Jenny's Psalm Reflections: Psalm 4 v.8

Today’s verse is Psalm 4 V.8

"I will both lie down and sleep in peace; for you alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety."

Background:

This fourth Psalm is a Psalm of David and is really a cry for help and deliverance from his enemies. You may want to consider reading this as part of your night or evening prayer as it is, indeed, often used as part of the Night Prayer service. You may also want to read this prayer in conjunction with Psalm 3, discussed last week, as they both have the common theme of trusting God to be with us as we “lie down and sleep.” Psalm 4 is of David’s feelings as he is hounded by “nobles” who have turned away from him in favour of Saul, the new “flavour of the month.” David is also upset by these nobles “loving vain words” and “seeking after lies”. Indeed, in our own society, we also see an obsession with empty promises, possessions, and running after that which does not truly satisfy. If there is one thing, many of us have learned in the crisis, it is that relationships, friendship, and support of one another stand well above any material possessions, although that is easy to say when we have our own homes. It may feel as though the world is falling around us, as David felt when attention shifted to Saul. In these moments, we need to exercise our faith, pray the psalms and come to an inner peace that overrides outward difficulties. 

Meditation

1. Save for Night-time.

This is a suitable prayer for night-time.

2. Find a quiet place. 

Inside or outside (weather permitting) or even comfortably curled up in bed!  Sit comfortably but alert if you are in a sitting position– feet flat on the floor, back pushed hard against the back of the chair.

3. 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.

4. 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…

5. Say the verses aloud to yourself.

Don’t try to analyse it. Read it again slowly, listening.

6. Think ABOUT THE VERSES.

Sit quietly and see whether anything about it strikes you as important for you. Tell God what it is. Ask God for what you need. Make a note of anything you want to remember.

7. Finish with this prayer:

Give us today, O God, a glad heart and a clear conscience, that when we come to this day’s end we may rest in peace with Christ our Lord. Amen.

Posted on August 19th 2021

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