Do not abandon me in my old age; desert me not when my strength is spent
A Lectio Divina meditation on Psalm 71 from Nan Merrill’s book Psalms for Praying
Experience stillness and in the quiet hear what God is offering from these rich and hope-filled words
In You, O my Beloved, do I take refuge;
Let me never feel separated from You!
In your compassion come and refresh me;
Listen to my cry, answer my plea!
Be to me a rock, a tower of strength,
a strong arm to uphold me,
as I abandon myself into your hands.
Be a very great Presence to me as fear grips me,
As I grow old and my friends leave me.
For You, O Friend, are my hope,
my strength, since I was but a child.
Upon You have I trusted from my birth,
You, whom I knew before my mother’s womb.
I continually sing praises to You!
I have been a burden to many;
now in You alone will I trust.
I am filled with gratitude and
sing your praises all the day.
Do not abandon me in my old age;
desert me not when my strength is spent,
or when my mind plays trickswith me.
For fears rise up to confuse me,
doubts and forgetfulness band together,
And say, “the Beloved no longerdwells with you;
there is no-one to stand by you.”
O Friend, be not far from me;
O Beloved, come and enfold me
In your Presence!
Help me to release my fears.
Hear my prayer that these fears
may be transformed,
O You, who are my counsellor.
As I surrender myself into your Hands,
I praise You more and more.
I tell others of your goodness,
of your compassion and grace all the day;
for your glory is beyond my understanding.
As I grow in inner peace and serenity,
I sing songs of thanksgiving
To You, my Friend!
You who have done wondrous things,
O Beloved, who is like You?
You who have seen me through many fears,
strengthen me again;
From the depths of despair
You renew my spirit,
You increase my trust, and You comfort me.
I praise you in the Silence of my heart,
for your steadfast Love,
O my Beloved!
I offer my prayers out to others,
extending your Love.
My heart leaps for joy,
as I whisper to You in the night –
my soul, which You renew
within me is also glad.
And I tell my friends as well as strangers
of your abounding grace and kindness.
For my fears have diminished,
my strength has returned;
I will live my remaining years in peace.
Blessed be the Beloved, who dwells
in all hearts!