Praying the Psalms – Psalm 19

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Praying the Psalms

Psalm 19

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to you. Like the sun begins its course on one side of the sky and ends on the other, may my mouth and heart trek through the landscape of kindness and mercy for you. May I see a glimpse of heaven today. May I see your handiwork all over. Let creation speak to me without words but as clear as crystal. May your instructions be perfect for me and who I am. May I become more of who you want me to be. May I become wiser, gladder, and more righteous. Enlighten me so I can help people see you. If I have done wrong that I do not know, forgive me. For the wrongs which are known to me, save me from myself so that I can be blameless. Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to you. AMEN.

Praying the Psalms – Psalm 12

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Praying the Psalms

Psalm 12

God, help me follow your lead. I am sometimes among the multitude of people who do not follow. The world can’t find you because they can’t find you in us. We try to be faithful, but we fail. We lie through honey-coated lips. May the words that come from my mouth be uplifting and healing. Our hearts are hollow so that we cannot store us the goodness you share with us. Fill the holes in our hearts!

May the strength we have in the Holy spirit quiet our arrogance. May we use the power you’ve given us to use our words to bring people close to you instead of to cut others down. Master our souls, O God.

Rise and stand strong for the poor, the hungry, and those in danger. Rise in our hearts as we do the same. Let us use our place in this world to lift others up to safety. I long for the safety of your presence.

Your promises are true and unending. You have promised to love. So, you love. You have promised a new creation. So, we know it is coming. You have promised relationship. So, we know we are never alone. You have promised protection. So, we know we are in your care even when others don’t care about us. Let this be a constant reminder to us in times of struggle. AMEN.

Praying the Psalms – Psalm 7

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Praying the Psalms – Psalm 7 (v1-6)

My God, save me from those who are chasing me! Rescue me from the perils that await me, both in my heart and in the world around me. Don’t leave me alone. The lions are hungry. Don’t let them feed on me!

Have I done something to deserve the wrath of my enemy? If so, reveal it so that I can change my ways. What have I done? I do not want blood on my hands! Show me how I have mistreated the ones you love. If I have taken anything I have not earned, please show me.

My enemies are angry. Let your love counter their anger. Let you love work through them so they can see with Jesus’ eyes. Let your love work through me so that I no longer see enemies but only people who are not family yet. Open my eyes so I can see people like you do. Open my ears so I can hear their pain crying out for comfort and compassionate care. AMEN.

Praying the Psalms – Psalm 29

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Praying the Psalms—Psalm 29

Glorious and powerful God, I put my focus on you today. I want to hear your voice rush to me like it rushed over the waters so long ago. I want to hear it ring out like a peel of thunder. When I hear you speak, may that I would be awestruck and speechless. I only want to hear you. Give me strength to weather whatever comes today. May the sound of your voice bring peace to my soul and rest in my weariness. AMEN.

Praying the Psalms – Psalm 52

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Praying the Psalms

Psalm 52

God, I do not want to brag about the evil I’ve done. I want to bask in your faithful, long-lasting love. Give me the courage to have your kind of power, the power to persuade, the power to convince, the power to draw others to me so they can know your love.

May the words I use not be destructive. May they not cut others. May they be honest. May I focus my entire life on good and not evil. No matter what, may I never lie and deceive others.

Do not take me down unless I have gained anything through deception. Do not uproot me from the living. Not yet. I want to be whole with you in eternity…but not today. Today, I wish to be in awe of your creation. Today, I wish to laugh at those people that love evil more than good, who speak destruction and deception. I will laugh today. But I will also pray for them the same prayer I have for me: Lord, I pray for your shelter and protection. I pray for the strength and wisdom to trust in nothing but your loving guidance. I pray I am smart enough to understand it and to follow it.

Make me like a thriving olive tree in your house, healthy and full of fruit. May I trust in in your faithful love forever and always. Make that trust real in my words and my actions. I thank you because you have acted and not left me alone to continue down the path of destruction and deceit. Please surround me with people that are faithful to your loving way. In them, I will see the reason for hope in your good name. AMEN.

Praying the Psalms – Psalm 15

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Praying the Psalms

Psalm 15

God, I want to live under your tent. I want to be secure in your love. I want a mountaintop experience. Give me the strength and desire to make the climb. We don’t just get to the mountaintop. We must make the journey there. Thank you for not making me climb alone.

I want to be blame free. Your Spirit makes clear when I am not and comforts me in those moments. Bring healing and restoration to those on the receiving end of the actions of which I am guilty. I want to do what is right for you and those around me.

May your Spirit guide my tongue and empower me to speak truthfully and sincerely. Words can do more damage than most physical weapons. I do not want my words to hurt myself or others.

I miss my friends. May your Spirit remind me that doing no harm to them is just the first step. I want to love them. May my neighbors know no insult because of me. Please reveal to me how I have caused them harm so that I can repair it if possible.

God, you despise wickedness but do not destroy the wicked. Instead, you seek to change them into people who honor and love you. You seek to change them into people who love your creation as much as you do. Where I have been wicked, change my heart to be more like you.

I have made promises. Honoring promises and being honest with others is important to me. But I am not perfect. Forgive me for my broken promises. Give me the strength of will to forgive those who break their promises to me.

I want to give without expectation of getting back. If someone needs from me, may I remember you gave everything and expect no repayment. You have called us to be givers, not lenders. May I be a giver.

The innocent are vulnerable, especially to those that seek to harm them. May I never be swayed to hurt an innocent person. May I never we swayed to hurt anyone.

God, guide my footstep along the path of mercy and justice that you have paved. Please don’t let me stumble but be with me to pick me up if I do. AMEN.

Praying the Psalms – Psalm 68

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Praying the Psalms – Psalm 68 (v1-4)

God, may you show yourself to me today. May you rise up in my spirit until I cannot ignore your presence any longer. May your presence in me be a presence in the world. May that presence disperse those who oppose you and your will. May evils flee from me because of you. May evils flee from the world because of you through me.

May the wind blowing on my face today be your breath of goodness and life-giving freedom from harm. May your breath blow away every wall barring you from working completely through me and this world. Melt the evil in my heart as a flame melts a candle.

I want to be able to rejoice in your presence as the truly right-hearted do. Show yourself to me and judge me to be worthy to rejoice. Let me celebrate with joy! I desire to sing songs of praise of you to you. Rekindle the flame of creation that used to roar so furiously for you. May my voice ring out in praise and hope. May you take me to the wilderness to be deliver your goodness. Maybe I am already there. If I am, may I bring water to parched souls. AMEN.

Praying the Psalms – Psalm 31

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Praying the Psalms

Psalm 31 (v1-8)

I can handle it all because you are my shelter, O God. Change the hearts of those who would shame me. Change my heart when I seek to shame others. Save us from my anger and guilt.

I know you hear me when I cry out to you. I pray I listen to the people sent into my path that can help deliver me from this heartache. I pray for stability in an unstable world. I pray for strength to make it through the hardships in front of me.

God, your stability and faithfulness to goodness is a protective shield. May I reflect that goodness to your people. May I give over every part of my spirit that does not love perfectly.

I hate that I hate. I get so worked up when people waste their place in this world. I hate what is worthless, but I embrace worthless ideals all the time, giving over my limited time to things that do not bring me wholeness, goodness, or empowerment. My spirit celebrates faithful love, and I suffer when I do not extend that love or accept it for myself. You know my distress because you know me intimately. Protect me from the spaces in my life that the enemy of love seeks to bind me in. Free my soul to roam in the wide-open spaces of your empowering goodness. AMEN.

Praying the Psalms – Psalm 22

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Praying the Psalms

Psalm 22

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Jesus uttered these words from the cross. In his time of greatest fear and pain, he wondered at your absence. If even he had to wonder, then surely, I am okay to have doubt. Please do not leave me and forsake me. Rescue me or give me over to be rescued by those around me.

Do you even hear me? I talk but hear nothing. Is that because I talk and do not listen or because you have nothing to say? Make me still. Let the chaos in my soul settle.

I trust in your goodness. I trust that the cords that bind my heart and my mind will be cut, and you will set me free. I want to escape. I want to hide. I just don’t want to be beat up anymore. I trust in your goodness.

When I feel worthless, you remind me that I am beloved. When I think I am a disgrace to you, you wash me anew in your grace. When the people revile me, you hold me close. When the people mock me, you give me power to build someone up. When the people shake their heads and sneer at me, you give me power to smile in the face of the snarl.

Give me the power to turn to you again today. Set me free from the cage of wild animals, or maybe have the cage protect me until they go away. Either way, find delight in me and save me from myself.

I cast myself upon you, so cast me not away from your presence. Do not be far from me, for distress is near and no one else can settle the chaos of my soul. I am falling apart and my heart melts like wax. The joy of everything seems to be diminishing. Evil encircles me looking to take everything.

But you are not far. You have come to my aid in the past and I know you will now. Save me from the sword of my life. Have I expected too much? Have I raised myself up to places I should not have been? Ease this affliction of the lowly. Do not hide your face from me. I need to see it now more than ever. Hear me!

May my hunger be satiated. May my search find you. May I experience good cheer. May I remember you. May I return to you. May I bow down before you. May you rule the hearts of all. AMEN.

Praying the Psalms – Psalm 16

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God, the only safety I know is found in the moments I seek you. May there be more of those moments. Sometimes, it feels like the only good found in this world is in those moments. But I know that the world has good in it. You made it so.

The beauty of faith-filled people encompasses me. I thank you for those people every day. They reveal themselves at the same time the faithless do. Those who trust in your love completely are true and beautiful. When I hurt, they heal my heart.

Still, there are those who chase after the gods of power, control, and security. They despair because these gods are not theirs to get. They abandon your goodness for lesser, more vile things. Come, Holy Spirit, and guide them back to you. May they find your love and forgiveness complete.

Eternal One, you recharge me when I am running on empty. Your path leads to my future. My future sits next to me as I pray, three rambunctious little boys without a care in the world. They frustrate and energize me all at once. Together, my past and present, my wife, we journey this path as one. You have gifted me with more than I could have asked for.

Teach me your wise ways. May they orchestrate my days. May they center my mind on the things that bring you joy. Be present with me. Go before me just as you come with me. With you at my right hand, I will not abandon my calling.

This is a good life – even when it is a hard life. May a find rest so I can reflect on the gladness of my heart and the joyfulness of my soul. You never leave me alone. You do not abandon me, so I will not abandon you.

Direct me to beauty. Direct me on the path that leads to beautiful life. Direct me to bring beauty into the lives of others. This is your pleasure. Make it mine. Help me when I choose ugliness. I will know genuine joy and contentment when I walk the path that leads to beauty. AMEN.