Cries for Mercy, Songs of Praise

1 Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me,
    for in you I take refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
    until the disaster has passed.

I cry out to God Most High,
    to God, who vindicates me.
He sends from heaven and saves me,
    rebuking those who hotly pursue me—
    God sends forth his love and his faithfulness.

I am in the midst of lions;
    I am forced to dwell among ravenous beasts—
men whose teeth are spears and arrows,
    whose tongues are sharp swords.

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
    let your glory be over all the earth.

They spread a net for my feet—
    I was bowed down in distress.
They dug a pit in my path—
    but they have fallen into it themselves.

My heart, O God, is steadfast,
    my heart is steadfast;
    I will sing and make music.
Awake, my soul!
    Awake, harp and lyre!
    I will awaken the dawn.

I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;
    I will sing of you among the peoples.
10 For great is your love, reaching to the heavens;
    your faithfulness reaches to the skies.

11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
let your glory be over all the earth.

Psalm 57

David wrote this prayer/song sitting in a cave hiding from Saul. The king who once exalted him now chased Jesse’s son. Saul wanted David dead.

Despite his precarious position, David’s prayer contains only one request: “Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me.” From the second line forward, Yahweh’s anointed praises. Even in verses two and four when he tells the Almighty about his plight, the shepherd doesn’t ask God to do anything about the lions who pursue him.

At first, I read verse seven with a tone of arrogance. I wish I could tell God my heart is steadfast, but in context I wonder if this verse in David’s Psalm is merely a continuation of the praise. What a tremendous blessing to feel this kind of joy and confidence while you run to save your life. Perhaps the young harpist isn’t boasting but praising God for keeping his faith strong in the midst of trouble.

How might our lives change if our prayers transformed into three percent requests, fifteen percent venting about our life, and eighty-two percent praising Jesus–not just for what He’s done but for who He is? I believe this kind of prayer recalibrates our perspective. It helps us move from ‘woe-is-me’ to ‘God can do it.’

Gradually as I learn to praise more than petition, the Spirit pours out the joy God promised in Galatians 5, and soon joy becomes peace and peace becomes patience–otherwise known as steadfastness. Did David have a patient heart–one willing to wait on God’s timing–because he chose to worship His Creator instead of beg for change?

Our prayer life, the way we communicate with our Father, is central to our relationship with him and a catalyst for everything else that goes on around us. We’ve all heard the saying, “Prayer changes things.” Well, sometimes the thing it changes is me.

Read more devotions on my Kindle Vella Page
and for another great look at Prayer,
check out Philip Yancey’s book,
“Prayer, Does it Make a Difference?”

About the author

Lynne feels blessed to know Jesus Christ. He's her Savior and her friend, and because of Christ her life is richer. So her passion has become to help others discover their full potential in Jesus so they can have the best life possible!

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