O Lord, how many are my foes!
Many are rising against me;
2 many are saying of my soul,
“There is no salvation for him in God.” Selah
3 But you, O Lord, are a shield about me,
my glory, and the lifter of my head.
4 I cried aloud to the Lord,
and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah
5 I lay down and slept;
I woke again, for the Lord sustained me.
6 I will not be afraid of many thousands of people
who have set themselves against me all around.
7 Arise, O Lord!
Save me, O my God!
For you strike all my enemies on the cheek;
you break the teeth of the wicked.
8 Salvation belongs to the Lord;
your blessing be on your people! Selah
Please pray that the members of our church would recognize and rejoice in the truth that God is their shield, their glory, the lifter of their head, their sustainer, the author and dispenser of salvation and the bringer of blessing for his people.
Our teaching moment:
Prayer is an exercise in the “but you.” What do I mean? David was surrounded by enemies, betrayed by his own son Absalom, and driven from Jerusalem. (see 2 Samuel 15-18) His foes pronounced that all hope for David was gone. (Psalm 3:2) And with all those circumstances weighing on his heart, David prayed, “But you, O Lord…” The sustaining God of David’s past experience was the supportive God of his present need. This is a common theme in David’s life of prayer. (Psalm 22:19; 31:14; 41:10; 86:15; 109:21) David found rest in the character of God. Today, may you experience and rejoice in the help that comes from our faithful, unchanging God.
A prayer from the past:
Ah, Lord, most strong and mighty God, which destroys the councils of the ungodly and cleans out the tyrants of this world from the earth at thy pleasure, so that no counsel or force can resist thy eternal counsel and everlasting determination: we, thy poor creatures and humble servants, do most instantly desire thee, for the love that thou has to thy well-beloved and only begotten Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, that thou will look on thy cause, for it is time, O Lord, and bring to naught all those things that are or shall be appointed, determined, and fully agreed against thee and thy holy Word. Let not the enemies of thy truth too miserably oppress thy Word and thy servants, which seek thy glory, tender the advancement of thy pure religion, and above all things wish in their hearts that thy holy name may only be glorified among all nations. Give unto thy servants the mouth of thy truth and wisdom that no man may resist. And although we have most justly deserved this plague and famine of thy Word, yet upon our true repentance grant, we beseech thee, that we may be therefrom released. And here we promise before thy divine majesty to better use thy gifts than we have done and more straitly to order our lives according to thy holy will and pleasure, and we will sing perpetual praises to thy most blessed name, world without end, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
[John Knox (c. 1515-1572), cited in Najapfour, The Collected Prayers of John Knox, 114]