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Mysteries of prayer and psalm 18

Submitted Apr 21, 2010 | by Joseph Jagde

Psalm 18 reads as follows from the NIV version of the Bible:

1 I love you, O LORD, my strength.

2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.
He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

3 I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise,
and I am saved from my enemies.

4 The cords of death entangled me;
the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.

5 The cords of the grave coiled around me;
the snares of death confronted me.

6 In my distress I called to the LORD;
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came before him, into his ears.

7 The earth trembled and quaked,
and the foundations of the mountains shook;
they trembled because he was angry.

8 Smoke rose from his nostrils;
consuming fire came from his mouth,
burning coals blazed out of it.

9 He parted the heavens and came down;
dark clouds were under his feet.

10 He mounted the cherubim and flew;
he soared on the wings of the wind.

11 He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him—
the dark rain clouds of the sky.

12 Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced,
with hailstones and bolts of lightning.

13 The LORD thundered from heaven;
the voice of the Most High resounded.

14 He shot his arrows and scattered the enemies ,
great bolts of lightning and routed them.

15 The valleys of the sea were exposed
and the foundations of the earth laid bare
at your rebuke, O LORD,
at the blast of breath from your nostrils.

16 He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.

17 He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.

18 They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the LORD was my support.

19 He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.

20 The LORD has dealt with me according to my righteousness;
according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me.

21 For I have kept the ways of the LORD;
I have not done evil by turning from my God.

22 All his laws are before me;
I have not turned away from his decrees.

23 I have been blameless before him
and have kept myself from sin.

24 The LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.

25 To the faithful you show yourself faithful,
to the blameless you show yourself blameless,

26 to the pure you show yourself pure,
but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd.

27 You save the humble
but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.

28 You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning;
my God turns my darkness into light.

29 With your help I can advance against a troop;
with my God I can scale a wall.

30 As for God, his way is perfect;
the word of the LORD is flawless.
He is a shield
for all who take refuge in him.

31 For who is God besides the LORD ?
And who is the Rock except our God?

32 It is God who arms me with strength
and makes my way perfect.

33 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
he enables me to stand on the heights.

34 He trains my hands for battle;
my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

35 You give me your shield of victory,
and your right hand sustains me;
you stoop down to make me great.

36 You broaden the path beneath me,
so that my ankles do not turn.

37 I pursued my enemies and overtook them;
I did not turn back till they were destroyed.

38 I crushed them so that they could not rise;
they fell beneath my feet.

39 You armed me with strength for battle;
you made my adversaries bow at my feet.

40 You made my enemies turn their backs in flight,
and I destroyed my foes.

41 They cried for help, but there was no one to save them—
to the LORD, but he did not answer.

42 I beat them as fine as dust borne on the wind;
I poured them out like mud in the streets.

43 You have delivered me from the attacks of the people;
you have made me the head of nations;
people I did not know are subject to me.

44 As soon as they hear me, they obey me;
foreigners cringe before me.

45 They all lose heart;
they come trembling from their strongholds.

46 The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock!
Exalted be God my Savior!

47 He is the God who avenges me,
who subdues nations under me,

48 who saves me from my enemies.
You exalted me above my foes;
from violent men you rescued me.

49 Therefore I will praise you among the nations, O LORD;
I will sing praises to your name.

50 He gives his king great victories;
he shows unfailing kindness to his anointed,
to David and his descendants forever

This psalm is unique in portraying a powerful and surreal picture of the response of the Lord to David's pleas.

This psalm speaks of some of the tremendous mysteries of prayer, where the prompt and powerful response to the prayer is so exceedingly great and vast, that it is out of the natural order of what we know as cause and effect. Yet this is the way prayer can be, one simple prayer resonates, resounds and extends as having profound and far reaching effects.

David is swamped in deep distress, yet he is still able to pray and bring his voice before the Lord .

The response of the Lord is swift and overwhelming and the very foundations of the earth tremble as he approaches with his answer and presence.

The measure of the response of the Lord is such that he will go to the very depths of the seas and the foundations of the earth to respond to the voice of the psalmist David.

While the symbolism in this psalm may seem to be exaggerated, hyperbola, that a simple voice in prayer could bring such an outsized response is not something that is just imaging or even out of the ordinary in the realms of prayer..

This psalm is clearly showing that a relatively simple prayer from someone considered great in the Lord's eyes such as David was, can very well shake the foundations of the earth and bring this surreal, visionary, and outsized response from the Lord where the Lord will go to the very depths of the ancient seas in bringing forth an answer. The Lord has a hold on all things and all things will hold within his response.

From this psalm the prayers of the saints are of such supreme importance that they override even the great things of creation in the Lord's eyes.

This psalm clearly reveals one of the great mysteries of prayer, that a small prayer or what is seemingly a small prayer from our point of view, from a great person in the Lord's eyes, can have immediate, far reaching and long ranging effects that changed and are changing the earth or can cascade across the lands with greater power than all the known forces of nature and the universe.

That David's voice in prayer could garner such a response seems unbelievable, but this psalm reveals a great mystery of prayer, that the response of the Lord can be way out of proportion in all ways to the innate abilities of the one praying to do anything on their own terms other than through the channels of prayer.

David, even while King, could do nothing along the lines of what was being done for him by the Lord,

Because of the Lord intervening and stretching his hand outwardly, nations would come cringing before David;

David with in the throes of various difficulties and obstacles, and had no immeasurable means other than his voice of greatness in prayer before the Lord.

It does not make sense that any person would have such a powerful voice and influence in prayer, but the reality is that this voice of faith and prayer can move mountains as it speaks of in the gospels.

How this is or can be is the subject of mystery, but from this psalm and other verses in the
Bible, it is seen that one person can pray for whole landscapes, speak to mountains upon mountains, and call the shots through measures of faith that manifest in new founded realities.

These are levels of effect and power that can be reached into through no other means or ways and the dimensions of what may be involved can be looked at with respect and awe.

The broad place mentioned in this psalm is reflective of a greater new found landscape where the nations of the world come cringing before David, not only a reversal of what had been but as to where he was but a new and previously unimaginable landscape that was created through the effects of his prayer that constituted as really a new earth there and then as to the alignment of nations.

The effect of David's prayer was not only upon himself but upon many others even to the nations.

Logically, one small prayer might change one small event as to what we might expect to be cause and effect, but David's relatively small prayer changed the landscape of everything.

Why this is, is the subject of mystery, but this psalm shows the Lord's response can be way out of proportion to the natural position of the one praying, as David's prayer position contained little remaining power in the early sense of power as he was outright on the run.

Although David's natural position was great in the spiritual sense,and he was the King, and it still wasn't that great,

Earlier on, he was fortunate to be victorious over one man, Goliath.

So the greatness spoken of in verse 35 more so has mystical and spiritual connotations. With this, who really knows in this era who possesses this greatness before the Lord. That is one element of mystery.

He was great in the eyes of the Lord spiritually, seen by the happenings of the unbelievable to the ends of all of the earth response to his prayer.

But like all the psalms, this psalm is revealing secrets of the Lord; the reality is that the voice in prayer and the response does not match up with anything else we know in reality as to cause and effect.

This prayer power is out of the national and natural order of things and operates at the level of mystery. It didn't make sense that the words of Elijah's prayer could change weather patterns throughout the earth for years on end but that is what happened as a result of his prayer and the Lord's response to it.

Without this prayer, David might have been overrun by enemy forces of many nations, but through his one prayer all this was reversed and a whole other landscape revealed, all as a result of a singular voice, within the voice of prayer.


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