Psalm 61

            The Psalms are the prayer book of the Bible.  Sometimes evangelical Christians might forget the simple reality that not every prayer they utter has to always arise spontaneous from the heart.  There are many times, especially when overwhelmed or under duress, when speaking aloud a psalm perfectly captures the state and intent of our prayers. 
            As I sometimes do, today I offer my own contemporary paraphrase of a psalm that can be prayed by God’s people in times of difficulty:
O God, listen to me as I cry out to you from the depths of my heart,
            and bend your ear toward what I am saying to you;
from this emotionally faraway place I call to you,
            because I am about to faint with stress.
Lead me to the place
that is higher than my fears,
for you have been my refuge,
            a mighty fortress against the enemy of my soul.
Let me live in your safe-house forever!
            Let me be in a secure room with you standing guard!
O God, you have heard all the commitments I have made for your name’s sake;
            and you have given me a special place along with others whom you love.
Prolong the life of your committed servant;
            and may my years on this earth multiply with you in charge.
May I be seated with you forever in your glorious presence;
            command your grace and faithfulness to continually watch over me!
I will not stop singing about your great name,

            as I live for you with all my heart day after day.  Amen.

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