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us at all times: but we should be fully persuaded that God thinks upon us, and earnestly pray to Him for help—for speedy help.
PRAYER. We bless Thee, O Lord, for the unspeakable gift of a Saviour: may we look to Him as the only sacrifice for sin, and learn of Him as our prophet; and be made partakers in Him, of the blessedness of those who love Thy salvation. Think upon us, we beseech Thee, and deliver us from all our enemies; comfort us in distress, supply our wants, and enable us to glorify Thee in all our ways; through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.
EVENING PRAYER. Prayer, as Psalm iv. A Psalm of David, written, probably, during the rebellion of Absalom. Verse 9 may refer especially to Ahithophel : prophetically it refers to the traitor Judas.
(I. Blessedness of regarding the poor.) i Blessed is he that considereth the poor:
The Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.
And he shall be blessed upon the earth :
languishing : Thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness.
(II. Prayer.) 4 I said, Lord, be merciful unto me:
Heal my soul; for I have sinned against Thee.
(III. Complaint about enemies.) 5 Mine enemies speak evil of me,
6 When shall he die, and his name perish ?” 6 And if he come to see me, he speaketh vanity :
His heart gathereth iniquity to itself;
When he goeth abroad, he telleth it. 7 All that hate me whisper together against me: Against me do they devise
hurt. 8 “ An evil disease,” say they, “ cleaveth fast unto
him : “And now that he lieth he shall rise up no more.” 9 Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted,
Which did eat of my bread,
(IV. Prayer.) 10 But Thou, O Lord, be merciful unto me, And raise me up, that I may requite them.
(V. Confidence and thanksgiving.) 11 By this I know that Thou favourest me,
Because mine enemy doth not triumph over me. 12 And as for me, Thou upholdest me in mine in
From everlasting, and to everlasting.
REFLECTIONS. 1. If we would have comfort in sickness and trials, we must abound, while in health, in the works of faith and labours of love. The blessing of God is upon those who are good and who do good : thus the merciful obtain mercy.
2. A sinful act is to the soul what a wound is to the body: and a habit of sin is like a continued disease. We look to the mercy of God in Christ Jesus for the pardon of every sin, and for restoration to spiritual health and strength.
3, 4. This is an evil world: foes may be cruel, and friends may be faithless: this David found to be the case; and so did our blessed Lord : and shall we pass without the like trial ? But in our trouble we must look for consolation and support to God: and if He be merciful to us, we need not regard the treachery of some, or the cruelty of others.
5. How shall we know that we enjoy the divine favour? By being delivered from our enemies, and by being upheld in the way of righteousness. These are proofs that the eye of God is upon us for good. And how shall we express our sense of the divine goodness ? By ascribing to God all blessing and praise: verse 13. Thus we begin upon earth the song that shall be perpetuated through eternity.
Fill our hearts, O Lord, with unfeigned charity, that we may be kind and compassionate to all men. Pardon our sins, and sanctify us in body, soul, and spirit. Forgive our enemies, and change their hearts.
In all our troubles may we look to Thee, and do Thou graciously favour us; deliver us from all evil, uphold us in all goodness and righteousness: and may we bless Thee, the Lord God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
Prayer when deprived of the public ordinances of religion. Written by David, probably, during the rebellion of Absalom.
(I. Zealous desire for public worship.) 1 As the hart panteth after the water brooks,
So panteth my soul after Thee, O God. 2 My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God :
When shall I come and appear before God. 3 My tears have been my meat day and night, While they continually say unto me, Where is thy
God? 4 When I remember these things, I pour out my
soul in me:
(II. Trust in God.)
And why art thou disquieted in me?
For the help of His countenance.
Therefore will I remember Thee from the land of
Jordan, And of the Hermonites, from the hill of Mizar. 7 Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of Thy water
spouts : All Thy waves and Thy billows are gone over me. 8 Yet the Lord will command His lovingkindness in
the day time,
And my prayer unto the God of my life. 9 I will
say unto God my Rock, Why hast Thou forgotten me? Why go I mourning
Because of the oppression of the enemy? 10 As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies
reproach me; While they say daily unto me, Where is thy God? 11 Why art thou cast down, O my soul?
And why art thou disquieted within me?
REFLECTIONS. 1. This beautiful Psalm can be duly appreciated only by those who love and value the ordinances of the Church, but are deprived of them. God in Christ Jesus is the true believer's object, and the public worship of Him is his delight. He grieves when he cannot engage in it. The language of scoffers will give him additional anguish: and he will recall to mind with pensive sadness those bright and happy days when he went into the house of God with the voice of joy and praise.