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"Turn again, O God of hosts; look down from heaven, and see; have regard for this vine."


Psalm 80 is entitled “Prayer for Israel’s Restoration” and is classified as a “communal lament.” It offers a profound description of suffering, especially in the apparent absence of God. It goes on to express our longing for God and for his love to shine upon us. Verses 1 and 2, in particular,  emphasise the power of God, especially the power to save God’s people. The Psalmist is pleading for grace for God’s people and it is probably set in the period when the ten tribes of Israel were in captivity. However, for us, today, different troubles and anxieties will be at the forefront of our minds and there is space in this Psalm to use it as a reflection on a wide variety of anxieties we may have.

The theme of “the vine” predominates (verse 8 onwards). This image of the vine represents God’s people over time, from the very beginning when the vine of the Old-Testament church was planted. The vine represents God’s people across the generations in good times and in bad, and the psalm also foretells some New Testament verses which tell us that the root of the vine is Christ (Romans 11 v18) and the branches are believers (John 15 v5). We are inseparable from God, we are the branches and he is the true vine: our root, our stabilising force and comforter.

Just as in verse 14 of Psalm 80, where the people cry to God to help the vine, we can still cry out to him and know that he is listening. 


1. FIND A Relaxing PLACE. 

Make sure that you are in a quiet place. Sit comfortably but alert – feet flat on the floor, back pushed hard against the back of the chair. Start your reflection by being open and ready to God’s presence.

2. Focus on your breathing.

Focus on your breathing. Pay attention to in-breaths and out-breaths. You may think of breathing in God’s life and peace and breathing out any tension.

3. Be aware of your body.

Be aware of your body. Let your aches and pains be there. Rest your hands in your lap; you don’t need to be doing anything with them now. Rest your feet on the floor; you don’t need to go anywhere. Shrug your shoulders, ease your neck. Take time to become still and repeat quietly verse 14. Think of the image of the vine and how we are all part of the history of God’s people throughout history.  Does that thought help you feel calmer about a situation which you are finding particularly difficult to work through at the moment? 

4. Listen to God 

Then, in the stillness, listen to what God might be saying to you.

5. Finish with this prayer:

We thank you, gracious God, for Jesus Christ the true vine, with his roots eternally grounded in you. We rejoice that by grace we have been grafted into him, to be branches on a vine which bears the loveliest of all the fruits of earth. Uphold me today and support me. Amen.

Posted on October 20th 2022

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