Psalm 63 is almost an identical recitation of my nightly prayers. David was in the wilderness of Judah when he composed this psalm and as anyone who has ever served a minute of time could tell you, prison is very much a spiritual wilderness. David speakers of searching for God and seeking him out as a priority in the first verse. I myself must seek God that way. In my environment a person can very easily be pulled further and further toward debauchery and away from God by the unending siren’s call of immoral distraction. Without earnestly searching for God, minding and renewing ourselves of that effort each and every day, a person will become lost and worse yet may lead others astray as well.
The image David invokes when he describes his thirst for the water of God in a dry and thirsty land, is one that is relatable to any Christian prisoner in any cell house in America. But, like David I too have seen the glory of God and I too praise him with all my body, mind and soul.
In verses 3-5, David understand that just by praising God he is nourished and his soul is satisfied. If I have nothing else I have the ability to praise and worship god. That thought always brings shalom to my bone and peace to my anxiety.
When I read verses 6-8, I am reminded of the countless times when I am kept up at night by the noise and chaos of the cell house. I am forced to pray myself to sleep and I am grateful for it. “For what?” you might ask. No matter how clamorous or vexing the assault on my sanctuary of serenity may be, the Lord’s peace is equal to the foe. It’s a form of spiritual warfare. Night after night, spirits of torment manipulate tortured souls to draft others into their ranks. I lie on my bunk and like David meditate on the Lord in the night watches. I pray for those poor unfortunate souls who are so agonized nightly and it forces me ever closer to God each night. And for that I am extremely grateful and I rejoice.