Posted by: Sherry Goodwin | July 29, 2008

Do Thou for Me

‘Do Thou for Me.’–Ps. 109:21

THE Psalmist does not say what he wanted God to do for him.  He leaves it open.  So this most restful prayer is left open for all perplexed hearts to appropriate ‘according to their several necessities.’  And so we leave it open for God to fill up in His own way.
Only a trusting heart can pray this prayer at all:  the very utterance of it is an act of faith.  We could not ask any one whom we did not know intimately and trust implicitly to ‘do’ for us, without even suggesting what.
Only a self-emptied heart can pray it.  It is when we have come to the end of our own resources, or rather, come to see that we never had any at all, that we are willing to accept the fact that we can ‘do nothing,’ and to let God do everything for us.
Only a loving heart can pray it.  For nobody likes another to take them and their affairs in hand, and ‘do’ for them, unless that other is cordially loved.  We might submit to it, but we should not like it, and certainly should not seek it.’
So, if we have caught at this little prayer as being just what we want, just what it seems a real rest to say, I think it shows that we do trust in Him and not in ourselves, and that we do love Him really and truly.  There is sure to be a preface to this prayer.  ‘Neither know we what to do.’  Perhaps we have been shrinking from being brought to this.  Rather let us give thanks for it.  It is the step down from the drifting wreck on to the ladder still hanging at the side.  Will another step be down into the dark water?  Go on, a little lower still, fear not!  The next is, ‘We know not what we should pray for.’  Now we have reached the lowest step.  What next?  ‘Do Thou for me.’  This is the step into the captain’s boat.  Now He will cut loose from the wreck of our efforts, ladder and all will be left behind, and we have nothing to do but to ‘sit still’ and let Him take us to our desired haven,’ probably steering quite a different course from anything we should have thought best.  Not seldom ‘immediately the ship is at the land whither’ we went.
What may we, from His own word, expect in answer to this wide petition?
1.  ‘What His soul desireth, even that He doeth.’  Contrast this with our constantly felt inability to do a hundredth part of what we desire to do for those we love.  Think of what God’s desires must be for us, whom He so loves, that He spared not His own Son.  ‘That He doeth!’
2.  ‘He performeth the thing that is appointed for me.’  This is wonderfully inclusive; one should read over all the epistles to get a view of the things present and future, seen and unseen, the grace and the glory that He has appointed for us.  It includes also all the ‘good works which God hath before ordained, that we should walk in them.’  It will not be our performance of them, but His; for He worketh in you to will and to do,’ and ‘Thou also hast wrought all our works in us.’
3.  The beautiful old translation says, He ‘shall perform the cause which I have in hand.’  Does not that make it very real to us today?   Just the very thing that ‘I have in hand,’ my own particular bit of work today–this cause that I cannot manage, this thing that I undertook in miscalculation of my own powers, this is what I may ask Him to do ‘for me,’ and rest assured that He will perform it.  ‘The wise and their works are in the hand of God!’
4.  He ‘performeth all things for me.’  Does He mean as much as this?  Well, He has caused it to be written for us ‘that we might have hope;’ and what more do we want?  Then let Him do it.  Let Him perform all things for us.
Not some things, but all things; or the very things which we think there is no particular need for Him to perform will be all failures–wood, hay, and stubble to be burnt up.  One by one let us claim this wonderful word’ ‘the thing of a day in his day,’ ‘as the matter shall require,’ being always brought to Him with the God-given petition, ‘Do Thou for me.’
Do not wait to feel very much ‘oppressed’ before you say, ‘O Lord, undertake for me.’  Far better say that at first than at last, as we have too often done!  Bring the prayer in one hand, and the promises in the other, joining them in the faith-clasp of “Do as Thou hast said!’  And put both the hands into the hand of Him whom the Father heareth always, saying “Do Thou for me, O Lord God, for Thy name’s sake,’ for the sake of Jehovah-Jesus, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, yet the Saviour of sinners.

Frances Ridley Havergal from ROYAL BOUNTY


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