In my last post, I wrote about the need for endurance. In this post, I want to look at a few elements of David’s prayer in the first eight verses of Psalm 31 that will show us how to pray for endurance. A cursory reading of this psalm might leave the reader feeling like it sounds pretty ordinary when compared to many of the other Psalms. But this Psalm has helped many Bible characters pray as they endured difficulty in a variety of different circumstances. Jonah’s prayer in the belly of the whale calls on this Psalm, Jeremiah quoted it more than once, and even Jesus quotes verse 5 from the cross. Right off the bat as David begins praying for protection he puts his trust in God. He says Lord I seek refuge in You. The best place to run for protection and refuge is in the Lord.
Verbalize Your Trust in God
In the first three verses, David calls God his refuge, his rock, and his mountain fortress. These images are ones of strength and force all conveying the sense of the Lord as a source of security and protection. Fortresses were places of protection from an enemy. Rocks also symbolize stability. David grounded his prayer on the fact that the Lord was his rock and his fortress, and because God was his rock of refuge, he could trust in him. As he entrusts his spirit into God’s hands, he acknowledges God’s good control over his life. Relinquishing control may be hard to do, but it’s always the best thing to do. As you pray, verbalizing your trust in God and why you trust in him will enable you to endure.
Verbalizing your trust in God will enable you to endure.Tweet
Remind Yourself of the Character of God
David is basing this prayer on the character of God. At the end of verse one he cries out “Save me by your righteousness” knowing his own righteousness wasn’t enough. When we pray, God wants us to pray in accordance to and relying on His nature and character. In verse three he promises to lead us and guide us. Verse eight tells us we are safe in his hands. Nothing will happen to us that will cause harm to his name. So if something difficult is happening in our lives we can trust that it is ultimately for his glory, which is our ultimate good. Spirit-led endurance is not about us mustering up the character to grit through it, it’s about relying on the character of God to get us through it. As you pray, remind yourself of who you are praying to.
If something difficult is happening in our lives, we can trust that it’s ultimately for his glory, which is our ultimate good.Tweet
Rest in the Love of God
In verse 6 David is so close to God that He loves what God loves and hates what God hates. And then he begins rejoicing and praising God before he even experiences physical deliverance. In verse 7 he says “I will rejoice.” He is making the decision to rejoice in the Lord because he knew that God loved him, God was faithful to him, God had been merciful to him, and God saw him. (vs. 7-8) Even with all that was going on in David’s life, even with his enemies scheming his downfall; David could rest because He knew He was loved by God.
Even on your bad days, God sees you. Even when it feels like you cannot be faithful, God is faithful in loving you and He knows what you are going through. You are not alone. God has set your feet in a spacious place.
The dragon of sin is nothing but a crushed worm under the foot of our Savior and King.Tweet
We can endure because God endures. When we want to throw in the towel, we can pick up the sword of the Spirit and the shield of faith and continue to fight. We fight not because the battle needs to be won. It has already been won. The dragon of sin is nothing but a crushed worm under the foot of our Savior and King. We fight because we want to have a part in Christ’s victory. So we can pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints. (Ephesians 6:18)
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