I’m going to memorize this.
Prayer for Guidance and for Deliverance
To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in you I trust;
do not let me be put to shame;
do not let my enemies exult over me.
Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame;
let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth, and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all day long.
Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love,
for they have been from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
according to your steadfast love remember me,
for your goodness’ sake, O Lord!
Good and upright is the Lord;
therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in what is right,
and teaches the humble his way.
All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness,
for those who keep his covenant and his decrees.
The fool says in his heart, “God does not exist.”
They are corrupt, and they do vile deeds.
There is no one who does good.
2 God looks down from heaven on the human race
to see if there is one who is wise,
one who seeks God.
3 All have turned away;
all alike have become corrupt.
There is no one who does good,
not even one.
4 Will evildoers never understand?
They consume My people as they consume bread;
they do not call on God.
5 Then they will be filled with terror—
terror like no other—
because God will scatter
the bones of those who besiege you.
You will put them to shame,
for God has rejected them.
6 Oh, that Israel’s deliverance would come from Zion!
When God restores the fortunes of His people,
Jacob will rejoice; Israel will be glad.
Goshen College puts together some great devotionals in Lent and Advent that really are great springboards for reflection. here’s one from this week by Michael Sherer, information technology services director
As human beings, we are designed by God with appetites. Our creaturely drives for food, water, sleep and sex keep us alive and sustain the species, but we are obviously far more complex than that. George Otis, Jr.’s “Life Appetites Test” lists 35 possible appetites, and I think he missed a few! Who of us can claim that our own appetites are always in balance and healthy? They compete with and even replace one another. Any dieter knows that eating is often not about hunger. Teens have sex for a raft of reasons that are not sexual. Drugs and alcohol are dangerous in part because their addictive powers can overwhelm other important and socially redeeming appetites.
The season of Lent is an annual reminder that we are by nature not in balance, and that by giving something up we can better focus our attention on God. North American culture has little room for asceticism, and I would argue, little room for God either. We have 35+ appetites ready to take the place of our need for God and a 24/7/365 consumer culture ready to sate them.
In today’s passage, Psalm 63, David speaks to us across time, space and culture about his relationship with God. And he does it in terms of appetites. David thirsts for God. God’s love satisfies him as much as the richest food. He thinks about God all night long in bed (instead of sleeping? while sleeping?). In the process, David frames his relationship with God as a powerful appetite. God’s love is better than life! It’s no accident that this Psalm was written in the desert, a barren place barely able to support life, but with a long tradition of stimulating spiritual reflection. In that place, where hunger and thirst are never far away, David stimulated his appetite for relationship with God. His writing conveys a spiritual capacity that far outstrips my own, and I admire it. I want it. Lent provides me with the opportunity to work at it.
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 63:1-8 (NRSV)
A Psalm of David, when he was in the Wilderness of Judah.
O God, you are my God, I seek you,
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live;
I will lift up my hands and call on your name.
My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast,
and my mouth praises you with joyful lips
when I think of you on my bed,
and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
for you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.
A song of ascents.
1 I call on the Lord in my distress,
and he answers me.
2 Save me, Lord,
from lying lips
and from deceitful tongues.
3 What will he do to you,
and what more besides,
you deceitful tongue?
4 He will punish you with a warrior’s sharp arrows,
with burning coals of the broom bush.
5 Woe to me that I dwell in Meshek,
that I live among the tents of Kedar!
6 Too long have I lived
among those who hate peace.
7 I am for peace;
but when I speak, they are for war.
I’d like to take a closer look at the psalms so I’m going to choose one to ponder throughout the week. Here’s my first choice, Psalm 32.
Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. 2 Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit. 3 When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. 4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. “Selah” 5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD”– and you forgave the guilt of my sin. “Selah” 6 Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to you while you may be found; surely when the mighty waters rise, they will not reach him. 7 You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. “Selah” 8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. 9 Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you. 10 Many are the woes of the wicked, but the LORD’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him. 11 Rejoice in the LORD and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart!
- The Blessedness of Forgiveness Psalm 32 (loopyloo305.com)
- Victory in the Face of Defeat Psalm 3 (loopyloo305.com)
- Psalm 67 (shareaverse.wordpress.com)
- Thoughts On Psalms: “Arise, O Lord” (orchardministry.wordpress.com)
- Psalm 55 (prayingpsalms.wordpress.com)
From This is the Day’s Facebook Page:
The LORD is my Employer, I shall never be out of work. He makes (lets) me to be His representative. He leads me to places where I can be a blessing. He restores my confidence.
He leads me in and out of assignments for my soul’s sake. And even though I walk through a season of unemployment, I will fear no evil for You are with me.
Your Word and your Spirit, they empower me. You prepare a new job before me in the presence of my critics and doubters. You anoint my actions with favor. My days are filled with your provisions.
Surely peace and productivity will follow me all the days of my search and I will re-enter the workplace, with You, at the perfect time.