Saturday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 54, clearly described in its first two lines as a prayer of David when he was in deep trouble:

For the leader. On stringed instruments. A maskil of David,
when the Ziphites came and said to Saul, “David is hiding among us.”

Psalm 54:1-2

You can watch the whole story here – (and it’s a good one):

Psalm 54 goes to the heart of this traumatic experience for David. It allows us to be part of his prayer for deliverance. It lays open to us the deep intimacy and trust of David’s relationship with God.

Throughout his prayer, David calls on God for protection. He does so in a tone like that of a child who, in fear and necessity, runs to a powerful parent.

David’s situation reminds me of my gang when we were kids in the old neighborhood. If Big Jimmy, the block bully, threatened any of us, we would invoke the strength of a bigger brother or uncle as protection. It always worked —- just by the power of our sheer belief that it would.

Saul Looking like Big Jimmy 🙂

David is besieged by Saul, so he makes recourse to his “bigger” protector, his God. David’s prayer is more than a request. It is an insistent plea, almost a demand:

  • save
  • defend
  • hear
  • listen

And like many prayers of desperation, it is offered with promises:

When I am delivered,  I will offer you generous sacrifice
and give thanks to your name, LORD, for it is good.
Because it has rescued me from every trouble,
and my eyes look down on my foes.

Psalm 54:9

So what does Psalm 54 teach me?
That God will do what I “demand” if I pray hard enough?
That if I promise God something, I will get what I want?
No, not that. 

What I find in this prayer is the encouragement to live always
in honest and trusting relationship with God.
When troubles come, we can call to God for help,
and our practiced faith will allow us

to discern God’s steady companionship –
God’s Grace to find a deliverance for which
we might not otherwise have had the courage.

God is present as my helper;
the Lord sustains my life.

Psalm 54:6

Poetry: Keeping Watch – Hafiz

In the morning
When I began to wake,
It happened again—
That feeling
That you, Beloved,
Had stood over me all night
Keeping watch,
That feeling
That as soon as I began to stir
You put Your lips on my forehead
And lit a Holy Lamp
Inside my heart.

Music: I Will Trust – Lauren Daigle

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