Wednesday, September 14, 2022

A Man of Prayer (Psalm 109)

"In return for my love they are my accusers, but I give myself to prayer" (Ps. 109:4).

Psalm 109 shows David in a desperate plea for his life. Once again, his enemies have risen against him, driving him to the tribunal of God where he pleads for deliverance. David’s heart burned with grief as he faced false accusations by former friends. “They have also surrounded me with words of hatred, and fought against me without a cause” (v. 3).

As David considered his situation, that these men had returned his friendship with accusations, he made a profound statement: “In return for my friendship they accuse me, but I am a man of prayer” (v. 4). In the Hebrew the last phrase is much shorter, “But I prayer.” It can also be read as “I betake myself to prayer.” David’s consolation is simple—the power of prayer. David could have taken a more offensive approach by retaliating in the face of false accusers. But, “he did not betake himself to such unlawful means as the rendering of evil for evil, but committed himself into the hand of God, fully satisfied that He alone could guard him from all ill,” Calvin wrote. “And it is assuredly a great and desirable attainment for a man so to restrain his passions as directly and immediately to make his appeal to God’s tribunal, at the very time when he is abused without a cause, and when the very injuries which he sustains are calculated to excite him to avenge them. For there are some persons who, while it is their aim to live in terms of friendship with the good, coming in contact with ill men, imagine that they are at perfect liberty to return injury for injury; and to this temptation all the godly feel that they are liable. The Holy Spirit, however, restrains us, so that though offtimes provoked by the cruelty of our enemies to seek revenge, we yet abandon all fraudulent and violent means, and betake ourselves to prayer to God alone. By this example … we are instructed that we must have recourse to the same means if we would wish to overcome our enemies through the power and protection of God.”

David knew that though the whole world opposed him, he could cast all his cares upon God. We learn from this example that when we imitate David in this respect we will be helped by God when we are unjustly persecuted.

Read Mark 1:35 and Luke 6:2. What example does Christ set before you regarding prayer? When you face a difficult situation is your first impulse to pray or to take matters into your own hands? This week ask God for grace that you might first turn to Him in all things before rushing ahead in your own strength.