31:1 In you, O Lord, do I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame;
in your righteousness deliver me!
2 Incline your ear to me;
rescue me speedily!
Be a rock of refuge for me,
a strong fortress to save me!
In this psalm, likely written during or just after a time of desperation in David’s life, David is crying out to the Lord as his security. He acknowledges God as his unfailing deliverer (the poetic meanings of “rock”), Who is righteous and just. This psalm is one in which David places complete trust in the Lord, and acknowledges his own dependence on God for safety and strength.
His fervent words can echo our own prayers during times of great strain. But when do we ourselves cry to the Lord? And how do we tell God we need His help? Many times as a younger believer, I wondered if my prayer was important enough for God to hear, or if I was using the right kind of words, and I’m not the only believer to wonder this. But if we only pray when times are “really bad,” and if we only pray using special “churchy” language, we may never truly rely on prayer the way that believers can and should be able to.
Prayer is not reserved for special occasions or privileged believers; it is the way all believers can talk to God, and without it, our faith can be easily shaken. It is a lifeline, and in Psalm 31 we see David depending on that lifeline. Thankfully, we don’t have to cry out in beautiful language, and we don’t have to pray just about “important” things; all God needs to hear is, “I know only You can help me, God. Please help.”