Prayer in the process (Psalm of David)

Posté par diaconos le 30 décembre 2020

Gebed in het proces (Psalm van David) dans comportements

Where is God in this pandemic ?

# In Christianity, this Psalm is associated with repentance and forgiveness of faults. It is often associated with King David’s adultery with Batsheba. At the same time, we see links to the confession of guilt taught in some New Testament texts. These include James 5:16 and 1 John 1:8-10. Reading and mediating this psalm is encouraged when we have sinned, for it is of striking importance in this time of epidemic. The words of David then become the words that God’s Spirit places in our repentant hearts who want to remain in fellowship with him without trying to hide our faults that he knows. The joy of salvation is renewed for us through God’s forgiveness. The confession of our sin changes us. God knows our faults, but He invites us to acknowledge them before Him, for it is we who will benefit from the joy of forgiveness. Among Catholics: since the High Middle Ages, this psalm has traditionally been recited or sung in monasteries on Sunday mornings5 , according to the teachings of Saint Benedict of Nursia6,7. As far as the Liturgy of the Hours is concerned, Psalm 31 is sung or recited in the Vespers on the


Praying in the ordeal at this time of epidemic

(31:2) O Lord, I take refuge in You; let me never be disgraced. Set me free in Your righteousness!  Bow thine ear to me, hurry to help me. Be for me a protective rock, a stronghold, where I find salvation.  (31:4) For thou art my rock, my fortress: and thou shalt lead me in thy name, thou shalt lead me.  (31:5) Thou shalt bring me out of the net that they have laid for me; for Thou art my protector.

(31:6) I put my spirit in thy hand: thou shalt deliver me, O LORD the God of truth. (31:7) I hate the idolaters who attach themselves to the vain idols; and I trust in the LORD.  (31:8) I will rejoice and rejoice in Your grace; for Thou hast seen my suffering, and known the distress of my soul, 31:9). And Thou shalt not deliver me into the hand of the enemy Thou shalt put my feet in the open sea.

(31:10) Have pity on me, O Jehovah, for I am in trouble; my face, and my soul, and my body are worn out with sorrow. (31:11) My life is consumed in sorrow, and my years in sigh: my strength is spent because of my iniquity, and my bones wither away.  All my adversaries have brought shame upon me, and great shame upon my neighbours, and terror upon my friends; those who see me flee from me. (31:13)

I am forgotten from the heart like a dead man, I am like a broken vessel.  (31:14) I have heard the evil words of many, and the terror around them, when they conspire against me: they plan to take my life.  (31:15) But I trust in you, o Lord. I say: You are my God! (31:16) My fate is in Your hand; deliver me from my enemies and persecutors! Let Thy face shine upon Thy servant; save me by Thy grace. (31:18)

O LORD, let me not be confused when I call upon thee. Let the wicked be disgraced; let them go to Sheol in silence.  (31:19) Let their lying lips be dumb, speaking boldly against the righteous, with arrogance and contempt. Oh, how great is your kindness, which you have reserved for the people who fear you, that you witness those who seek refuge in you, when you see the children of men!  (31:21)

You protect them in the shelter of Your face against those who persecute them; You protect them in Your tent  against the tongues that attack them. 21 Blessed be the LORD. For He has shown me His mercy, as if I were in a fortified city. 22 I said in my haste, I have been driven out of thy sight. But thou hearest the voice of my supplications, when I cried unto thee. 23 Love the LORD all you godly men. The LORD preserveth the faithful, and punisheth the proud with severe punishment. 24 Be strong, and let thine heart be established, all them that hope in the LORD. (Ps 31, 2-25)

Grief turned to joy

 We find in this psalm an example of the power of prayer to turn sorrow into joyful confidence in the heart of the believer, even before the external circumstances under which he suffers have changed. This result will not come about without a spiritual struggle that is reflected in the very clear changes in the tone of the psalm.

Already in the first part the supplicant strives in prayer to believe in the certain help of the Lord. Then sadness seizes him, exposing to God the wretched state to which his enemies have brought him (verses 10 to 14). But when he has confided everything to the Lord, the prayer of faith becomes victorious (verses 15 to 19). Therefore, the last part of the psalm is nothing but thanksgiving (verses 20 to 25).

The moment in David’s life when the lamentation in verses 10 to 14 seems most appropriate is when he was about to flee Saul’s court forever. He has suffered a long time (verses 10 and 11); the wickedness against him has become common; they flee from him, they conspire against him (verses 12 to 14), all that remains for him is to throw himself alone into the unknown, but he knows he is with the Lord as in a fortified city (verse 22).

The last word Jesus spoke on the cross is taken from Psalm 31:6. God is only truly our fortress (verse 5) when we surrender to him the most intimate in us, the spirit that is his own breath: « Then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and blew the breath of life into his nostrils, and man became a living being » (Psalm 31:6). « (Gen 2:7).

David had no pity, but despised those who, knowing the LORD, denied him for what was a lie.  And David’s faith grew stronger and stronger; he saw himself set free, and went on his way without making any false move: « He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.  « (Ps 23:3).

David could only rejoice in God by looking away from his sad state. He thought, after looking him in the presence of God in the face, that his faith had achieved a complete victory. When David appealed to God’s righteousness and called himself righteous, he had no illusions about his condition before God. His enemies’ accusations were false, but the Lord had the right to accuse him.

His case was so denied that people were ashamed to have any connection with him, that his friends trembled to be confused with him, and that those who saw him from afar rushed.

Nothing is more difficult, when we see our faith being mocked by everyone, than to address our words to God alone and stop at the testimony of our conscience that he is our God (Calvin).

The psalmist, like the Christian, rejoices even in trials, for then the hidden treasure of God’s goodness is revealed to him in response to his prayer. That you are reluctant under the veil of adversity, to unfold it at the right time and in public (in the eyes of the sons of man) for those who, in spite of everything, know how to believe.

The whole story of David was in these words. This goodness of God was the hidden manna of which he spoke: « He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches: To him who overcomes, I will give the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone; and on that stone is written a new name, which no one knows except he who receives it. « (Revelation 2, 17)

Which machinations can still harm those against whom the LORD has bent over with kindness? The last thanksgiving and at the same time the whole psalm led to an admonition addressed to all believers.

Deacon Michel Houyoux

Links to other Christian websites

◊ The Catholic Wekly : click here to read the paper →  Prayers in time of a pandemic

◊   : click here to read the paper → Prayers In Times of Natural Disaster – Xavier

« Long-Suffering » Pastor John K. Jenkins

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