praying the Psalms: Psalm 5
Oh, how often I am a groaner! A whiner!
Intent on my own way, I pursue my own comfort. I offer up my pleas and petitions, flinging them like a petulant child. I fling them about disguised as prayers, these complains and demands. Answer me! I declare, when I really mean Give me what I want, you God.
And oh, this foot-stomping and petulance sours my heart.
This is not who I am, oh God – draw me out!
I forget that when I order my prayers to you it requires so much patience – discipline. That you delight in showing Your extravagant love as I watch and wait for you. I wait for you. I need not make demands or boasts in Your loving presence – You are love. My needs are perfectly met, so I can lay down my demands.
Quiet me, Father. Remind of Your character, Your abundance. Remind me that it is by Your lovingkindness alone that I can enter Your house. And it is by the wounds of Your Son and a love deeper than I can comprehend that You now make Your home in me! I can bow low in times of private worship because You love extravagantly. And lower still, lower still, because You indwell me – You are my new life.
Lead me in righteous, set-apart paths – not paths leading directly to my comfort, but paths chosen for me that will bring You honor. I have walked the road with you long enough to know You do not plan harm for me. Protect me from the lies suggesting otherwise. I know and see and hear the liar at work – to destroy and distract and to work fear. He is destruction. His throat is an open grave, from which I am delivered by the death-defeating work of Your Son! You defend me over and again, oh God in whom I find refuge. Refuge.
Hallelujah, you are my refuge. And I will be glad.
I will be glad not in the way that suggests my own happiness has prevailed – but with a quiet gladness in that Deepest Place, for You have sheltered me. I have called upon Your name and You have lovingly lifted me out of myself, to set me on Your straight path. I can exult in You and I will! I glory in your kindness to shelter Your beloveds – what other response shall I have but to rejoice?
You bless the righteous ones, o Lord – we who belong to you are righteous by Your say-so, because the righteous life of Your perfect Son is our life now. MERCY. Oh, what mercy!
Tune my ear to Your voice, that these realities would be mine throughout the day. Show this favor to me, o Lord, for you are my shield – my saving grace and defender in the battle.
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