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Hope in Isolation

Psalm 142

by James Fraser

Psalm 142 is a song written by David while he was hiding in a cave on the run from King Saul. It is full of emotional intensity as David pours out his heart, expressing his feelings of isolation and abandonment. But as he prays, he grows in faith. He realises that the Lord is his refuge. He asks for deliverance and the song ends with the confident hope of renewed fellowship with God’s people. David’s experience is frequently relived by persecuted Christians today and this Psalm is a helpful example of prayer for our own moment of isolation.

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The coronavirus has made a huge impact on all our lives. Lockdown and self-isolation are the words of the moment. We are all trying to adjust to different ways of doing just about everything from work to shopping, from school to church. We are all struggling with the reality of being physically confined and cut off from family and friends. Read more…

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  1. Have you ever been in a position like David where you were gripped by the anxiety and fear of a moment and found it difficult to pray? How did you work through that?
  2. Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes about the soul ‘developing new organs’ in solitude, and a North Korean believer says, “We have only Christ and we have found that He is sufficient.” What do you think about this? Do you see your present confinement as an opportunity to grow in your relationship with God? How will you do that?
  3. Do you think it would be possible to serve God if you were confined to a prison cell? How? What do you think about the examples of Ebrahim and Twen?
  4. A key part of David’s hope at the end of the Psalm is for renewed fellowship with God’s people. How important is it for you to be surrounded by God’s people? Has this changed since we have been in lockdown?
  5. In light of your own current experience, and what you have learned from meditating on this Psalm, how will you practically respond to the call of Hebrews 13:3?
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