Praying Psalm 71 - A Life With God

Though I've enjoyed daily Bible study and prayer for many years, my morning devotional time has taken on a new depth during my latest exercise of praying through the psalms. I'm constantly amazed at the treasures I find in words penned thousands of years ago -- inspiration, deep worship, relevance for the situations in which I find myself, comfort, wisdom.

Take Psalm 71, for instance. The previous psalm is full of pleading for God to protect one who is being persecuted by wickedness, though with gems of wisdom devoted to praise and worship of our saving God. At first glance, Psalm 71 looks like a continuation of that theme - a request for deliverance, for protection. But several verses leaped out at me.

"From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother's womb. I will ever praise you." (v6)

"Since my youth, O God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds." (v17)

"Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come." (v18)

" will retore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will bring me up." (v20)

This is the prayer of someone who has spent a lifetime with God, from birth through adulthood. It is a prayer of hope and certainty for the future -- all the way to death and beyond. Our God is not a God who leaves us alone; He's a God who walks with us thorugh every part of life, whose "righteousness reaches to the skies," (v19). He is faithful to love, guide, instruct, protect, comfort, and redeem us in every stage and circumstance of life. And not only us, but also generations to come.

By the time I got to the end, my heart was so full I prayed with the psalmist from the bottom of my soul,

"My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you -- I, whom you have redeemed. (v23)