“There are two sorts of prayers—those expressed in words, and the unuttered longings which abide as silent meditations… David, we observe, uses both modes of prayer, and craves for the one a hearing, and for the other a consideration. What an expressive word! ‘Consider my meditation.’ If I have asked that which is right, give it to me; if I have omitted to ask that which I most needed, fill up the vacancy in my prayer… There may be prevailing intercession where there are no words; and alas! there may be words where there is no true supplication. Let us cultivate the spirit of prayer which is even better than the habit of prayer. There may be seeming prayer where there is little devotion. We should begin to pray before we kneel down, and we should not cease when we rise up.
When facing sorrows, and the oppressions and injustices of life, we sometimes cry aloud and we sometimes can only groan (as did David in this psalm). I find myself groaning more as the years and sorrows accumulate. As I see more deeply into the world as it really is, with its unceasing deceitful scheming by one person against another, my spirit aches while crying and longing for God to come and make all things right. Whether the betrayed friend, the abandoned wife, the abused child, the oppressed poor, the persecuted Christian, or the downtrodden outcast, the world is full of people against whom others, with more power and means, scheme and deceive. O Lord, please intervene and save.
I see in this psalm, not only the normal evils of humanity, but also the evils done against the Son of Man, the Lord Jesus Christ. More than any other, Jesus experienced human deceit, blood-thirst, slander, false-witness, and hatred. We all know that in the Garden he cried out in grief over his sufferings, but I have no doubt he cried out at other times too. I can picture him retiring from the angry crowds and bickering disciples, to go away to a quiet place to cry out over the boastful attacks he so often faced. But then I can also hear him affirming Psalm 5:11, 12 as his own faith in the days of his sorrows—“But let all who take refuge in your rejoice and sing for joy…for you bless the righteous o Lord and will cover him with favor as with a shield.”
Yes, he will indeed. For us, even as he did for his Son.
* This term is derived from two Greek words—one meaning heart and the other meaning sounds or utterances. Thinking that he wouldn’t mind, I’ve borrowed the term from John Newton (author of Amazing Grace—and creator of his own hymnbook back in his 18th century days) to label my devotional reflections in which I share sounds and thoughts from my own heart that are prompted by each of the psalms—and the King whom they reveal. I hope that my cardiphonia will be filled with personal hints for the life of faith, as well as observations about Jesus as well; both for your blessing, and for mine.
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