Ps 142 is a good prayer for us today.
Of David. When he was in the cave. A prayer.
1 I cry aloud to the Lord;
I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy.
2 I pour out before him my complaint;
before him I tell my trouble.
3 When my spirit grows faint within me,
it is you who watch over my way.
In the path where I walk
people have hidden a snare for me.
4 Look and see, there is no one at my right hand;
no one is concerned for me.
I have no refuge;
no one cares for my life.
5 I cry to you, Lord;
I say, “You are my refuge,
my portion in the land of the living.”
6 Listen to my cry,
for I am in desperate need;
rescue me from those who pursue me,
for they are too strong for me.
7 Set me free from my prison,
that I may praise your name.
Then the righteous will gather about me
because of your goodness to me.
“I lift up my voice to the LORD for mercy.” I know that is the prayer of some of your hearts today. This psalm helps us put that heartfelt prayer into words. According to the heading, it was written by David “when he was in the cave.” Do you feel like you are in a cave today?
This psalm is a psalm of lament, the most common type of psalm. In “normal” times we often don’t want to lament, so we tend to ignore these psalms. But in times like we are in now, such psalms can help us find language for our prayers, so we can “tell our trouble” before God. This language might well contain a “cry for mercy” (vs 1) and even a “complaint before God” (vs 2).
Pause and take a moment and tell your troubles to God. He wants to hear them.
Typically, in the middle of a psalm of lament, there is a confession of trust. In this psalm it is in vs 5: “I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.” Take another moment and make that same confession to God, for your situation.
Next comes the actual petition, in vs 6-7. “Listen … rescue me … set me free.” What help do you need to ask of God, today, right now?
The psalms of lament make good prayers because they are honest cries of faith. They end with thanksgiving in anticipation that God will answer, that God will act. What does your faith tell you today about what God will do?
We can well imagine Jesus praying these same psalms as he journeyed to the cross. In this season of Lent, praying these same psalms in the midst of our own distress can help us better identify with Jesus and with his suffering people worldwide.
Encourage others by sharing your thoughts and prayers in the comment section, below.
Our song today, Sarah Hart’s “To the Desert,” was suggested by Pearl; it can be found at by clicking here and the lyrics are also there so you can sing out loud!
Now for some really good news! Most of you have no way of knowing all the action that’s gone on around 800 Burnhamthorpe recently. This building has been busy as Ralph supervised the great guys from Empire United as they installed our new furnace! They made us an offer we couldn’t refuse—the price was right—and just as the installation date came, the old furnace started leaking. The team put a lot of hours into getting the job done well, and now the furnace is running great. We should now benefit from more even temperatures and reduced energy costs. Ralph asks that you praise God along with him for this gift He has provided for us.
So who’s willing to plan a “virtual retirement party” for the old furnace as it ends 43 years of service?
In closing, let’s pray together as our Lord taught us to pray,
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
As we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Go with this blessing:
The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.
PS – If you know that someone in our congregation does not receive or read email, please share this with them.
PSS - Encourage others by sharing your thoughts and prayers in the comment section, below.