Read: Psalm 31:1-24
Consider: Reading through Psalm 31, I was struck by David’s words: Into your hands I commit my spirit (31:5). This reminded me of the other instances when these words are used in the Bible. Jesus used the same words in Luke 23:46 – Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.’ When he had said this, he breathed his last.
The other instance where similar words are used is in the case of the death of Stephen recorded in Acts 7. In that instance we read: While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit’ (Acts 7:59). While not the exact same words, the sentiment being expressed is the same.
David committed his spirit to God while he was facing significant difficulties and opposition. Jesus and Stephen both committed their spirits to God at the point of death. In all instances the words demonstrate a trust in God that is all-embracing. I suppose we all want to be able to say these words at the point when we leave this earthly life, but it is also significant to be able to say them as we go through life.
Returning to Psalm 31 we see that David could say: Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me (31:3). The psalmist also says: ‘… you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul (31:7) and ‘… my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and body with grief. My life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning; my strength fails because of my affliction, and my bones grow weak (31:9-10). What do you think when you read words like these? Personally I think of those friends and acquaintances who are going through severe health issues at the moment. It also make me consider what I pray for these people when I bring their situations before God. Do I pray only for their physical healing, or am I willing also to pray for their salvation (for those who are not Christians).
If you know of someone who is going through major health difficulties do not be afraid to pray for their healing, but also remember to pray that they would be brought to a point in their lives where they can confidently say for themselves: But I trust in you, LORD; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in your hands (31:14-15a)
When praying for others take encouragement from these words : Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD (Psalm 31:24)
Pray: Father, we pray for those we know who are facing severe health issues. Give them peace of mind and courage in the face of their problems, so that they can commit their spirits to you. Amen