Following are my sentence prayers stirred up by this week’s readings in our third trip through the Psalms this year:
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
Straight to it: read Psalm 15-17 today. Draw something connected with the three portions of your reading. Need suggestions?
Morning: Psalm 15. Draw a hill.
“O Lord, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill?” (15.1)
Noon: Psalm 16. Sketch a cup.
“The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.” (16.5)
Evening: Psalm 17. Outline an apple.
“Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.” (17.8)
Today’s reading consists of Psalm 15-17.
Morning: Psalm 15. Picture yourself entering the Temple in Jerusalem. Imagine Psalm 15 being sung and reverberating out onto the courtyards as you walk up. This question is in your head: who am I to worship God? Or to put it another way: what connection is there between how I’ve been going/living and what I’m doing here now, “going to worship?”
This psalm provides the answer; it connect the dots between “worship” and “everyday living.” How you live expresses who you truly worship for godly living is worship. Compare this psalmist’s words with the words of some of God’s prophets elsewhere (e.g. – Isa. 1.12-17; Jer. 7.1-15; Amos 5.21-24; Micah 6.6-8).
Mid-day: Psalm 16. Note the opening verses (vs. 1-2). Ask yourself: What does it mean for me consider God as my “Lord?” To see him as my “refuge?” To truly look to him as the source of every “good thing” in my life? Ps. 16 tells us all. And so, if Ps. 15 would be helpful addition to your list of things to memorize in life, Ps. 16 is an especially fine matter to meditate on often.
For example, consider vs. 8a: “I will keep my eyes always on the Lord.” Memorize that sentence now. Repeat it to yourself throughout today. Mull it over. Delve into how it is your personal declaration of trust in God in every situation … that you may act on it. “I will keep my eyes always on the Lord.”
Night: Psalm 17. By now we are familiar with the subjects embodied in psalms like Ps. 17. That is, we too frequently find ourselves in trouble and we frequently call on God for help in those times. Er, don’t we? And if we do constantly and consistently cry out to him in our troubles, what ought to accompany our cries?
As we take our matters of “deep water” to God (vs. 1-14), may we find our determination for him, and our declarations of him, present, too (vs. 15). As readily as we bring petitions to the Lord, may we offer up our praise as well. And it is our determination to, and declaration of, praise of God that is to have the final say in our life. We will say: “I will take my issues to the Lord in prayer, but I refuse to let my problems or difficulties take his place.” And so, this psalm’s very structure, as well as its contents, calls us to ask ourselves: which honestly looms larger in our eyes?
You can read these psalms Psalm 15-17.