Fortress Against Adversity (Psalm 61:1–3) - Radical

Fortress Against Adversity (Psalm 61:1–3)

Hear my cry, Oh God. Listen to my prayer. 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. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.
– Psalm 61:1–3

Oh, I want to just pray according to one of these verses, but then the next verse is so great, and then the next verse.

Psalm 61:1–3 Is Prayer from a Fainted Heart

The imagery in these Psalms, is it not awesome? Now, don’t use that word lightly. This picture of crying out to God from the end of the earth when my heart is faint, I am guessing some, maybe many people, who are listening to this right now have faint hearts. Is anybody weary, tired, discouraged? I don’t want to be depressing, but I do want to be real. Many of us, I can include myself in this, feel faint. And so to cry out to God and listen to the prayer from a faint heart, “Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. Oh God, take me up. Hold me up to stand on high to a rock that is higher than I am. For you have been my refuge.”

I’ve seen that imagery over and over again in the Psalms. God is a refuge around us. And then into verse 3, “A strong tower against the enemy.” I have pictures, just imagine a strong tower that protects and guards you like a fortress. This is God for you. Amidst whatever you’re walking through right now, and especially when your heart is faint, cry out to God and know that he hears you and he will lead you to a rock, to a secure, safe foundation to stand on with God as your refuge and your strong tower against the enemy, against the adversary who wants to destroy you, who wants to discourage you, who wants to bring you down when you are faint.

Psalm 61:1–3 Reminds Us that God Hears Our Desperate Prayers

Oh God, hear our cries. We’re going to pray exactly what your Holy Spirit has inspired in your word to pray. Hear our cry, oh God. Listen to our prayers from the ends of the earth. Even from all the places where we are right now as we’re praying together, we call to you from faint hearts. God, we just confess. I confess. We confess that our hearts are often faint, weary, discouraged, and all kinds of different ways for all kinds of different reasons that you know God.

You are familiar with all the circumstances we’re walking through, the situations we’re facing, all the reasons why our hearts are faint. And so we pray, lead us to the rock that is higher than we are. Help us to stand, oh God, at a high place where we can see with your perspective and trust in your promises to provide for all we need. Trust in your purposes that you are accomplishing in all the circumstances and situations we’re walking through, for you are our refuge.

God, we praise you as our refuge and the strong tower you are against our enemy. We rest today, even right now in this moment, secure in you. And God, we pray for people who don’t know this security, who don’t know you as the strong tower and the refuge and the rock as the one who hears our cries.

Praying for the Huichol People

God, we pray for all the people groups to the ends of the earth, including the Huichol people in the remote mountains of Western Mexico. God, we pray for the spread of the gospel to the Huichol people that they might know you as the rock Jesus, that they might trust you as the savior of their sin and Lord of their lives and the eternal refuge and strong tower that you are. We pray that over the Huichol people of Western Mexico, even as we praise you for these realities in our lives today. In Jesus name we pray according to Psalm 61:1–3. Amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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