Not only are the Psalms the hymn book of the people of the Bible – but they have been the prayers of Christian people for the past two thousand years. Men and women have recited the Psalms daily – sometimes up to five times a day – as a prayer discipline. This is not a Bible Study, with critical analysis of the text and context. Instead, it is corporate prayer that connects the individual with all others who pray., This is prayer beyond critical analysis, or rational thought, or cognitive dexterity. Instead, this is a moment when the individual is lost in the “great cloud of witnesses” that brings praise and worship to God.
Suggestion: do not read today’s reading alone – find a partner and read this responsively.
1 To you, O LORD,
I lift up my soul.
2 O my God, in you I trust; do not let me be put to shame;
do not let my enemies exult over me.
3 Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame;
let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
4 Make me to know your ways, O LORD;
teach me your paths.
5 Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all day long.
6 Be mindful of your mercy, O LORD, and of your steadfast love,
for they have been from of old.
7 Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
according to your steadfast love remember me, for your goodness’ sake, O LORD!
8 Good and upright is the LORD;
therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
9 He leads the humble in what is right,
and teaches the humble his way.
10 All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness,
for those who keep his covenant and his decrees.
11 For your name’s sake, O LORD,
pardon my guilt, for it is great.
12 Who are they that fear the LORD?
He will teach them the way that they should choose.
13 They will abide in prosperity,
and their children shall possess the land.
14 The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear him,
and he makes his covenant known to them.
15 My eyes are ever toward the LORD,
for he will pluck my feet out of the net.
16 Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.
17 Relieve the troubles of my heart,
and bring me out of my distress.
18 Consider my affliction and my trouble,
and forgive all my sins.
19 Consider how many are my foes,
and with what violent hatred they hate me.
20 O guard my life, and deliver me;
do not let me be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
21 May integrity and uprightness preserve me,
for I wait for you.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.
Ordinary 16 / Pentecost +9
The Scripture passage for the day is drawn from Reuben Job and Norman Shawchuck, A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and other Servants, (Nashville, The Upper Room 1983), 237.
This reflection is from my own devotional exercises for the day.