Asking for More
(H) For the director of the choir, on stringed instruments, of David. (1) Hear my cry, God. Listen to my prayer. (2) From the end of the earth I call when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, (3) for you have been a refuge for me, a tower of strength against the enemy. (4) Let me sojourn in your tent forever. Let me seek refuge in the shelter of your wings, (Selah) (5) for you, God, have heard my vows. You have given me the heritage of those who fear your name. (6) You will prolong the king’s life, and his years (will be) as many generations. (7) May he be enthroned in God’s presence forever. Appoint steadfast love and faithfulness to watch over him. (8) Thus will I always sing praise to your name and fulfill my vows day after day.
One repetition hints at the outline of the psalm, the two uses of “hear.” With the first verb, an imperative opening the psalm, David calls out to God to listen to his prayer as he would throughout the first three verses (vs. 1). The second occurrence, an indicative verb in the past tense, “You have heard,” expresses David’s delight in God’s answering his prayers both at the present and in the future (vs. 5).
The time references in the second segment of the psalm, “forever” (vss. 4 & 7), “prolong life...years as many generations” (vs. 6), and “always...day after day” (vs. 8), remind us of the eternal covenant God made with King David: “Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever” (2 Sam. 7:16).
I. Desiring God’s protection in my present need (1-3)
II. Delighting in God’s presence in my life forever (4-8)
Because God has graciously provided for our present needs, we will gratefully trust in him to care for us forever.
God loves to surprise us with his generosity. When we ask for his help, we inevitably receive more than we need and certainly more than we deserve. As we experience the overflow of his love, we learn to ask for more. David begins Psalm 61 with a prayer for protection from his enemies (vss. 1-3), and when he experiences God’s bounty, he dares to ask for more: “Let me sojourn in your tent forever” (vs. 4).
After Israel’s rebellion in worshiping the golden calf, Moses returned to the top of Mt. Sinai to intercede with Yahweh for the sinful nation. Because of their idolatry, God had threatened to withdraw his presence and send only an angel to lead them through the wilderness. Moses pled with God not to leave his people but for his personal presence to continue with them all the way to the Promised Land. After God had generously granted his request, Moses dared to ask for more. His amazing request: “Now show me your glory” (Ex. 33:18). God responded by granting Moses an indescribable revelation of his greatness.
God has repeatedly demonstrated his faithfulness to us by graciously answering our prayers. His grace has constantly overflowed into our lives. Have we, like David, like Moses, and like many other beneficiaries of his grace learned to ask for more, not with a demanding spirit but in anticipation of the delights which his overflowing grace will bring into our lives? The author of Hebrews encourages us with these words: “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” With this invitation to ask not only for what we need but for even more from our heavenly Father, what are we waiting for?