Prayer For Relief From Adversaries

A story is told concerning the desperate days of World War II when the battle of Britain was at its height. On a lonely Royal Air Force outpost near the coast, a`group of tired and battle scared fighter pilots were gathered in the mess hall. Suddenly a buzzer sounds and a voice o … More


This brief Psalm records a prayer by David, asking for a quick rescue from his present circumstances  (v. 1). The psalmist was desperate, his circumstances were urgent, his enemies were gloating over his misfortunes. God did not seem to be acting fast enough, this was an SOS signal, a cry for speed. “Help! Help! Hurry! Help!” This repetition emphasizes his sense of desperation and immediate need. The reason for this urgency remains unclear, since the distress described centers around those seeking to disgrace and ruin the psalmist (vv. 1-3). It also reflects on the rejoicing that will follow (v. 4). David evidently felt God had forgotten him and his urgent needs, even though his prayers had been ascending to His throne. His problem was that God did not seem to be responding with sufficient speed.

“Let all those who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; and let those who love your salvation say continually, let God be magnified” (v. 4). God invites us to express our joy in Him by testifying about it to others. We are not to keep the Good News to ourselves, but are to share it with others. The psalmist concludes the psalm with an acknowledgment of his state of neediness before God (v. 5). The “poor and needy” throughout the psalms are those who are vulnerable to the manipulation and control of others. Consequently their only recourse in the face of oppression is to trust in God for deliverance. The psalmist acknowledges his weakness and reliance on God.

In the urgency of the hour, like David, we send our message flashing to heaven. Back comes the answer “Message received and understood."  We may ask, if the message is received and understood, why does the answer take so long. It is because God’s clock is not geared to the same countdown as ours. The Lord will make haste, but He is not to be hurried.


Have the circumstances over whelmed me? Do the heavens seem to turn a deaf ear to my cries. Then this is the Psalm for me, a battle poem designed to teach me how to pray when things get desperate.

Psalms 70:1-5 (English Standard Version)

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