Turn Our Sorrow Into Prayer: A Reflection on Psalm 6


Psalm 6

 

 To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments; according to The Sheminith. A Psalm of David.

O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger,
    nor discipline me in your wrath.
Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing;
    heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled.
My soul also is greatly troubled.
    But you, O Lord—how long?


Never miss a story

Sign up to receive our weekly email with our original articles.

Turn, O Lord, deliver my life;
    save me for the sake of your steadfast love.
For in death there is no remembrance of you;
    in Sheol who will give you praise?

I am weary with my moaning;
    every night I flood my bed with tears;
    I drench my couch with my weeping.
My eye wastes away because of grief;
    it grows weak because of all my foes.

Depart from me, all you workers of evil,
    for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping.
The Lord has heard my plea;
    the Lord accepts my prayer.
10 All my enemies shall be ashamed and greatly troubled;
    they shall turn back and be put to shame in a moment.

  

“Lamentations” are the Psalmist’s genuine expressions of emotion in response to real life situations. For the Israelites, lamentations were a form of prayer and a language of faith and of suffering. A psalm of lamentation is a way of dealing with deep sorrow that gives the reader a sense of sympathy for the situation in which the psalmist finds himself. Each lament comes from the deepest place of the poet’s heart, painting the most realistic picture words can portray.

>
“Sorrow is an important part of life, and an inevitable process everyone must experience.

Sorrow is often inevitable in life. The distress, worry, or fear of the heart are caused by both internal realities and external factors. However, sorrow is an important part of life, and an inevitable process everyone must experience. For believers, faith motivates them to faithfully walk this journey of the heart by praying for a way out of their troubles. In the Bible, people in great distress compiled their painful situations into poems called laments. 

Repentance

In this poem of repentance, the psalmist was convinced that he has sinned against God. David, who had a close relationship with God since the time of Absalom’s rebellion, as a father, realized his debt to his family and children. He knew he had sinned against and displeased God, which had led him to this painful situation. He cried out: “O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger, nor discipline me in your wrath.” David confesses his helplessness and weakness, writing: “for my bones are troubled” and “my soul is greatly troubled.” His physical and spiritual pain drives him to the Lord: “Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am languishing; heal me, O Lord?” “O Lord—how long?” When man is in such deep sorrow that even words cannot express the pain of his heart, he will call upon God, confess his sins, and surrender to the Lord. Then, he will utter a sincere prayer of repentance.

>
“Have you ever moaned or cried out like David? If so, do we come to God like David, flooding our bed with tears of repentance?

David saw that there is no greater pain than to be completely separated from God and to be an enemy of God. The greatest pain of all is to constantly act as the enemies of God (i.e., to dwell in the land of the dead). David earnestly begged God to turn back and cried out, “O Lord, how long before you save me?

The Weeping of a Wounded Soul

As Gregory of Nyssa said, “A wounded body bleeds, but a wounded soul sheds tears.” Have we had a similar experience to this one David describes? How long will it take for the moaning of the day to make you weary? How long before the sorrow in your heart causes tears to flow so that your eyes waste away because of grief? Does the way ahead seem bleak, as if God is against you? Have you ever had such an experience? Have you ever had such struggle and pain? Have you ever moaned or cried out like David? 

If so, do we come to God like David, flooding our bed with tears of repentance?

Turning Sorrow Into Prayer

However, this darkness did not turn David away from God. Instead, he saw that turning back to God was the only way to escape the darkness. He believed God was full of grace, and that even though he was covered with filth, God would still have mercy on him, forgive him, save him, and hear his prayers. Do we have this kind of faith? Are we convinced that God alone is the only way out? Can we turn our sorrow into prayer? 

>
“The psalmist becomes more and more convinced of God’s salvation…The only way out for those of us who trust in him is to take hold of and turn back to the Lord.

In these verses the psalmist becomes more and more convinced of God’s salvation. He sees this from the time when “the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping. The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord accepts my prayer” to the moment when he finally declares that God has heard his prayer, and that all his enemies “shall turn back and be put to shame in a moment.” God’s intervention reduces his foes to shame and great fear, and at the blink of an eye they are completely defeated.

May David’s prayer also become our prayer, and help us to be humble and watchful before God. May we know that the only way out for those of us who trust in him is to take hold of and turn back to the Lord.

Shu Yan is a pseudonym for a pastoral intern at Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu.

    


We are using the Psalms to guide our prayers for China

In 2022, our prayer movement is turning to the scriptural prayers found in the Psalms as we pray for the Chinese church. When you join our prayer movement, you will receive weekly prayer emails and a monthly newsletter so that you too can pray for our brothers and sisters in China.

  

Share This Story

Further Reading

zhang-kaiyv-L9NHlk2CGOQ-unsplash
Why Should I Love My Enemies?: Give Up Revenge, Love Enemies
Read More
yifei-wong-HfLKjg2ic64-unsplash
Nanjing: Bringing the Gospel Into Life
Read More
kenneth-yang-lJWJLkwIsng-unsplash(1)
Nanjing: A Welcoming City of Newcomers
Read More

LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT IN CHINA

With rising pressure and persecution in China, there are two challenges imperative for church leaders. The first challenge is for current leaders to love Christ above all else, and not to stray into legalism or love of the world. The second challenge is to raise up the next generation of leaders, who will humbly model Jesus even if current leaders are arrested.

WILL YOU JOIN US IN PRAYING FOR LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT IN CHINA? PRAY FOR:

  1. Current leaders to grow in their daily walks with Christ
  2. Current leaders to shepherd and raise up new leaders
  3. New leaders who love Christ and will model him to the world
  4. New leaders to love and care for the church

Videos

ABOUT LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

About Shenyang

Shenyang is a city located in northeastern China and is the capital of Liaoning Province. It is known for its rich history and cultural heritage, including the Shenyang Imperial Palace, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Shenyang is also a hub for China’s heavy industry, with companies such as the China First Automobile Group and the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation having their headquarters in the city.

Videos

Stories from Shenyang

About Qingdao

Qingdao is a city located in eastern China and is famous for its beaches, beer, and seafood. The city is home to several landmarks, including the Zhanqiao Pier and the Badaguan Scenic Area. Qingdao is also a major port and has a thriving economy, with industries such as electronics, petrochemicals, and machinery.

Videos

Stories from Qingdao

About Xiamen

Xiamen is a city located in southeastern China and is a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful coastal scenery, including Gulangyu Island, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city is also a hub for China’s high-tech industry, with companies such as Huawei and ZTE having research and development centers in Xiamen.

Videos

Stories from Xiamen

About Chongqing

Chongqing is a city located in southwestern China and is a major economic center in the region. The city is known for its spicy cuisine, especially its hot pot dishes, and is also famous for the Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest hydroelectric dam. Chongqing is also home to several historic sites, including the Dazu Rock Carvings, which are UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Videos

Stories from Chongqing

About Nanjing

Nanjing is a city located in eastern China and is the capital of Jiangsu Province. It is one of China’s ancient capitals and has a rich cultural history, including the Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum, the Nanjing City Wall, and the Confucius Temple. Nanjing is also a modern city with a thriving economy and is home to several universities, including Nanjing University and Southeast University.

Videos

Stories from Nanjing

About Changchun

Changchun is a city located in northeastern China and is the capital of Jilin Province. It is known for its rich cultural heritage and is home to several historical landmarks such as the Puppet Emperor’s Palace and the Jingyuetan National Forest Park. Changchun is also a hub for China’s automotive industry, with several major automobile manufacturers having their headquarters in the city.

Videos

Stories from Changchun

About Guangzhou

Guangzhou, also known as Canton, is a city located in southern China and is the capital of Guangdong Province. It is one of the country’s largest and most prosperous cities, serving as a major transportation and trading hub for the region. Guangzhou is renowned for its modern architecture, including the Canton Tower and the Guangzhou Opera House, as well as its Cantonese cuisine, which is famous for its variety and bold flavors. The city also has a rich history, with landmarks such as the Chen Clan Ancestral Hall, the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, and the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees. Additionally, Guangzhou hosts the annual Canton Fair, the largest trade fair in China.

Videos

Stories from Guangzhou

About Kunming

Kunming is a city located in southwest China and is the capital of Yunnan Province. Known as the “City of Eternal Spring” for its mild climate, Kunming is a popular tourist destination due to its natural beauty and cultural diversity. The city is home to several scenic spots, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Stone Forest, Dian Lake, and the Western Hills. Kunming is also famous for its unique cuisine, which features a mix of Han, Yi, and Bai ethnic flavors. The city has a rich cultural history, with ancient temples and shrines like the Yuantong Temple and the Golden Temple, and it’s also a hub for Yunnan’s ethnic minority cultures, such as the Yi and Bai peoples.

Videos

Stories from Kunming

About Shenzhen

Shenzhen is a city located in southeastern China and is one of the country’s fastest-growing metropolises. The city is renowned for its thriving tech industry, with companies such as Huawei, Tencent, and DJI having their headquarters in Shenzhen. The city also has a vibrant cultural scene, with numerous museums, art galleries, and parks. Shenzhen is also known for its modern architecture, such as the Ping An Finance Center and the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center. Despite its modernization, Shenzhen also has a rich history and cultural heritage, with landmarks such as the Dapeng Fortress and the Chiwan Tin Hau Temple.

Videos

Stories from Shenzhen

About Chengdu

Chengdu is a city located in the southwestern region of China, and the capital of Sichuan province. It has a population of over 18 million people, and it is famous for its spicy Sichuan cuisine, laid-back lifestyle, and its cute and cuddly residents – the giant pandas. Chengdu is home to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, where visitors can observe these adorable creatures in their natural habitat. The city also boasts a rich cultural heritage, with numerous temples, museums, and historical sites scattered throughout its boundaries. Chengdu is a city of contrasts, with ancient traditions coexisting alongside modern developments, making it an intriguing and fascinating destination for visitors to China. 

Videos

Stories from Chengdu

About Beijing

Beijing is the capital city of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of over 21 million people. The city has a rich history that spans over 3,000 years, and it has served as the capital of various dynasties throughout China’s history. Beijing is home to some of the most iconic landmarks in China, including the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and the Temple of Heaven. The city is also a hub for political, cultural, and educational activities, with numerous universities and research institutions located within its boundaries. Beijing is renowned for its traditional architecture, rich cuisine, and vibrant cultural scene, making it a must-visit destination for travelers to China.

Videos

Stories from Beijing

About Shanghai

Shanghai is a vibrant and dynamic city located on the eastern coast of China. It is the largest city in China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of over 24 million people. Shanghai is a global financial hub and a major center for international trade, with a rich history and culture that spans over 1,000 years. The city is famous for its iconic skyline, which features towering skyscrapers such as the Oriental Pearl Tower and the Shanghai Tower. Shanghai is also home to a diverse culinary scene, world-class museums and art galleries, and numerous shopping districts. It is a city that is constantly evolving and reinventing itself, making it a fascinating destination for visitors from around the world.

Videos

Stories from Shanghai

give

A short message about partnering with us.