Praying Scripture: Psalm 63

You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. 2 I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. 3 Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. 4 I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. 5 I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. 6 On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. 7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. 8 I cling to you; your right hand upholds me. 9 Those who want to kill me will be destroyed; they will go down to the depths of the earth. 10 They will be given over to the sword and become food for jackals. 11 But the king will rejoice in God; all who swear by God will glory in him, while the mouths of liars will be silenced.

 

As I read and meditated upon this psalm I was struck with the depth and richness of David’s words. I could feel his pain as he was being kept from God’s house and public worship.

If you remember the backstory of this psalm King David was being chased relentlessly by the former king, Saul and his hunstmen. David was forced into hiding time and again. On this particular occasion David is driven to the wilderness of Judah and grieves the fact that he cannot go to God’s house and sing His praises and worship God with the other worshipers. (Now we can see why David rejoiced so in Psalm 84; declaring that he would rather be a doorkeeper in God’s house even for one day than to do anything else!)

Here, David’s soul is longing for God’s presence, remembering what public worship is like. So he took to meditating upon God’s promises and these sustained him. They not only uplifted his spirits, but kept him in perfect and lasting faith. This was a secret between him and God! God was living in him, and David had entered into his own private worship of God. His enemy may have gloated in keeping him from everyone and his worship, but not really because David had found his own path to God in his spirit, and mind.

He was able to think about God’s goodness, steadfast love and faithfulness. The strength God gave him over and over, and the help He gave David against his enemies as well as God’s special appointment as King over Jerusalem.

Let’s think of how useful this prayer is to pray for those today who are held captive by their own modern-day Saul’s:

  • The abused woman under a tyrannical husband who keeps her from worship…
  • The abused child under the authority of cruel and oppressive parents kept from the Lord’s house and teaching…
  • The sick, shut-in, institutionalized, or isolated  who can no longer attend worship due to physical ailments, afflictions, or age…

Those who must report for work at the time of worship and fear losing their employment otherwise…

  • The captured: prisoners of war who cannot attend worship or celebrate in their custom…
  • The abducted child or person held against their wishes, being held back from family and for worship in God’s house…
  • Those who are serving their country, defending against enemy invasion, who cannot attend worship but long to be in God’s house…
  • Those who reside in countries where worship of God is prohibited and must hide out or keep their worship and love for God, secret…

As we sit quietly with the Holy Spirit He will bring to mind all who suffer in this way, by name or face or simply knowing. If we give it some thought and allow the Holy Spirit to lead we can see the many people’s who are in need of the same comfort David received in captivity and when he was on the run from his great and numerous enemies!

Today, as you pray remember all who may be suffering in this way. Pray this prayer of David’s for them. Remember the words of the psalms and Scriptures are not always about you or your personal circumstances. Often we are praying these payers for others who cannot pray them or know them. As the Spirit helps you pray He will also help you know the heart’s sorrow, the longing to be free, the desire to rejoin others in family and worship.

Another reminder that the words of Scriptures are always alive, always relevant, always with us in every age. As Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:16-17;

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Which includes prayer!

David’s condition and Psalm 63 also serve as a reminder that we should never judge why another cannot come to God’s house to worship but we should rejoice that we are able to come freely without constraint from any enemy of body, soul, or mind.

One way you might pray Psalm 63 for the captured and oppressed is:

Merciful Father and Lord, I pray for my brother and sister who cannot come to your house and worship you for no fault of their own: those being held back from public worship or open affection for you. O Lord, hear my prayer on behalf of the oppressed, the captured, the enslaved, the abused, the prisoner of war, those who must worship in secret and all who need You in their torment and captivity. Grant your comfort to all. Be with them in the secret places of worship in their mind and spirit. Though their bodies may be broken again and again may their spirit and mind remain intact! Keep them in perfect peace though the enemy is relentless and does not give them rest. May the words of the psalmist be theirs as well (pray Psalm 63 here)…

…Keep each one in faith until you have come to bind up their enemies and captors with vengeance and put an end to their tyranny and oppression. Lord we trust, it is only a matter of time before you free all who are held back from You and others as we wait on your deliverance we pray for and with them in complete trust that Your promises will also be fulfilled in their life and circumstances just as they were in David’s. Cause your light of truth to shine on the heart of those sitting in darkness. Through Your Word draw the captive to Your son that they may have life in him and live as they wait on your deliverance and help against their enemy.  In our Savior’s precious name who comes to our rescue time and again. Amen.

images from: www.feetinarmsout.com, www.mikemessreli.com,

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One Response to Praying Scripture: Psalm 63

  1. Bertram Lewis says:

    This is awesome!!! How true this is for far too many people and we sidestep addressing it with people. This should be highlighted more and the focus of the people of God. This truly addresses satan’s oppression in our lives. So subtile but oh so real! Thank you,for the help!

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