Verse 9. This is a prayer for the church militant, written in short words, but full of weighty meaning. We must pray for the whole church, and not for ourselves alone. Save thy people. Deliver them from their enemies, preserve them from their sins, succour them under their troubles, rescue them from their temptations, and ward off from them every ill. There is a plea hidden in the expression, "thy people:" for it may be safely concluded that God's interest in the church, as his own portion, will lead him to guard it from destruction. Bless thine inheritance. Grant positive blessings, peace, plenty, prosperity, happiness; make all thy dearly purchased and precious heritage to be comforted by thy Spirit. Revive, refresh, enlarge, and sanctify thy church. Feed them also. Be a shepherd to thy flock, let their bodily and spiritual wants be plentifully supplied. By thy word, and ordinances, direct, rule, sustain, and satisfy those who are the sheep of thy hand. And lift them up for ever. Carry them in thine arms on earth, and then lift them into thy bosom in heaven. Elevate their minds and thoughts, spiritualise their affections, make them heavenly, Christlike, and full of God. O Lord, answer this our petition, for Jesus' sake.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 9. Lift them up. The word here used may mean sustain them, or support them; but it more properly means bear, and would be best expressed by a reference to the fact, that the shepherd carries the feeble, the young, and the sickly of his flock in his arms, or that he lifts them up when unable themselves to rise. Albert Barnes.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 9. "A prayer for the church militant." See Exposition and Spurgeon's Sermons, No. 768.