorus of praise of God, Who in spite of circumstances works miraculous things, bringing the light of awareness of it into very dark times. Right in front of a world in conflict and opposition with the Lord and His people.
Verses 23 and 24 are strong encouragement to love the Lord and hope in Him. This is for all us saints – those set apart for His plans and specific purposes for each one.
Be of good courage! (A good time to check out Romans 8:18-30) The promise follows, based upon his experiences and knowledge , “He shall strengthen your heart!”
There’s a little meme out there which keeps popping up: “Stay calm and pray a psalm.” You can also sing, chant, read reflectively, or meditate on one as well. This one covers the bases of how prayer can flow, going from a lament over how things are perceived circumstantially, through laying down that view and burden at the Lord’s feet, and then accelerating up into a place of transcending our view of circumstances, by way of declaring and praising God’s goodness and blessing for those who put their trust in Him – in the presence of the sons of men, who will either be full of hatred and envy, or there may be some who will see it who will come to Him in surrender.
This is why the Psalms are often called the prayer book or the hymn book of the Church. Over and over the pattern is made clear, by David and the other very artful inspired sacred song writers who contributed to the Psalms, that our Lord is very interactive in the affairs of those whom He has claimed in Christ Jesus.
The Psalms show us how to make prayer practical and applicable to life.
If our “religion” is not that, making us aware of what a relationship with God looks like, then of what use is it? The cross is the path, and it is not the easy and broad way.
Soli Deo Gloria. Amen.
“Off world” and out into the blue!