David is having a tough time in Psalm 109. People are attacking him and his character, and are lying about him. Here is a part of what he says in that song:
“3 With words of hatred they surround me;
they attack me without cause.
4 In return for my friendship they accuse me,
but I am a man of prayer.”
I’ve had to read that one a few times this morning. Does ol’ King David have A.D..D. or what? He’s going on about how he is under attack, he’s acting rightly and they are being jerks, and then, out of nowhere, he throws in “…but I am a man of prayer.”
So? What does that have to do with anything? It’s so out of left field I’ve had to let it soak for a bit today. What he’s saying is that he hates being under attack. These people are destroying him with their words, and it hurts. In the middle of all of this, he is a man of prayer. It’s not a “giving up” kind of statement. He’s not saying “They are attacking me, but I can’t fight back. I would, but I’m a man of prayer.” (say it in a whiny voice for better effect.) No, it’s not that.
He’s not saying that because he’s a man of prayer, that their words are powerless on him. As you read the Psalm, it’s breaking him and making him angry. Prayer isn’t some magical Teflon shield that protects you from other people. He feels the hurt, the pain, the fear, the insecurity. It’s not super protection.
He is a fighter, a warrior. He is one of the greatest soldiers in the nation’s history. He’s a mighty king, a veteran of battles. That is why He prays. He knows the only way to win this battle, to come back in this defeat, to recover from this severe pain, is to turn to the one strong enough to save him. He is a man of prayer. He’s saying, they are attacking, and are very good at what they are doing. BUT, I am a man of prayer, and I will do what I am good at. I will run to God. That is my victory.
If you look at the rest of the Psalm, that is exactly what He does. He prays about the whole situation, and begs God to get involved. He prays for evil people to come into his accusers lives and destroy them. He prays for God’s justice. He prays for God to move. He prays.
In the end, He wins. History shows David overcomes the people trying to tear him down. He wins.
Because he prays.
Isn’t it too bad that whole “I am a man of prayer” thing doesn’t work today? Yeah……too bad…..