PSALM 56 - Listening to own Prayer 27 Dec 2019
The story goes on. Perhaps in psalm 55 David's "friend" is king Saul. Psalm 56 refers to Samuel 21 where David flees for Saul. He needs to flee to a Philistine king, Achish. Fearing for his life, David pretended to be a madman.
How did David feel?
First of all he was afraid. Afraid for his death. Either inflicted by king Saul or by king Achish. David had few options. The Philistine king realized that David was not just a friend or neutral.
I assume that both David's response (playing the madman) and his prayer in psalm 56 was inspired by the spirit of God.
In the Hebrew language, the second part of the psalm (vs 7-12) repeats many words as used in the first part (vs 1-6).
Spiritual Interpretation Attempt
From the very compact text in Samuel 21, it appears to me that the words of psalm 56 are not just referring to actual real persons. The words could however connect to the battered thoughts in David's mind. Voices that stir up bad and fearful thoughts. David fights those by expressing trust in God. It is like a spiritual battle.
In the middle of this war, God uses the situation to set David free.
The Words of my Prayer
God wants me to listen carefully to the words of my own prayer. That is because also the Holy Spirit prays in me. And my spirit guided prayer stirs up revelation and understanding.
If I only care to listen!
1 [For the choirmaster Tune:
'The oppression of distant princes'
Of David. In a quiet voice.
When the Philistines seized him in Gath]
Take pity on me, God, as they harry me,
pressing their attacks home all day.
2 Those who harry me lie in wait for me all day,
countless are those who attack me from the heights.
3 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you,
4 in God, whose word I praise,
in God I put my trust and have no fear,
what power has human strength over me?
5 All day long they carp at my words,
their only thought is to harm me,
6 they gather together,
lie in wait and spy on my movements,
as though determined to take my life.
7 Because of this crime reject them,
in your anger, God, strike down the nations.
8 You yourself have counted up my sorrows,
collect my tears in your wineskin.
9 Then my enemies will turn back on the day when I call.
This I know, that God is on my side.
10 In God whose word I praise,
in Yahweh whose word I praise,
11 in God I put my trust and have no fear;
what can mortal man do to me?
12 I am bound by the vows I have made,
God, I will pay you the debt of thanks,
13 for you have saved my life from death
to walk in the presence of God,
in the light of the living.
Excerpt from THE NEW JERUSALEM BIBLE, copyright (c) 1985 by
Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd. and Doubleday, a division
of Penguin Random House, Inc. Reprinted by Permission.
My own prayers are worth to listen to.