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 2 (trek 2): put a psalm in my heart

Today is the second day of our second sixty-day trek thru the Psalms (i.e. – the Put a Psalm in My Heart project) and today we read Psalm 6-8.

As for me, this is what I’m concentrating on & sketching as we do today’s reading and reflection:

Tears – “I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping.” (Ps. 6.6)

Apparently crying doesn’t make a man lose his man card in God’s eyes. In fact, if the heading of this Psalm speaks truth, then it was a man after God’s own heart – truly a man’s man – that is doing the crying in this psalm. Let God be true and every culture and society be a liars as to what makes a man and comprises masculinity! For God made all men with emotions to feel and express, not forget and excise. Tears then are not a sign of weakness or femininity, but are evidence of genuine and true humanity (cf. the Son of Man weeping – Lk. 19.41-42; Jn. 11.35-36).

A bow & arrow – “If a man does not repent, God will whet his sword; he has bent and readied his bow; he has prepared for him his deadly weapons, making his arrows fiery shafts.” (Ps. 7.12-13)

God takes sin deadly seriously. If we do not take sin the way God does, then there will be consequences we will have to pay. God is powerfully patient with us, is marvelously merciful, and loyal in love toward us, but we dare not presume on his patience, mercy, or love and take his guidance for granted or his see his sacrifices for us as insignificant enough to warrant our submission and change.

A human being – “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” (Ps. 8.4)

In light of the cosmos, why would we, such minuscule matter, matter so to him? Made in his image, we are, and so then, how much more ought we to ever be on our knees before him, worshiping him with all of our being, forever and in all ways.

What portions of these three psalms will you focus on and draw in your Bible or journal?

day 2 – put a psalm in my heart

Today’s reading is Psalm 6-8. Do this: read Ps. 6 this morning, Ps. 7 at mid-day, and Ps. 8 just before you go to bed. Four observations follow:

[1] Psalm 6 and Psalm 7 are just like Ps. 3-5 in that all five of them are cries out to God for help. Psalm 8 is different from any psalm we’ve encountered thus far, it being not a cry for help, but a hymn.

[2] MorningPsalm 6 is also a first, but within its kind. The psalmist is desperately physically ill, and believes – whether rightly or wrongly so we’re not told – that his affliction is God’s direct rebuke/discipline of him. And so, he calls for God to have mercy on him and to save him from death. He is convicted and contrite. Thus, this psalm was recognized early on as the first of seven psalms known as penitential psalms (cf. Ps. 8,32,38,51,102,130,143).

[3] Mid-day. The author of Psalm 7 is one who feels wrongly accused of something(s). He maintains that he is innocent of what others charge him with, and so, calls on God to judge rightly and “decree justice,” namely to deliver him from those who falsely judge him and to “bring to an end the violence of the wicked.”

[4] Tonight. There are about thirty hymns in the Psalms and there are three different kinds. Psalm 8 is the first hymn psalm and therefore, the first of five of its kind, a hymn about the wonder of creation and the Creator (cf. Ps. 8, 19, 65, 104, 148). Try this: if the full moon is visible from where you are tonight, go out and look at it and read this psalm in its light (cf. 8.3). Meditate on this psalm as you fall asleep.