I’m reading through the psalms lately and really appreciate the (sometimes brutal) honesty of the psalmist when he talks with God. He is as exuberant in his joy as he is crushed (but not destroyed) in his painful sorrows. He tells God how discouraged and broken-hearted he feels. He lets God know he feels abandoned and forgotten. He even gets angry with God. But in all situations of his life, good and bad, he remains faithful and turns to the Lord. He prays just as you and I might when troubles overcome us and we have nowhere to turn:
“Hear my cry O God. Hear my prayer. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I am. You have been a refuge for me, a tower of strength. Let me take refuge in the shelter of your wings. Let me dwell in your tent forever.” Psalm 61 (selected verses)
Note how he addresses the Lord by who God is:
- A high and solid rock, a place to stand firm.
- A refuge from the dangers and storms of life that beset us all.
- A strong tower that provides both defensive and offensive might.
- The shelter of his wings, reminding us of a mother bird that shields her young.
- A tent that lasts forever.
I am constantly reminded of how much I too desperately need an unshakable foundation for my faith and my life. How about you? I need a refuge of safety to protect my mind and spirit from being beaten down by the storms in my life and my own propensity to worry and fret. I find that looking down at just the work before me makes me limited in my perspective and unaware of the real dangers and needs around me. I too need a strong tower, a place of refuge and high place from where I can see more clearly through God’s perspective. I usually think of a tent as being a temporary dwelling, like my earthly body that lasts until I come to my permanent home in heaven. But the “tent” of God is not a temporary shelter but the house of the Lord forever!
When my children talk with me they call me Dad because that is who I am to them. My siblings call me brother and my mom calls me son. My wife calls me beloved and my friends call me friend. My aim is to be called faithful by God. Our name is how we are revealed to others. God is also known by his character and how he reveals himself to us. As you come in prayer to the Lord today, how will you address him? Have you found him to be your:
- Firm foundation
- Redeemer and deliverer
- Abba, daddy
- Daily bread and living water
- Provider and protector
- Banner over your life
- Lord and Savior
When we end our prayers to God with the words, “In Your name” we are really acknowledging who he really is and how he reveals himself to you and me. We can pray confidently in the name of our Lord God because it is the name that never changes and is always dependable.
The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous runs into it and is safe. Proverbs 18:10
Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Romans 10:13