Prayers of the Psalms

Psalm 28

1 To you, O Lord, I call; my rock, do not refuse to hear me, for if you are silent to me, I shall be like those who go down to the Pit.

2 Hear the voice of my supplication, as I cry to you for help, as I lift up my hands toward your most holy sanctuary.

3 Do not drag me away with the wicked, with those who are workers of evil, who speak peace with their neighbors, while mischief is in their hearts.

4 Repay them according to their work, and according to the evil of their deeds; repay them according to the work of their hands; render them their due reward.

5 Because they do not regard the works of the Lord, or the work of his hands, he will break them down and build them up no more. 6 Blessed be the Lord, for he has heard the sound of my pleadings.

7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts; so I am helped, and my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.

 

9 O save your people, and bless your heritage; be their shepherd, and carry them forever.

Prayers of the Psalms

Psalm 27 

7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud, be gracious to me and answer me!

8 “Come,” my heart says, “seek his face!” Your face, Lord, do I seek.

9 Do not hide your face from me. Do not turn your servant away in anger, you who have been my help. Do not cast me off, do not forsake me, O God of my salvation!

10 If my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will take me up.

11 Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies.

12 Do not give me up to the will of my adversaries, for false witnesses have risen against me, and they are breathing out violence.

Prayers of the Psalms

Psalm 26

1 Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity, and I have trusted in the Lord without wavering.

2 Prove me, O Lord, and try me; test my heart and mind.

3 For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in faithfulness to you.

8 O Lord, I love the house in which you dwell, and the place where your glory abides.

9 Do not sweep me away with sinners, nor my life with the bloodthirsty,

 

Book Invitation: A Glorious Dark by A.J. Swoboda

Book Invitation:

We are all of us passing through cycles of resurrection. Old patterns of life die. We linger in the dust of the grave. And we wake up one day and find ourselves finally new. God is working on us, even if we can’t see it. Our faith must therefore imagine our souls as a frozen river with a current raging beneath.

Just in time for Holy Week, this new book on the pattern of death and resurrection in the Christian life,  A Glorious Dark, offers a fresh accounting of faith in the contemporary world. In this book, author, pastor, theologian, AJ Swoboda guides us through the story of Jesus’s death, burial, and resurrection.  Throughout Swoboda teaches us to embrace the Christian life with all of its mysterious discomforts.

I’ve come to believe that there truly is abundant—one might say, bottomless—life in Jesus. However, this life isn’t found on Sunday alone. Life is found in all three days—pain and death on Friday, doubt on Saturday, and resurrection on Sunday. To follow Jesus as we’re created is to simultaneously enter the whole weekend. Today’s Christians, lamentably, almost never embrace the totality of the weekend in their personalized versions of Christianity. Most remain selective, prejudiced, discriminatory, choosy: we’re picky about the one day of the weekend we desire to experience. And once we’ve landed on our favorite day, we rarely budge until we’re forced to. Incomplete, this makes for three cheep knock off versions of Christianity (p. 3-4).

Full of pastoral wisdom and with a constant eye upon the culmination of holy week, the book weaves through topics such as denominational exclusivism, the Bible, hypocrisy, divorce, social media, faith and intellect, scripture, addictions, entertainment-church (“entertainment is what the church does when it isn’t satisfied in God”), shootings, pornography, Sabbath, virginity, Atheist consumers of the Eucharist, and the resurrection. I had to drop my reading twice to run and read these following quotes to a friend. The first is about imperfect fathers,

The dream died for those who have deadbeat dads, distant dads, dads in the room who aren’t in the room, dads who left to go be with a younger, hotter version of Mom. Even dads who have died… Living life without God is like having everything you’ve ever wanted but having no father in the room to celebrate with (p. 36-37).

The second spoke into the recurring theme experienced of late by my circle of friends, who are searching for God’s direction in life:

What if God’s will is for us to do all the freaking out we’re doing trying to find God’s will? Searching out God’s will is God’s will for my life. It’s a ceaseless pilgrimage we all must make. It’s God’s will above all, that we should wrestle in finding God’s will (p. 52).

I love it when we get glimpses of the way forward in faith. This is it. I’d recommend picking up a copy and reading it before Easter.

Prayers of the Psalms

Psalm 25 

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!

11 For your name’s sake, O Lord, pardon my guilt, for it is great.

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.

22 Redeem Israel, O God, out of all its troubles.