Be my rock and refuge – Psalm 71
Prayer for Lifelong Protection and Help
1 In you, O Lord, I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
2 In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me;
incline your ear to me and save me.
3 Be to me a rock of refuge,
a strong fortress, to save me,
for you are my rock and my fortress.
4 Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked,
from the grasp of the unjust and cruel.
5 For you, O Lord, are my hope,
my trust, O Lord, from my youth.
6 Upon you I have leaned from my birth;
it was you who took me from my mother’s womb.
My praise is continually of you.
7 I have been like a portent to many,
but you are my strong refuge.
8 My mouth is filled with your praise,
and with your glory all day long.
9 Do not cast me off in the time of old age;
do not forsake me when my strength is spent.
10 For my enemies speak concerning me,
and those who watch for my life consult together.
11 They say, “Pursue and seize that person
whom God has forsaken,
for there is no one to deliver.”
12 O God, do not be far from me;
O my God, make haste to help me!
13 Let my accusers be put to shame and consumed;
let those who seek to hurt me
be covered with scorn and disgrace.
14 But I will hope continually,
and will praise you yet more and more.
15 My mouth will tell of your righteous acts,
of your deeds of salvation all day long,
though their number is past my knowledge.
16 I will come praising the mighty deeds of the Lord God,
I will praise your righteousness, yours alone.
17 O God, from my youth you have taught me,
and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.
18 So even to old age and gray hairs,
O God, do not forsake me,
until I proclaim your might
to all the generations to come.
Your power 19 and your righteousness, O God,
reach the high heavens.
You who have done great things,
O God, who is like you?
20 You who have made me see many troubles and calamities
will revive me again;
from the depths of the earth
you will bring me up again.
21 You will increase my honor,
and comfort me once again.
22 I will also praise you with the harp
for your faithfulness, O my God;
I will sing praises to you with the lyre,
O Holy One of Israel.
23 My lips will shout for joy
when I sing praises to you;
my soul also, which you have rescued.
24 All day long my tongue will talk of your righteous help,
for those who tried to do me harm
have been put to shame, and disgraced.
What does it say?
Psalm 71 is a psalm known to be written by King David, in his old ages. In the midst of the trouble, he calls out to his Lord and ask for help. However, by the end of the prayer, he still praises his Lord regardless of the situation.
V. 1 -4 David opens the Psalm with praising God for being his refuge and fortress.
V. 5-8 David remembers the days when he was young, and he experienced the helping hand of God.
V. 9-13 David starts to petition to God, verbalizing his need to be rescued from the agony. He needs God’s immediate intervention, as the Message version says, “God, don’t just watch from the sidelines. Come on! Run to my side!” Psalm 71:12 The Message
V. 14-16 After his petition, he switches back to praise God’s righteousness, even though the circumstances might not have changed.
V.17-19 He is reminded how God has been always with him, since his youth, and he asks God that his reliance on the Lord continues, so he can share this with the next generation (v.18)
V.20 -24 David ends this Psalm with Praising God again.
What does it mean to us (me)?
Psalm is an excellent model of prayer. Praying according to the Psalms is a great way to practice our prayers.
David in a crisis, at the very end of his life. Might had been during the time his son rebelled against him.
He comes to God in the midst of his trouble and pain. He starts off with praising God, assuring what he believes. Even though he might not be in the perfect place, he still remembers God’s righteousness.
Then he continues to ask for the need that he has. He needs God’s intervention to get him out of this trouble, and the threat is imminent that he needs an immediate response from God. However, it doesn’t seem like God’s answers us that fast, most of the time.
Still David ends his Psalm with prayer and praise, recognizing God being with him and God’s righteousness. How many of us can do this? Can you still praise and thank God, even if your prayer had not been answered the way you wanted, and when you wanted?
Regardless of his situation, David praised and thanked God.
That might be tough, but that might be what people of sincere reliance to do. Can we live with that kind of dependency?
How does this passage speak to you?
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