Silence for 2-5 minutes:
If your mind wanders, silently pray a simple prayer again and again, such as, "I surrender to your love" or "Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me" until the Holy Spirit gives you a sense of peace and focus.
To the choirmaster: according to Do Not Destroy. A Miktam of David, when he fled from Saul, in the cave.
1 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by. 2 I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me. 3 He will send from heaven and save me; he will put to shame him who tramples on me. Selah God will send out his steadfast love and his faithfulness!
4 My soul is in the midst of lions; I lie down amid fiery beasts— the children of man, whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords.
5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!
6 They set a net for my steps; my soul was bowed down. They dug a pit in my way, but they have fallen into it themselves. Selah 7 My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast! I will sing and make melody! 8 Awake, my glory![b] Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn! 9 I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. 10 For your steadfast love is great to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.
11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!
Yesterday, we looked at Psalm 57:1-5, and how David praises God in the midst of crushing pressures. He is on the run from Saul and his allies and David is now leading a group of 400 of Israel’s most desperate down and outers. The theme of praise in the midst of difficulty only grows in importance in the Psalm. (verses 6-11) Though David is hiding in a cave, and his life is endangered, he wants the whole earth to be filled with praise for his God. The Sweet Psalmist of Israel awakens before sunrise to play his harp and sing joyous songs of praise!
Tim Keller writes:
How do we handle times of great danger, when we are surrounded by predatory forces (see verses 1–4)? David continues to sing praise to God’s glory, right in the deep darkness, with a fierce, joyful buoyancy (verses 7–8). He sees God’s greatness in the skies and heavens (verses 9–11). There’s light and high beauty forever beyond the reach of any evil shadows in this world. This is not mere stoic defiance (“I won’t let it get me down”) but theological hope. The universe is an endless ocean of God’s joy and glory. We are caught temporarily in a little drop of sadness here on earth. But eventually it will be removed. Regardless of what happens immediately to believers, eventually it will be all right.
Follow David’s example and sing a song of joyful praise early in the morning before the sun rises. Ponder the fact that God’s faithfulness reaches beyond the heavens which He has created.
O Lord, it is easy to sing joyously when you have done wondrous things in my life. Help me to sing joyously, in the midst of struggle and challenge. Let my first words of the morning be a song of praise to my faithful God. Amen.