Psalm 71 - An Elder's Supplication to God

    [New International Version] Psalm 71 belongs to Book II of the Book of Psalms. Despite being persecuted by enemies, the Psalmist shows all his confidence in the hand of God.

    The PS 71 belong to Book II of the book of PS composed of a collection of texts 150 arranged by 5 poetry books. The Book of Psalms, for its wisdom and basic principles of human action , is considered the heart of the Old Testament. Book II comprises the PS 42 the 72 . The PS 71 is divided into 24 verses. The Psalms are poems-prayers addressed to God, being the privileged way to address and speak to Him. These prayers represent human experiences and religious conscience . They portray the common man , with his faults, insecurities, fears and hopes and, even today, we can identify with the Psalmist and draw inspiration from these texts to pray and plead with God when we feel lost and anguished or to express our gratitude for some blessing received. "There are enemies or friends, there is life or death, health or illness, pain or joy and, most of the time, there are no changes or gradations. Words are like stones and poetry like boulders carved by chisel"; "The Psalms are a bit like mountain paths, simple, especially when walking on snow, but they lead to the peaks; they are paths toward the peaks of meeting the Lord." - Carlo Maria Martini, Cardinal of Milan

    Psalm 71 - An Elder's Supplication to God

    1  In you, Lord, I take refuge. May I never be confused again. 2  By your righteousness deliver me and protect me; bend your ear to me and save me. 3  Be for me a rock of refuge, where I can always be welcomed. You decided to save me, for you are my rock and fortress. 4  My God, deliver me from the hand of the evildoer, from the grip of the oppressor and the violent. 5  Lord, You are my hope; You are my trust from youth, O Lord. 6  On you I support myself from the womb, from my mother's bosom You are my protector; my praise always goes to you. 7  To many I am a cause for wonder, because You are my safe haven. 8  My mouth is full of your praises; every day I proclaim your magnificence. 9  Do not reject me in old age, do not abandon me when my strength is exhausted. 10  My enemies speak against me, and those who spy on my life conspire among themselves. 11  They say, "God has forsaken him. Chase him and seize him, for there is no one to save him." 12  O God, do not depart from me! My God, come quickly to help me. 13  Let those who attempt on my life be confounded and destroyed. Cover yourselves with reproach and shame those who seek my misfortune. 14  But I will wait continually and will proclaim your praise even more. 15  My mouth will declare your righteousness and your salvation all day long, even without knowing how to count them. 16  I will enter into your strongholds, O Lord, and I will remember, Lord, your righteousness, which is yours alone. 17 You have  instructed me, O God, from my youth, and to this day I have preached your wonders. 18  Also now, in old age and with white hair, do not forsake me, O God, while I announce your strength to this generation and to all who are entering your strongholds. 19  Your righteousness, O God, reaches up to the heights, for you have done great things. Who is like you, O God? 20  You made me go through great afflictions and afflictions; but you will give me life again and from the depths of the earth you will lift me up again. 21 You will  add to my dignity by drawing near to comfort me. 22  Therefore I want to praise you to the sound of the harp, to praise your faithfulness, O my God. I want to sing you to the sound of the sitar, O saint of Israel. 23  As I sing You hymns, my lips will vibrate with joy and also my soul that You have rescued. 24  My tongue shall recite thy righteousness all day long, for they were confounded and filled with shame that sought my disgrace.

    Meaning and interpretation

    The Psalm 71 is a single prayer of petition that describes the situation of someone who is subjected to painful persecution , but reaffirms his entire trust in God . Perhaps because of the Psalmist's confidence in the presence and protection of God, this prayer does not speak of the attacks against enemies that are usually found in texts of this kind. The psalmist's image is that of a godly elder (Verses 9 and 18), whose life unfolded in the performance of his religious duties . The reference to old age may apply to the Psalmist but also to an aging Israel. Prophets and biblical texts often use these age categories as an expression of the historical accumulation of hopes , disappointments and experiences . The Psalms of Supplication are very present in the Book of Psalms. They speak of human frailty and the most basic feelings of your mortal condition. Times of peace and plenty contrast with war and individual or community destruction. The Psalmist pleads for God's help and asks him to end his situation of affliction , ending with the certainty of having been heard . In spiritual practice, the supplication and request to God reflects a lot the meaning of prayer, being the privileged way to establish contact and raise the voice to the Divine. In numerous Psalms, supplication seems to be the most immediate motivation and the greatest concern. When turning to God, the speaker / Psalmist finds tenderness, justice, compassion, reconciliation, purification, in short, peace itself. The narratives and feelings involved in these prayers are varied and basic; affect Humanity over the millennia, and are still current today. They reflect multiple interior , individual and collective experiences, and the relationship between people and peoples. They address topics such as the deadly threat of disease, persecution, aging, violence, war, betrayal, loneliness, enemy aggression and how these feelings alter consciousness we have of ourselves, of our relationship with others and with God. Situations that prompt supplication can be bitter and desperate , but the Psalms generally express a state of mind of trust and end in thanksgiving . The Psalmist cries out to God for his help and forgiveness in a profound expression of limitless trust in divine compassion and justice. Even the cry of the Psalmist is already a fighting speech, change will, of inner transformation, confidence and hope for a free future evil, the suffering and the wicked . The Psalms of Supplication they are classified as individual supplication and collective supplication. Those of Individual Supplication comprise Psalm 3; 5-7; 13; 17; 22; 26; 27; 28; 31; 35; 39; 42-43; 51; 54-57; 59; 61; 63; 64; 69-71; 88; 102; 109; 120; 130; 140-143. and those of  Collective Supplication Ps 12; 44; 58; 60; 74; 80; 83; 85; 90; 94; 108; 123; 127.

    The Book of Psalms

    The Joy and Happiness of the Righteous in Communion with God

    The Psalms are prayer-poems addressed to God, being the privileged way to address and speak with Him. Depicting the common man , with his failures, insecurities, fears and hopes, we can still identify with the Psalmist and be inspired today in Psalms to make prayers and supplications to God in times of trouble or express our gratitude for some blessing received. The Psalms, despite being written in Antiquity, still move , sensitize , awaken feelings , inspire and enchant . In them, we can identify anguish and joy , deeply human feelings, praises, supplications, teachings of reflection on spiritual wisdom and prophetic words. Written for different situations , some Psalms are intimate, revealing the author's personal relationship with God; others provide guidelines and advice for life, others are compositions for specific liturgical events such as rituals and pilgrimages. The Book of Psalms is composed of a collection of 150 poetic texts and is divided into five parts, called Psalm Books or Booklets. Each Book closes with short hymns of praise to God . The division into five parts was considered to correspond to the five books of Moses and it is assumed that each passage in the Pentateuch (first five books of the Bible, called Torah by the Jews) was read in parallel with the corresponding Psalm. Its main forms are lamentation , supplication , praise and gratitude .

    The Power of Prayer in Dialogue with the Divine

    The Psalms elevate our thoughts to the Divine and prayer is the power of the word . Prayer is the language of faith. Any thought, word or image addressed to God is called prayer . It is through it that we come into contact with our God within and, therefore, it is so powerful in transforming life . Prayer can produce miracles , turn dreams into reality, give us hope for change , harmony and peace with ourselves and the world. Each Psalm has an intention that helps us meditate and walk with our God . For many theologians, the Book of Psalms has a prophetic or messianic tone as its verses refer to the coming of Christ into the world of men to guide them through the uncertainty and doubts of Human existence. The prayer has the power to call the Spiritual Universe full mode, honest, sincere, conscious, for the purpose of spiritual self-protection, family protection and those who are dear to us, to have peace of mind, spiritual and physical, for prosperity and success, to protect health and relationships, to ward off negative energies and, above all, to connect us to something bigger than ourselves. From this peace , well-being, hope and goodness in front of everyone and everything result. The faith can change our lives. It gives us tranquility and spiritual strength to face challenges. It helps us to meditate on our mission in life and to create a balanced and healthy environment for ourselves and those we love. When you pray, fill your heart with love and determination . The Psalms will guide you on a path of peace and communion with the higher energy.