Wednesday, August 24, 2005

My Deliverer

I was praying with Psalm 18 this morning. Normally, I keep my prayers to myself, but today's prayer felt somehow shareable. I was reading verse two, "The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold," when the words "my deliverer" jumped off the page and resounded in my mind like the ringing of church bells.

I picture myself as an inhabitant of a city under siege. The situation is bleak, but then suddenly we see a hero approaching, a lone hero, but one mighty enough to free us, a deliverer. (Yes, I watch too many movies.)

The other images in this psalm -- rock, fortress, refuge, stronghold -- are all images I have for God. God is a place I can run and hide in times of trouble. But the sweetness of these words, "my deliverer," came to me today as if brand new. He comes to me, a champion to extract me from trouble.

And this is Christ. He came to us to save us from our desperate condition. He continues to come to me when I cannot come to him. He is my deliverer.

There's nothing new here, of course. All this I knew quite well. But that's the way it is with prayer, isn't it? God tells you something you already know, but it touches you in a new way.

Christus der Allm├Ąchtige by Viktor Michailow Wasnezow

5 comments:

Lee said...

This is great stuff. I've been trying to make a habit of praying with the Psalms myself lately, and I think it's a good way to overcome the "poverty of the heart" in prayer (as Bonhoeffer called it, I think).

LutheranChik said...

And that artwork is stunning. I love that.

LutheranChik said...

Your post brings to mind Luther's battle imagery in "A Mighty Fortress" -- things are looking bad, but suddenly "a Champion comes to fight..."

Andy said...

lee,

I'm actually using the Psalms right now for individual lectio divina. It's such an obvious fit that I've been resisting it for a while. The Psalms lend themselves so much to personal expression that I made myself stay away for a couple of years while I tried to learn to not hear my own voice (exclusively) in prayer.

Andy said...

lc,

I hadn't even thought about the conneciton to "A Mighty Fortress".

The artwork is great, isn't it. As I was contemplating this stuff, I knew that it was calling out fo an icon, so when I wrote the blog entry I did a search. I was actually looking for Christus Victor, and by luck I found a site that was using a that varient spelling of the author's name so this matched. There's also a black and white version on the web that is in some ways more powerful, but it didn't have as much detail.