25 April 2022

Praying with the Psalms in Easter:
25 April 2022 (Psalm 61)

‘Lead me to the rock that is higher than I; for you are my refuge’ (Psalm 61: 2-3) … the rocks above the beach at Foinikas on the south coast of Crete (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

During this season of Easter, I have returned to my morning reflections on the Psalms, and in this Prayer Diary on my blog each morning I am reflecting in these ways:

1, Short reflections on a psalm or psalms;

2, reading the psalm or psalms;

3, a prayer from the USPG prayer diary.

Psalm 61:

Psalm 61 is to be played on a neginah or stringed instrument. In the slightly different numbering system in the Greek Septuagint and Latin Vulgate this is Psalm 60.

This Psalm is attributed to King David and is called in Latin Exaudi Deus (‘Hear my cry, O God’).

The Jerusalem Bible calls it a ‘prayer of an exile.’ It describes verses 1-5 as the lament of an exiled Levite, and verses 6-7 as a prayer for the king.

The Czech composer Antonín Dvořák set verses 1, 3 and 4 to music, together with part of Psalm 63, in No. 6 of his Biblical Songs (1894).

‘You are my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy’ (Psalm 61: 3) … the Wignacourt Tower in Saint Paul’s Bay, Malta (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2022)

Psalm 61 (NRSVA):

To the leader: with stringed instruments. Of David.

1 Hear my cry, O God;
listen to my prayer.
2 From the end of the earth I call to you,
when my heart is faint.

Lead me to the rock
that is higher than I;
3 for you are my refuge,
a strong tower against the enemy.

4 Let me abide in your tent for ever,
find refuge under the shelter of your wings.
5 For you, O God, have heard my vows;
you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.

6 Prolong the life of the king;
may his years endure to all generations!
7 May he be enthroned for ever before God;
appoint steadfast love and faithfulness to watch over him!

8 So I will always sing praises to your name,
as I pay my vows day after day.

Today’s Prayer:

The theme in this week’s prayer diary of the Anglican mission agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel) is ‘Logging in the Solomon Islands,’ and was introduced yesterday morning by Brother Christopher John SSF, Minister General of the Society of Saint Francis.

The USPG Prayer Diary this morning (25 April 2022, Saint Mark the Evangelist) invites us to pray:

We give thanks for the life of Saint Mark the Evangelist. May we devote our lives to evangelism and witness..

Yesterday’s reflection

Continued tomorrow

A figure representing Saint Mark at the base of the memorial cross in the churchyard at All Saints’ Church, Calverton … the Church Calendar today commemorates Saint Mark the Evangelist (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2022)

Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition copyright © 1989, 1995, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org

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