1 “Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer.
2 From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
3 For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe.
4 I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.
5 For you, God, have heard my vows; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.
6 Increase the days of the king’s life, his years for many generations.
7 May he be enthroned in God’s presence forever; appoint your love and faithfulness to protect him.
8 Then I will ever sing in praise of your name and fulfill my vows day after day.” Psalm 61
Psalm 61 is often referred to as the prayer of a troubled heart but I believe it is much more than that. It is one of the greatest confessions of faith, trust and praise found in the Psalms.
David begins the Psalm calling out to God, “hear my cry, O God,” but ends with praise and rejoicing. No matter our circumstances we always have the liberty to draw near to God for comfort and encouragement. And where does David find this support? It is when he allows God to lead him, “to the Rock that is higher,” than him.
The rock of course is Christ. It is upon the mercy and love of Jesus that David finds comfort for his troubled heart. An interesting thing about this rock is that it so high that David can’t climb it or subdue it. Grace can’t be earned, conquered or tamed. It is the pure love of God poured out onto broken and battered sinners without our claiming any merit or claim to its origins or power. It is a gift that is wrapped in Calvary’s supreme sacrifice and given freely to anyone who comes to Jesus seeking His forgiveness and mercy.
For David Jesus, the rock, is his unmovable refuge and strong tower that he finds comfort and assurance in when his, “heart is faint”. He knows he is safe, “under the shelter of thy wings”. David is a man of prayer because he believes with all his heart that God hears. He has experienced God’s deliverance through prayer so he turns to it again and again as a means of comfort and assurance.
The first four verses are a prayer of faith but, just as importantly the last four verses record David’s song of praise. David has strength to continue his spiritual journey in spite of his many setbacks, mistakes, and constant attack by his enemies because he knows God hears him and he is part of “the heritage of those who fear thy name”.
When I became a Christian I started reading Christian biographies and it was through the pages of those books that I found comfort as well as awe in the bigness and goodness of God. Miracles, healings, signs, interventions, supernatural leadings and deliverance weren’t just things that happened to Bible characters thousands of years ago, but were part of the contemporary Christian experience as well. And regardless of the diverse backgrounds, experiences, and nations where they ministered, each of the people I read about had a devout faith that God answered prayer.
When David writes that he bids “steadfast love and faithfulness watch over him” each of us, from the woman in the pew to the missionary working in the most dangerous nation, may claim that prayer as our own. It is God’s steadfast love and faithfulness that sees us through on our life journey. Jesus is our rock, our high tower, and our refuge in life.
If we believe that, we join with David in singing, “so I will ever sing praises to thy name, as I pay my vows day after day.” (v. 8) Our daily walk with Jesus and our vows to follow him are not a drudgery but an exciting adventure filled with awe and wonder when we put Him first and seek His leading and direction in our journey. Even when life seems overwhelming and problems come crashing down on us as they did with David, we may, along with him, count our blessings and “sing praises” to God.
I don’t know what each of you is facing in life, but I know that God loves you and cares for you. I know that God hears your prayers and He is your strong tower, rock and refuge as well as being David’s. Put your trust in Him and let Him surround you with His loving arms to hold you tight through the storms of life.
Please, no matter what you are facing today, don’t give up but instead call out to God in prayer and thanksgiving. Instead of blaming God and cursing Him for your situation, call on His name to bring deliverance, and praise Him that He loves you enough to die in your place that you may have eternal life and reconciliation to the Father through faith. Our God is an awesome God if we would only take a moment to allow Him to be just that.
* Folks, the persecution of Christians has not stopped. If anything it’s increased. The main stream media doesn’t talk about it much anymore but that doesn’t mean it’s not happening. Pray and stay informed and inform others. Please take the time to read some of their stories at http://thebeggardanced.com/nine-oclock-club/ there is much more on the internet…