Beliefnet
Prayer, Plain and Simple

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David went through some harrowing experiences before he became the king. The interim between his anointing over Israel and actually being seated on the throne were marked by years of turmoil, danger, and exile. He lived a wilderness experience that most of us cannot fathom, that of pain and rejection and fear.

King David was considered by God as a man after His own heart. If you find yourself in a wilderness situation, if life has been unfair, if circumstances aren’t what you want them to be, if you have no control of the outcome, you can take your cues from David and learn to respond as he did in times of danger and pain.

In Psalm 63 David lays out some specific responses to the injustice he was facing; each are takeaways for us in challenging circumstances.

“My soul thirsts for You, my whole body longs for You.” ~David

David’s longing could have been for justice, it could have been for a warm bed, an old friend, a quiet afternoon with his sheep, or many other trifles of normal life. In spite of the fact that he lived in a cave, fleeing from Saul who wanted to kill him, his primary desire was God. Why wasn’t he focused on the injustice? Because he ultimately knew that if he had the presence of God in his life, that God would take upon Himself all of David’s challenges and one by one bring them to a conclusion.

“You satisfy me more than the richest feast.” ~David

David had enjoyed some rich feasts in the palace. As one of King Saul’s bodyguards, he was given the rights and privileges of the elite in the palace. His best friend Jonathan was the king’s son, so he had no doubt enjoyed the finery and delicacies of royalty. Yet, when he was eating who-knows-what in a cave, he found the presence of the Lord so much more satisfying than those long-forgotten banquets in the palace.

“I lie awake thinking of You, meditating on you through the night.” ~David

Most of us, when in crisis, lie awake at night, but instead of thinking about the unfailing love of God, we think about our failures, our troubles, our fears. Not David. He thought about his God – His love and power to save.

“I cling to You Your strong right hand holds me securely.” ~David

In times of duress, we often run to people to rescue us, but David knew that man’s help, while encouraging, could not ultimately rescue him from the power of those who wanted him dead. When we are hit with circumstances beyond our control, instead of running to people for comfort and help, we first run to God. We lift up our hands to His strong hand and hold tightly to Him as we wait for deliverance.

“But the king will rejoice in God.” ~David

David wasn’t acting as king yet; in fact, he was a fugitive, running for his life. Yet, he didn’t see himself as a victim. He saw himself for who he was in God’s eyes: royalty. We can do likewise; we can believe that we are who God says we are.

When you are facing injustice, you can choose to see yourself as a victim or a victor, a whiner or a winner. Let’s become people of God’s own heart and pray Psalm 63 in our times of trial:

O God, you are my God;
I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
where there is no water.
I have seen you in your sanctuary
and gazed upon your power and glory.
Your unfailing love is better than life itself;
how I praise you!
I will praise you as long as I live,
lifting up my hands to you in prayer.
You satisfy me more than the richest feast.
I will praise you with songs of joy.
I lie awake thinking of you,
meditating on you through the night.
Because you are my helper,
I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings.
I cling to you;
your strong right hand holds me securely…
But the king will rejoice in God…

Amen.

Photo credit: Foter.com

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