Lead Me to the Rock ~ Psalm 61

stone-mountain-north-carolina

Hear my cry, O God;
attend unto my prayer.
From the end of the earth will I cry unto Thee,
when my heart is overwhelmed:
lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For Thou hast been a shelter for me,
and a strong tower from the enemy.
—Psalm 61:1-3

Hear My Cry

God doesn’t just hear your prayer, He is listening for it. He is waiting for you even now. You don’t have to wait until your heart is overwhelmed to turn to God for shelter, protection, and strength, but He certainly is there in a time of trouble.

How do I know He is listening? Well, I’ve looked ahead to Psalm 116. Here is a sneak peek for you:

Psalm 116:1-2  I love the LORD, because He has heard my voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear unto me, therefore will I call upon Him as long as I live.

Can’t you just see Him stretching out toward you and cupping His hand on His ear, waiting to catch the slightest cry for help? You don’t have to shout to be heard with God. In fact, you don’t have to say anything at all. All you have to do is look up.

Psalm 5:3  My voice shall You hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto You, and will look up.

Sometimes we don’t know what to say to God, for the heart is so totally overwhelmed with the burden that words fail us, or we simply don’t know how we ought to pray. For instance, when a loved one is near death, do we pray for healing, or for a quick deliverance into Glory? It is then that the Holy Spirit takes over and interprets our prayer on our behalf before the Father.

Romans 8:26  Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Sin can also get in the way of prayer and hinder communication.

Psalm 66:18  If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.

But when you earnestly desire to restore the broken fellowship, God is waiting to take you back into His arms. Just look at the next two verses.

Psalm 66:19-20  But verily God has heard me; He has attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, who has not turned away my prayer, nor His mercy from me.

Lead Me to the Rock

But I wanted to draw your attention to the Rock. We have already seen this many times in our study of the Psalms, but we can never see it enough. Who or what is the Rock?

Deuteronomy 32:4  He is the Rock, His work is perfect, for all His ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He.

So, what is the significance of the Rock? Well, let me ask you this: If you are going to build a house that will stand through the fiercest of storms, you build it on a solid foundation, right? I live in Florida, and there’s a lot of sand here. There are also a lot of houses here. But the builders, when they construct these houses, they first go down deep, deep, deep, until they hit rock. Because if they do not anchor the house to a rock, it will not stand when the storms come.

Your life is just like that house. If you anchor your life on tradition, church attendance, good works, or anything else other than Christ, you will fall when the storms come. And what’s worse, you will perish in the day of reckoning. Only faith that is anchored in the Rock of Christ will stand. If there were any other way to be saved, there would have been no reason for Him to suffer for us.

I’ll close with the words to the great hymn “We Have an Anchor,” written by Priscilla Jane Owens (1829-1907), who spent her life as a public school teacher in Baltimore, Maryland. Most of her hymns were written for children’s Sunday school, but this one and at least one other, “Jesus Saves,” have made their way into many a church hymnal.

We Have an Anchor

1 Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,
When the clouds unfold their wings of strife?
When the strong tides lift, and the cables strain,
Will your anchor drift, or firm remain?

Refrain:
We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Steadfast and sure while the billows roll;
Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
Grounded firm and deep in the Savior’s love!

2 Will your anchor hold in the straits of fear,
When the breakers roar and the reef is near?
While the surges rave, and the wild winds blow,
Shall the angry waves then your bark o’erflow? [Refrain]

3 Will your anchor hold in the floods of death,
When the waters cold chill your latest breath?
On the rising tide you can never fail,
While your anchor holds within the veil. [Refrain]

4 Will your eyes behold through the morning light
The city of gold and the harbor bright?
Will you anchor safe by the heavenly shore,
When life’s storms are past for evermore? [Refrain]

❧          ❧          ❧

Photo taken at Stone Mountain, NC, 2008.

“We Have an Anchor” is in the public domain. Lyrics and history courtesy of Hymnary.org

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