Praying the Psalms

I’m into the Psalms these days. They’re teaching me how to pray in this broken world.

(I actually hate typing that.  They’re not intended to be a lesson on prayer.  They weren’t written as a curriculum to instruct us to survive the tension.  They’re just us listening in as real people pour out their hearts through poetry.  Songs are not always meant to be sermons.)

But I’ve been watching the psalmists sing their songs for some time now, and I’ve noticed this rhythm fills a lot of their prayers:

  1. God – this is who you are (e.g. your steadfast love never fails)

Death days

July 9.

It seems appropriate that my last post was about piles of stones, because I woke up today realizing I do have them.  I do have ebeneezers floating around to remind me of the ways I’ve been delivered.  My piles of stones are dates on the calendar.  Dates that remind me of faithfulness. Dates that remind me that when the bottom falls out and you fear the free fall, another ledge will catch you somewhere in the dark.

Stones to remember

Tell your kids about ME.  Put these stones here, where they will see them.  And when they ask: ‘what are these rocks? Why do we have this big pile of stones here?’  Then speak. Tell them of the day I parted the waters so you – all 40,000 of you – could be free. Could walk toward rest.  Tell them the story of that day so that would know who their God is.  

I read that story in Joshua this morning and I keep thinking about how terribly vulnerable it must feel to have a pile of rocks laying around that likely represent one of the most sacred days of your life.   That anyone could see and ask about at any time.

Next 20 days of Advent | And not being believed.

Boy. I tell you what, today’s Advent really took it out of me.  If you’re receiving the daily emails, you might have noticed today’s was a tad delayed.

Today was the hardest one so far, but not in a bad way.  Sometimes a sense of responsibility and the weight of words settles over me and I can’t shake the sense that – this one – this one I want to get right.  This truth is too precious to me to share flippantly.

I don’t know what to say.  I am out of words.  I am humbled, amazed, stunned, leveled by our God who has come to us in the dark of night.