Short Meditations in Psalms: 5.2 A slow wind up
Psa 5:2 Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray.
David has already said, “Give ear to my words O LORD.” Let’s be honest – I recognized it afresh even this morning – so often when we pray we dive in without hesitation and ask for our need. I confess, on a bad day I am a real cry baby! I’m not proud of it, it’s just something I do, I cry out to God for my need. David, I would suggest here, seems a bit slow off the mark, it’s like he is slowly winding himself up to ask of the Lord.
But then I look again and I notice that in verse 1 he calls the Lord by His covenant name, “The I AM”. But now he simply refers to him as his King and his God. The word ‘king’ reaffirms that the Lord is the One who reigns over him, the One to whom he is subject. The word ‘God’ takes it a step further to mean ‘the One I worship’. It is like David is asking for help by first asking for the Lord to listen to him – “Listen to my cry for help,” – while at the same time establishing in his own heart a growing picture of who the Lord is – the I AM, the Eternal One, the One who rules over him, the One who causes him to bow down and worship Him.
And then I remember how some of the early believers prayed: “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them.” (Acts 4:24) and they then went on and built up the prayer with a reminder of what the world is like (v.25,26) as shown in Psalm 2, and then what the Lord had done (v.27,28) before moving on to ask for Him to act (v.29,30)
What they were doing and what David often does, is build up faith to start with by declaring who the Lord is. We really do need to remind ourselves of this often. I think I have said in a recent meditation I have taught a recent prayer group, “Focus on God, unfocus on answers”. This is it, we are so often concerned with our needs that we cry for answers and fail to rise up in faith which brings changes in us that make us more open to Hs activity.
When David concludes with, “for to you I pray,” we might think that is obvious but it is yet a further indication that he is focusing on the One he is calling upon and wants to make the Lord the fundamental key to not only his praying but also in his recognition of who it is who will be bringing an answer. It is like he is saying, “I realise you are the Great Eternal One, and I want to state afresh that you are my Lord before whom I bow in allegiance and obedience, and you are the One who I worship. There is no other like you and I honour you even as I come to ask for your help. A good approach!