Thoughts for the Day

Friday, 21st June 2024: O for the wings of a dove!

Psalm 55 Intercession Prayer King David

Reading : Verses from Psalm 55


Give ear to my prayer, O God;
do not hide yourself from my supplication.
Attend to me, and answer me;
I am troubled in my complaint.
I am distraught by the noise of the enemy,
because of the clamour of the wicked.
For they bring trouble upon me,
and in anger they cherish enmity against me.

My heart is in anguish within me,
the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
Fear and trembling come upon me,
and horror overwhelms me.
And I say, ‘O that I had wings like a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest;
truly, I would flee far away;
I would lodge in the wilderness;
I would hurry to find a shelter for myself
from the raging wind and tempest.’

Confuse, O Lord, confound their speech;
for I see violence and strife in the city.
Day and night they go around it
on its walls,
and iniquity and trouble are within it;
ruin is in its midst;
oppression and fraud
do not depart from its market-place.

It is not enemies who taunt me—
I could bear that;
it is not adversaries who deal insolently with me—
I could hide from them.
But it is you, my equal,
my companion, my familiar friend,
with whom I kept pleasant company....

But I call upon God,
and the Lord will save me.
Evening and morning and at noon
I utter my complaint and moan,
and he will hear my voice.
He will redeem me unharmed
from the battle that I wage,
for many are arrayed against me....

Cast your burden on the Lord,
and he will sustain you;
he will never permit
the righteous to be moved.

I will trust in you.

(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


We look at Psalm 55 today, to help those of us who are suffering, and encourage the rest of us to pray for others in need. It looks as though this psalm might have been written by King David after the rebellion by his third son Absalom, who sought to take his throne, but we cannot be sure. Whatever the cause of his anguish it overwhelms him to the extent that he is overcome with fear, anger, and horror at the probability of his death. He can hear the cries of those who are stirring up the people and who seek his life from inside his palace. But what is worse is that his closest friend has turned his back on him and seeks his life. If only he could fly away from all this terror and unrest, and be at peace, but he cannot. So he does the one thing that will work, he appeals to God and asks Him for peace from the clamour, half of which is in his mind. He puts all his trust in God and hands over his burden to Him.

When we are suffering, whether from illness; conflict in the family; worries over money; the death of someone; or and emotional upheaval, it can take over our life. We cannot stop thinking about it and we wake in the night to continue the cycle of worry. It also adds to our stress levels and puts up our blood pressure. At its worse it can cause a stroke or heart attack. King David's first solution is to fly away from the trouble, but that won't stop his worry and he knows it's impossible. His second solution is to lay it all on God's shoulders, because "the Lord will save him".

When we are are stressed we too need to hand it over to God, and keep on doing it. It works, as I know from personal experience! For those us not stressed may we pray for those who are suffering - those we know, or people in places like Ukraine/Russia, or Israel/Palestine.


Prayer 1: (for ourself)

Lord Jesus Christ,
this day we come to You in despair.
We cannot sleep, or concentrate on anything else
because of ......................................................
We have nowhere else to turn except to You,
and you have promised that if we ask You will help us.
Forgive us our lack of faith;
our habit of going it alone;
and help us to trust in Your promises.
We lay our burdens on You this day
knowing that You have our best interests
at heart.

Prayer 2: (for others)

Lord Jesus Christ,
this day we come to You to pray for
the people of ...................................................
who need Your help.
We ask for a lasting peace to be negotiated,
and international aid to resume
so that a secure future can be achieved.
We lay their burden on You this day
knowing that You have their best interests
at heart.

Follow Up Thoughts

You might like to listen to this really wonderful piece of singing by Cai Thomas (skip the adverts):

Return to index