Prayer from a Cave


Just imagine you are a fugitive and have to hide from your enemies in a cave. What sort of prayer would you offer up to God? Psalm 57 is set in the early part of King David’s life. He has been anointed by Samuel as the next king of Israel, but is being jealously and relentlessly pursued by Israel’s current king, King Saul. At the time of this psalm, David has fled from Saul and is taking refuge in the cave of Adullam (1 Samuel 22:1-2). Let’s look at his prayer.

Read Psalm 57:4-7


    • What is David’s first response in this disaster? He has taken refuge in a cave, but where is his real refuge?
    • What do you understand David means when tells God he takes refuge in the shadow of his wings?
    • In verses 2 and 3, how does David base his prayer on God’s character and actions towards him?

    David is confident that, even though he is sheltering in a cave, his true protection lies in staying very close to God – the One who has chosen him as Israel’s future King. Who do you cling to in times of anxiety and fear? Do you, like David, find assurance in the love and faithfulness of God? And do you, like David, base your prayers for help on what you know of God’s character, as revealed in the Scriptures?

    Read Psalm 57:4-6


    • How does David describe his enemies in verse 4?
    • How does verse 6 show the way that God has dealt with David’s enemies?
    • Verse 5 is a hiatus of praise, coming between the descriptions of his enemies in verses 4 and 6. It is repeated again at the end (v 11). What does this show about David’s greatest desire, despite his personal distress?

    Here we see David’s complete trust in God. He prays that the God in whom he trusts will bring down his enemies. He prays that God will be truly praised in heaven, and his majestic power seen over all the earth. Notice how Israel’s future king takes the focus off his own problems and shines the spotlight on God. Although his enemies are snapping at his heels, David’s greatest desire is for God to be uplifted and glorified.

    Read Psalm 57:7-11


    • In verses 7-8, how is David an example to us? You may also like to refer to Ephesians 5:18-20.
    • How do verses 9-11 expand our vision of the greatness of God?

    This psalm takes us from the depths of the cave to the heights of heaven. And God reigns over it all. God shows his great love and faithfulness to David, his anointed king. He has shown that same love and faithfulness to us in the life, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Take time to praise and thank him now!

    Something to think and pray about

    Ask God to help you share with a friend one way in which God has shown his love and faithfulness to you.

    Something to sing about

    Be Exalted O God (Nina Dixon); Shadow of Your Wings (Aryn Michelle); Psalm 57 (Jason Silver).