Deliverance From Life’s Storm: The Prayer of Psalm 71–By Dean Marini
Have you ever felt like you were following God to the best of your ability but troubles still seemed to arise out of everywhere? You are not alone. We know this because Jesus’ own disciples had the exact same feelings.
In Mark 4:35, Christ said to His disciples: “Let us go over to the other side [of the lake].” Even though they quickly complied, they soon found themselves trapped in the midst of a fierce storm. So fierce was this storm, it looked as though they might parish. ‘Where is Jesus?’ they exclaimed. Well, Jesus was sleeping — seemingly completely oblivious to their peril.
For creatures of limited knowledge (and ability), we certainly esteem ourselves quite worthy of knowing (and telling!) our all-knowing Lord how He should handle things for us. In their distress, the disciples had quickly forgotten all the miraculous provisions and workings they had witnessed at the hands of Jesus. And subsequently they thought they knew best when Jesus should act. In sum, the disciples allowed their current situation – their fears and what they could see – distract them from the divine power lying just a few feet away. If we’re honest, we oftentimes do the very same thing. Every time troubles arise we begin to worry and fret all over again, forgetting about all the previous times God had delivered us.
Our lack of faith often leads us to say what the disciples did, “Lord don’t you care?” But we know from Scripture that He does care. A lot! Jesus as man may have been resting on the boat that day, but Jesus the Lord knew exactly what was going on. And at just the right moment He spoke into existence, “Peace, be still” – and the storm was completely still.
This is how God operates in the storms in our lives today. He has the power to quiet any and every storm we face; rescue us from any trial; heal us from any disease; deliver us from the hands of any enemy. After all, let us not forget about the Red Sea! God didn’t open the great pathway through the Sea until the Israelites were standing at the very edge sure, just as the disciples were, that their lives were in grave danger. And just think, these are just a few examples of many throughout Holy Scripture.
The point is this: The next time you feel trapped, desperate or your situation seems hopeless, read the stories of old. It is never too late! For me, Psalm 71 has been a wonderful reminder and blessing that our Heavenly Father is, indeed, faithful to deliver us from the storm...
Deliverance From Life’s Storm: The Prayer of Psalm 71
In You, Lord, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
In Your righteousness, rescue me and deliver me;
turn Your ear to me and save me.
Be my Rock of refuge,
to which I can always go;
give the command to save me,
for You are my Rock and my fortress.
Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked,
from the grasp of those who are evil and cruel.
For You have been my hope, Sovereign Lord,
my confidence since my youth.
From birth I have relied on You;
You brought me forth from my mother’s womb.
I will ever praise You.
I have become a sign to many;
You are my strong refuge.
My mouth is filled with Your praise,
declaring Your splendor all day long.
Do not cast me away when I am old;
do not forsake me when my strength is gone.
For my enemies speak against me;
those who wait to kill me conspire together.
They say, “God has forsaken him;
pursue him and seize him,
for no one will rescue him.”
Do not be far from me, my God;
come quickly, God, to help me.
May my accusers perish in shame;
may those who want to harm me
be covered with scorn and disgrace.
As for me, I will always have hope;
I will praise You more and more.
My mouth will tell of Your righteous deeds,
of Your saving acts all day long—
though I know not how to relate them all.
I will come and proclaim Your mighty acts, Sovereign Lord;
I will proclaim Your righteous deeds, Yours alone.
Even when I am old and gray,
do not forsake me, my God,
till I declare Your power to the next generation,
Your mighty acts to all who are to come.
Your righteousness, God, reaches to the Heavens,
You who have done great things.
Who is like You, God?
Though you have made me see troubles,
many and bitter,
You will restore my life again;
from the depths of the earth
You will again bring me up.
You will increase my honor
and comfort me once more.
My lips will shout for joy
when I sing praise to You—
In whom you have delivered.
My tongue will tell of Your righteous acts
all day long,
for those who wanted to harm me
have been put to shame and confusion.
Psalm 71 is a very special psalm. It reminds us of God’s providential love and care, speaks of His mighty power and sovereignty, and reminds us to praise Him (yes, even in the storm!). When we turn our words from “Don’t you care, Lord” to “Thank You for caring, Lord!” our circumstances will inevitably change. And such was the case with those named throughout Biblical accounts.
The path God leads us down tends to bring about great challenges and oftentimes great difficulty. It is through these very struggles however, that we learn resilience, reliance on, and obedience to God — growing in the very faith we must possess on our journey ahead. Our struggles and sacrifices no doubt lead to the strongest and most effective testimonies as well. The good news? If God leads us to it, He will bring us through it!
So the next time you find yourself in the middle of another storm, read and meditate on the words of this powerful psalm. Pray it, praise Him, and know that your deliverance is coming. Because, with faith, it is.
Written by Dean Marini