Do you ever feel like you are praying for the same thing over and over? It’s ok. That’s what David did! I’m not sure about you, but that gives me hope that I can turn to God about continual struggles and know that He hears me! In Psalm 35, David is once again being chased by King Saul and his men. Saul was obsessed and suspicious of David, mostly because of his men’s lies about David. This imprecatory psalm (a psalm that invokes the judgment of God on His enemies) asks God for deliverance. David asks the Lord to deal with his enemies (ultimately God’s enemies) in a similar way they have dealt with him. God’s words “I am Your salvation” in verse 3 speaks to David’s soul and encouraged him to not give up until deliverance arrived. David’s enemies sought to take his life (v. 4). Of course, they wanted to destroy his body as they “hid their net” and “dug a pit” for him (v. 7), but they assaulted David’s soul as well – his emotions, thoughts, and desires were all attacked. In response to God’s deliverance, David would not only praise Him with his body but also with his soul that was under attack. Verses 9 and 10 tell us David’s soul and whole being would praise the God who delivers and saves. When our minds are attacked, we need to use them to praise the Lord. The same goes for our bodies, emotions, and relationships!
While the first section (vv. 1-10) seemed like a war setting, the second section (vv. 11-18) seems like a court setting. David’s ruthless witnesses (v. 11) have come forward to oppose and harass him. He makes a defense for himself, telling God about his worship in sackcloth, fasting, prayers, humility, and mourning (vv. 13-14). Set before the Righteous Judge of the Universe is David and his malicious accusers and attackers. David continued his plea and testimony of his life and that of his enemies in verses 19-21. He pleads with the Lord for His presence (v. 22), defense (v. 23), and vindication (v. 24). Surprisingly, David’s desire turns from private selfish vindication (v. 26) to public humble salvation (v. 27) of his enemies. That’s the power of the Lord! He will turn our anger towards our enemies that selfishly wants retaliation into a deep desire for their repentance. When our enemies come to the Lord, this will cause us to praise the Lord all day long (v. 28).
- What prayers have you been repeating over and over?
- Have your enemies/circumstances affected your body and soul?
- Have you used your body and soul to praise Him while under attack?
- Has God changed the way you pray for your enemies?
Dear Lord, thank you for allowing me to pray repetitive prayers. Help me to see my enemies the way you see them. Instead of asking for their destruction, may I pray for their salvation. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Stephen and his wife Haley have called Arkansas home all of their lives. Stephen has served in several ministry roles over the last 25 years and as a lead pastor for the last 8 years. Stephen attended Williams Baptist College and earned a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University, an MA, MDiv, and DMin in Christian Leadership and Pastoral Ministries from Liberty University. When not pastoring, Stephen enjoys running, cycling, reading, writing, camping, fishing, and spending time with his family.