In other psalms we’ve read together, we’ve heard words familiar to us because we’ve heard them on our Savior’s lips. Here, we read such familiar words in verse five: “Into your hand I commit my spirit.” Christ spoke these words from the cross as he breathed his last. Christ meant it literally; he was giving up the ghost and entrusting his eternity to his heavenly Father.
By God’s grace, we can pray all of verse five, not merely the first half: “Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God” (31:5). In order for us to pray the second half of this verse—in order to pray thanking God for his redemption—Jesus had to pray the first half. Regaining our souls required Christ yielding his.
And now, as those who can pray the second half of that verse, trusting in our redemption, we are called to pray the first half of this verse with Christ. Into your hand I commit my spirit. By faith, we commit ourselves wholly to the Father who redeemed us in his Son by the power of his Holy Spirit.
When I am wronged by those around me. When I struggle with pressures and busyness. When circumstances seem insurmountable. Into your hand I commit my spirit.
When I’ve had a fight with my spouse. When I am tired and worn out. When I am listless, without direction. Into your hand I commit my spirit.
When I want control. When I lose control. When I’ve given up hope. Into your hand I commit my spirit.
This prayer is a risky expression of faith in our heavenly Father. Will we thank him for our redemption, will we live assured of his redemption, and fail to trust him? Will we accept his blessings but remain unwilling to expose ourselves to his will? Let us all pray this prayer unreservedly just as our Lord Jesus did. “Into your hand I commit my spirit.”