Psalm 61: Praying Through The Psalms

Hear my cry, God. Listen to my prayer. From the end of the earth, I will call to you when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I (Ps. 61:1-2)

O Lord, hear my cry. According to the Hebrew word רִנָּתִ֑י, this cry expresses a ringing proclamation and a joyful praise. Therefore, I will cry your awesome, majestic name to all the universe. Holy Father, listen to my prayer. For I am in need of your strength and wisdom. When the world tries to steer me away from your eternal truths, give me the power to resist these temptations.

Lead me, guide me, as the original Hebrew says, תַנְחֵֽנִי–to bring me closer to your steadfast love and mercy. For you are the mighty rock. There is nothing that can break you down. No trial, tribulation, or universal power can ever defeat your omnipotent hand. You, O Sovereign Lord, are the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Praise be to your name!

For you have been a refuge for me, a strong tower from the enemy. I will dwell in your tent forever. I will take refuge in the shelter of your wings. Selah (Ps. 61:3-4)

Lord, you are my refuge. When the storms of life invade, you will be my shelter. When the waves try to toss me back and forth, your Word and Truth keeps me steady. You are my boat, leading me safely to shore.

I will dwell in you. This idea of dwelling comes from the Hebrew word אָג֣וּרָה, which expresses this notion of sojourning, remaining, and inhabiting in your world. As you told us in the gospel of John, “Abide in me, and you will produce much fruit.” For you keep us safe from danger. You protect us from the evil one. Your wings are a fortress that we can run to in every circumstance. Hallelujah.

For you, God, have heard my vows. You have given me the heritage of those who fear your name. You will prolong the king’s life. His years will be for generations (Ps. 61:5-6)

Lord, you know my heart. You have heard my vows. You have promised an everlasting covenant with your people. You have given each of us who belong to you a heritage. We are your possession–יְ֝רֻשַּׁ֗ת. You will never leave us or forsake us.

You have given each of us a life, a will, a purpose, and a motivation; what an amazing inheritance you have given us as our king and great God. You have given a promise to those who trust in you, that our generations will be blessed when we confide in you, our counselor and great redeemer.

He shall be enthroned in God’s presence forever. Appoint your loving kindness and truth, that they may preserve him. So I will sing praise to your name forever, that I may fulfill my vows daily (Ps. 61:7-8)

Holy King of Israel, your promises are true. We will be enthroned in your presence forever; remind us of this great truth. Appoint, give, and encourage us to share your loving kindness to the entire world, that we may preserve your truth; for we want to sing your great name forever and ever.

Keep us accountable to fulfill our vows–נְדָרַ֗י, knowing that you have made a covenant with us, a covenant that you have promised you will never break. O Lord, continue to shine your light in our hearts so that the world may come to know your love. Holy Spirit, dwell within our midst and emit, radiate, and shine the love of Christ to a world in desperate need of Him. Amen.

Bible Commentary by Chad A. Damitz (M.Div)

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