I’m trying to read 5 Psalms a day. Today I read 10. Not because I am spiritual, but because yesterday I read none 🙂 I want the language to form me. To meet with the deep places that the Bible says are already redeemed, and to bridge those deep places with the anxieties, regular joys, fears, and prayers of my days.
When I look at the Bible I see a pattern. Not all the time. It is this: authenticity + Imagination of God’s Glory. When we look at the past we want interpretation, in the present we ask for His Glory to show up in ways we can understand, sense, and have tangible faith in. Prayer about the future is the same. In my religious moments I forget to be authentic – tell God exactly how I am, how I experience and see the world. In my irreligious moments I do not imagine his Glory – I just vent, gush, and practically forget His promises of Real Life, the Ever-Presence of His Spirit, the fact that all of my circumstances grow me.
This morning, while exercising, I listened to and read Psalm 7.
Every verse is beautifully mixed with authenticity and a plea for God’s Glory to be known by all. Many have written about the Psalms. There is a lot to learn from them! But, we can also simply read them and ask the LORD to encourage us to pray how we are and towards His Glory. This is the fully human way to pray. Authenticity + Imagination of His Glory
O LORD my God, in you do I take refuge;
save me from all my pursuers and deliver me,
lest like a lion they tear my soul apart,
rending it in pieces, with none to deliver.
O LORD my God, if I have done this,
if there is wrong in my hands,
if I have repaid my friend with evil
or plundered my enemy without cause,
let the enemy pursue my soul and overtake it,
and let him trample my life to the ground
and lay my glory in the dust. Selah
Arise, O LORD, in your anger;
lift yourself up against the fury of my enemies;
awake for me; you have appointed a judgment.
Let the assembly of the peoples be gathered about you;
over it return on high.
The LORD judges the peoples;
judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness
and according to the integrity that is in me.
Oh, let the evil of the wicked come to an end,
and may you establish the righteous—
you who test the minds and hearts,
O righteous God!
My shield is with God,
who saves the upright in heart.
God is a righteous judge,
and a God who feels indignation every day.
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.
Behold, the wicked man conceives evil
and is pregnant with mischief
and gives birth to lies.
He makes a pit, digging it out,
and falls into the hole that he has made.
His mischief returns upon his own head,
and on his own skull his violence descends.
I will give to the LORD the thanks due to his righteousness,
and I will sing praise to the name of the LORD, the Most High.
(Psalm 7 ESV)