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A CRY, A PRAYER

Daily Devotional Psalm 17:1–9


When newborn babies come into the world, they make their needs known, using the only method they have. They cry. When the adults in that baby’s life respond in a timely and compassionate manner, the baby bonds with them. On an instinctual level, the child learns that she is heard and loved, and the world, therefore, is a safe place.


I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.

PSALM 17:6


Psalm 17, a psalm of David, begins with a triple petition for God to hear the Psalmist’s righteous plea, listen to his cry, and give ear to his prayer (v. 1). This is one of only five psalms that is overtly designated as a “prayer,” the other prayer-psalms being 86, 90, 102, and 142. This particular prayer is a deeply personal and private request that demonstrates the intimate relationship that David had with his God. It is a call for justice and vindication (v. 2) for the wrong that had been done to him (vv. 9–14).


In verses 3–5, David proclaims his own innocence and welcomes the Lord’s scrutiny of his heart. David’s confidence in his request for help resulted from his own obedience in speech, action, and motivation.


Then, in verse 6, David calls (qara) on God—certain that the Lord will answer. Qara here has a different shade of meaning again. It is the audible cry of a son to his Father, a petition and a prayer. David requests God’s wondrous love (hesed), salvation, and protection. And he anticipates God’s tender care. “Keep me as the apple of your eye” (v. 8) references a most vulnerable part of the body, one that requires vigilant protection. Similarly, “Hide me in the shadows of your wings” (v. 8) paints a picture of a defenseless baby bird covered by its parent.


>> Biblical “calling” is much more than a particular divine assignment. Here, it is a prayer. We can call to God in our moments of need, certain that He hears, and He will answer. Is your heart burdened today? Call to God in prayer using this psalm.


Pray with Us


“I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer. Show me the wonders of your great love...keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings” (Ps. 17:6–8).

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