Monday, March 16, 2015

A Thought for Monday 16 March 2015

“Hear my prayer, O Lord, and let my cry come to You.  Do not hide Your face from me in the day of my trouble.  Incline Your ear to me; in the day that I call, answer me speedily.”  Psalm 102:1-2

If anything, this psalm indicates a proper form of prayer especially for those who have had a bad day; a day when nothing seemed to go right, and no friends seemed available at all.  The psalmist goes on about the misery he is enduring, and the enemies who seem to have him surrounded.  In short, the psalmist appears to be at the end of his rope!

As for a proper form of prayer, however, I do not suggest this psalm should be memorized.  Rather our time of devotion for joy or for lamentation should include a full and honest assessment of the day.  Count the many blessings we enjoy, or go through the list of those things that are hurting us.  Either way, the faithful must not get to a point of a blanket generalization.  Recall the sorrow, remember the hurt feelings, relive the joyful moments – and let The Lord come into that time of devotion and walk us through it!

Once we are able to do this, to recount ALL the bad and ALL the good things we experience, we will learn how to let The Lord experience them with us.  In the end we will not lament that The Lord had “hid His face”.  We will instead discover He was there the whole time, that it was we who had let go and tried to go it alone.  Much like the study of the Scriptures can be confusing and overwhelming if we try to bring human understanding to it, we also discover that seeking human resources to human problems will always come up short even if some source of comfort may have been found in any particular moment.

As we have been exploring The Lord’s Prayer these past few weeks in worship, hopefully we will soon discover that each word written in the Scriptures requires our attention and full devotion – including the psalms in which we share the prayers of those who went before us.  We learn from their experiences that if we will take the time to work through the sorrow, the misery, and the grief life often brings, we will draw the inevitable conclusion: You, O Lord, “will not forsake” Your faithful ones.



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