week 1 (trek 3): put a psalm in my heart

Following are my sentence prayers stirred up by this week’s readings in our third trip through the Psalms this year:

Tuesday

Psalm 1 – Lord, let my study of your Law, and my obedience of your Law, always be one to me. (vs.2)

Psalm 2 – Lord, may I never cease to serve you with fear and trembling; never so full of myself that I do not bow to you. (vs.11)

Psalm 3 – Ever restore my courage and grant me fearless sleep, Lord, fearless sleep. (vs.3,5-6)

Psalm 4 – You alone, Lord, keep me perfectly safe, with joy and peace. (vs.7-8)

Psalm 5 – Make your way plain for me to follow, Lord. (vs.8)

Wednesday

Psalm 6 – When I grow impatient to hear from you and see your help, Lord, may my faith in you not fail. (vs.3b,8b-9)

Psalm 7 – Justice is what you demand, Lord, so may I ever do the right thing by all others. (vs.6b)

Psalm 8 – Never let the wonder of you that can be seen in this world be unseen by me, Lord. (vs.9)

Thursday

Psalm 9 – You rule, Lord, forever! (vs.7)

Psalm 10 – Break the power of wicked and evil people, Lord! (vs.15)

Psalm 11 – You see it all in all of us, Lord; you see it all. (vs.4)

Friday

Psalm 12 – Help me take your promises to the bank that is my heart, Lord. (vs.6)

Psalm 13 – When questions about you cloud my mind, Lord, may my singing to you clear the air. (vs.1-2,6)

Psalm 14 – We’re all in the same boat, Lord, and so may I never forget. (vs.2-3)

Saturday

Psalm 15 – May my practice be as good as my promises, Lord. (vs.4)

Psalm 16 – As my future is always in your hands, Lord, grant me this: that I may perceive and feel your steadfast, loving grip on me in each moment. (vs.5)

Psalm 17 – When you come to me at night and examine me completely, Lord, may I be filled with joy, not shame. (vs.3,15)

day 4 (trek 2): put a psalm in my heart

Today we read Psalm 12-14 and continue to select small portions of our reading to draw in our Bible to aid our memory of the psalm. As for myself, all three of the elements I’ve selected to sketch deal in some way with the mouth.

Morning: Psalm 12. A tongue.

“May the Lord cut off all flattering lips, the tongue that makes great boasts, those who say, ‘With our tongue we will prevail, our lips are with us; who is master over us?'” (12.3-4)

Mid-day: Psalm 13. Singing (musical notes).

“I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.” (13.6)

Night: Psalm 14. A piece of bread.

“Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers who eat up my people as they eat bread and do not call upon the Lord?” (14.4)

Let us dedicate our mouth to the Lord today, uttering only what praises and thanks God and seeks to build others up, not tear them down or work them harm.

day 4 – put a psalm in my heart

Today’s reading is comprised of three psalms: Psalm 12 (this morning), Psalm 13 (noon), and Psalm 14 (tonight).

Note. All three of today’s psalms are pleas for help. However, while Ps. 13 is an individual’s complaint like we’ve encountered before (cf. Ps. 3-7), Ps. 12 and Ps. 14 are a bit different; they are cries on the part of, or for, a group of people (a community lament). Psalms such as these two “group groans” show up nearly a dozen and a half times in the Psalms, but these two are the first to appear.

Morning. Psalm 12 is an expression of grief to God due to reflection on a people permeated with problems; a society owned by sin. As you read this psalm, make a list of the specific matters that trouble the psalmist (vs. 1-5). Do these same matters break your heart about our society today? And if so, do you talk with God about it all?

When it seems to you that no one does right anymore (vs. 1), do you complain to people or do you do the holy thing – gripe to God? Don’t try to carry the weight of the world yourself. Take the weight of this world to the One who made us all.

Noon. When troubles come, we all want them to be over and done with quickly. The individual who cries out to God in Psalm 13 was no exception; they have had to wrestle with the weight of their burden for an extended period of time, and worse still, there appears to be no end in sight (vs.1-4). We’ll all been there at one time or another, haven’t we? Which makes the psalmist’s word of trust all the more of a blessing and instruction to us (vs. 5-6)!

Let me ask you: do your complaints to God conclude with this sort of celebration of God or are you only praying “half a psalm?” Praise him with trust now, not merely pouring out your troubles to him.

Night. Psalm 14 is very similar to Ps. 12 in trajectory. Two notes. First, you’ve likely heard the first half of this psalm many times, but might not have known that it was a psalm that you were hearing. How so? Paul quotes the opening of this psalm (vs. 1-3) in the book of Romans (3.10-18).

Second. The specific people who have the psalmist’s heart in this psalm (vs. 6), the people dealt misery by this society that grieves the psalm writer, are “the poor” (cf. Ps. 12.5). Is your heart truly burdened by the massive weight the poor in our society must carry – as was the case with this psalmist) or do you fail to rightly and sincerely pray to God for the poor among us, reasoning that if they’re poor it is of their own making and fault?

Consider afresh tonight the frustrations of the poor (vs. 6), putting your feet into the sandals of their prayers.

Here’s a Psalm 12-14 (NIV) to today’s reading.