A Morning Prayer

The Orthodox Church includes Psalm 5 in their daily liturgy. Imagine the value of praying and meditating on the words of the Psalmist on a regular basis.

God personally hears our prayers, sighs, and cries.

God is not an impersonal force, but he is a personal being. As such, he hears all of the ways we bring our thoughts to him. The prayer begins with a bold and confident appeal for God to hear the prayer.

Psalm 5.1-2 – Give ear to my words, O Lord; give heed to my sighing. Listen to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to you I pray.

Evil is not part of God’s character.

Our world is filled with people who delight in wickedness and evil. Much of our world’s system is filled with people oppressing the vulnerable. Personal evil and wickedness is something that people must choose to deny on a daily basis.

Imagine what our situation would be like if God, who is supremely powerful, were also evil and wicked, like so much of humankind. We can declare with this psalm-writer that God is not touched by evil.

As we read that God “destroys” the wicked, remember that the way God defeats his enemies is by changing their inner nature and making them his friends.

Psalm 5.3 – O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I plead my case to you, and watch. For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil will not sojourn with you. The boastful will not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers. You destroy those who speak lies; the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful.

Lovingkindness – the Old Testament word for “grace”

The only way we can enter into God’s presence is by his grace. “Steadfast love” or “lovingkindess” is the Old Testament word for the New Testament concept of grace. God loves us and is committed to us, even when we break our agreements with him. His gracious love opens the door to his transforming presence.

Psalm 5.7 – But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love, will enter your house, I will bow down toward your holy temple in awe of you.

My own best thinking is out to get me.

Some of my friends in Alcoholics Anonymous say this, “My own best thinking is out to kill me.” The clever ways that the human mind deceives lead to drinking and drugging. We can be our own worst enemies.

What we need is not our next best thought. What we need is God’s direction. For that we pray daily and each morning before we start our day.

Psalm 5.8-10 – Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness because of my enemies; make your way straight before me. For there is no truth in their mouths; their hearts are destruction; their throats are open graves; they flatter with their tongues. Make them bear their guilt, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; because of their many transgressions cast them out, for they have rebelled against you.

The joy of God’s protection

People who pray this psalm place their trust in God. They recognize the danger of the evil that resides in their own inside condition and the amazing goodness that is God’s essential nature. It is natural that they end their prayer with the closing words of Psalm 5.

Psalm 5.11-12 – But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, so that those who love your name may exult in you. For you bless the righteous, O Lord; you cover them with favor as with a shield.

Prayer for Friday, June 23, 2017

But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy.

Bob Spradlingrose-quote

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