Although he had expressed confidence that he would yet enjoy deliverance by God, David was also aware that in the meantime he and his followers were in great danger (v. 7). So he prayed for protection from the snares and traps that his enemies had set (v. 9). Once again he asked the Lord to come very near and be his personal Protector.
In verse 8, we can see that David anticipates divine help – he is looking towards his Lord similar to how the members of a besieged city would scan the horizon to see if rescue was on the way. Sometimes it has been suggested that our response in times of trouble should be to pray about the matter and then leave it with the Lord and get on with other things. Frequently another word for such a response is forgetfulness rather than faith. If we ask God for something, our faith will show itself by looking for the answer.
David also told the Lord what life felt like. His current circumstances made him fell defenceless, like a refugee without a secure place to live. David knew that God could be his refuge, so he sought for this spiritual privilege. He did not merely assume that he would be protected, but made it a matter of urgent prayer. In his prayer, he was asking the Lord to keep his promises.
David was also aware of what his opponents were doing. They were hunting him like a defenceless animal. Their actions were sinful and he asked the Lord to deal with them in his providence and keep him safe. Sometimes the price of the safety we desire involves the judgement on those whose lives are cruel. We have to be in the situation of danger before we can analyse their motives. As Spurgeon commented on verse 10, ‘It may not be a Christian prayer, but it is a very just one, and it takes a great deal of grace to refrain from crying Amen to it; in fact, grace does not work towards making us wish otherwise concerning the enemies of holy men. Do we not all wish the innocent to be delivered, and the guilty to reap the result of their own malice? Of course we do, if we are just men. There can be no wrong in desiring that to happen in our own case which we wish for all good men. Yet is there a more excellent way.’
As was noticed yesterday, Psalm 141 was often used by suffering Christians in the early church. We can see several ways by which it can help us pray for suffering Christians today.