praying the Psalms: Psalm 84
O Lord, Where You are is the most beautiful. I long to linger there.
How quickly I start to harden - in my mind, my body, my heart - when I don’t let myself be soaked in Your presence. The deepest parts of me start to ache when I refuse to rest in Your presence and instead busy myself with doing it on my own. And yet, every part of me comes alive when I lift my eyes and my voice to acknowledge YOU.
Help me to choose to live in Your presence.
Even the simplest of creatures has found peace and safety in Your fold. You command armies of angels and yet You see the swallow who searches for a nook to feed her young, and You gather her into your house. You are the God who receives worship in simple and mundane acts of love. This is not a place for the pious, but the plain and the dependent, those who know they only have what You provide and use it to nourish the ones in their care.
Help me, Lord, to be content where You are, permanently settling my inner life in this simple place of worship, no matter where my days may take me.
Lord, take my hand and lead me into worship, though the path leads through the depths of my own weakness until it drops me into the sturdy arms of Your strength. The highways to Zion are etched on my heart; I know the way into Your presence, I have traveled that road many times before. And it is not an even-footed stroll through open meadows, but the trail follows the rigid walls of a dark valley. A valley that cuts deep and jagged into the sides of mountains with rocky crags that feel as though they will give way under my feet. There is weeping on this road. There are shadowy stretches that have left me wondering if the journey is worth the destination. But it is a road of transformation; tears become springs that bring life and refreshment, eyes are transfigured to see the rain as Your gift and not Your curse. You turn the darkest journey into the most precious one. It’s on this road that I finally grasp what it means to go from strength to strength: not bounding from one mountain top to another, but truly trusting in You from one broken moment to the next.
You, O Lord, are the prize that keeps me walking. The journey into worship is worth every step, even if I only ever taste a morsel of your Grace and Glory.
I don’t want to spend one more day without You. With every moment in Your courts, help me to train my hunger for the things above; the best this world has to offer doesn’t come close to the sweetness of Your presence. Today I will chose to walk uprightly, for You withhold no good thing if I give myself completely to your ways and simply trust that what I really need is You and where I need to be is wherever You are.
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Psalm 84: A prayer of confession, contributed by Kirsten Nickisch.
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