A Turning Point In Prayer
Lord, on this Your day, my mind is set on many things. I know You will meet me at the point of my most pressing need.
Read Psalm 54:1-7
 For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
We don’t need to understand the mystery and complexity of prayer. We only need to know that God invites us
This psalm is symmetrical in form. The terrified plea to God (1) contrasts with the psalmist’s gratitude for deliverance (7). Then, there’s a turning point in the middle (4) which extols God and expresses confidence in him. The resulting psalm conveys into praise the story told in 1 Samuel 23:19-29. David is on the run from Saul, who wants to kill him. When he realizes he has been betrayed by the Ziphites and Saul is now closing him on him, he is overwhelmed by fear, and pleads to God for protection. His prayer is answered. Saul receives news that Philistines are raiding the land and diverts his warriors, leaving David unharmed.
The psalm expresses David’s emotions–from fright and fear of evil assassins, to relief, thankfulness and praise. It also takes us into a deeper knowledge of the God to whom he is praying. God is indeed the one who vindicates (1), who hears our prayers (2), who helps and sustains us (4), who is faithful (5) and who destroys evil and delivers us from those who mean harm (7). It is when David pauses from his terror and reflects on the strength of God’s care for him (4) that he recognizes that God will bring him to safety.
This has been the experience of many Christians who faced danger and put their trust in God. Testimonies from a Christian hospital in the Congo reveal how crucial prayer is in situations of bloodshed and injustice, yet the outcome is not always one of rescue. It is when we know that God is still with us, even in the face of death, that we are given strength to trust him for all eternity.
Think of a time when your faith was attacked. Was it an intellectual, theological, emotional, or social attack? How did you respond? Have you ever seen evil recoil on those who promote it?
Mighty God, I pray for any brothers and sisters in the faith who may be facing persecution. May their hope and trust in You be strong.