A PERSONAL PRAYER
God, I didn’t know anything about Kate Spade, the fashion designer who took her own life this week. I didn’t even know she was a real person. I thought she was a brand, or maybe even just a handbag. But there was a person there, flesh and blood and heart and soul living behind the façade of a brand. I didn’t know her, but I know a lot of people like her. They come to church or work or school, getting through the day behind the façade of smiles or productivity, trying to believe that all is ok, trying to fake it until they make it.
Today, God, I pray for all those who are in despair. It might be because of external challenges – financial struggles, relational difficulties, loneliness, physical pain, job pressure, or a thousand other things. It might be mental illness, or addiction, or shame, or regret, or a million other internal challenges. They are people who are poor or rich, old or young, but wonder each morning how they will make it to the evening, and wonder each evening how they will make it to the morning.
The prayers of the Psalmist give voice to that despair. “I have sunk into the miry depths, where there is no footing. I have drifted into deep waters, where the flood engulfs me….”– Psalm 69:2 But the prayers of the Psalmist also point us to the hope that seems so elusive: “But as for me, afflicted and in pain- may your salvation, God, protect me. I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.” – Psalm 69:29-30
God, grant those who walk in darkness just a glimmer of light, and then let that glimmer grow like the dawn and push back the darkness. Give me a heart of compassion to see past the veneer into the truth of their pain, so that when they suffer, we all suffer together. Take away their pain, as only you can do.
In Christ, the compassionate healer. Amen.
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
This Sunday, June 3, we continue our sermon series called “How to Pray the Psalms.” The great pastor and martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer called the Psalms “the prayer book of the Bible.” At the same time, it was the hymnal for the people of Israel. In it, we find the words to express our deepest hopes and fears to be sung and prayed. The message this week looks at the psalms of lament, those moments when it seems God is so absent.
Be in prayer this week for Vacation Bible School, where 850 children, teens and adults come together in praise and fun. Greatest week ever!
Sunday, June 10 – Psalm 31:3-5
You are indeed my rock and my fortress; for your name’s sake lead me and guide me, take me out of the net that is hidden for me, for you are my refuge.
Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.
Monday, June 11 – Psalm 65:1-4
Praise is due to you, O God, in Zion; and to you shall vows be performed, O you who answer prayer! To you all flesh shall come. When deeds of iniquity overwhelm us, you forgive our transgressions. Happy are those whom you choose and bring near to live in your courts. We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, your holy temple.
Tuesday, June 12 – Psalm 8:1-2
O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. Out of the mouths of babes and infants you have founded a bulwark because of your foes, to silence the enemy and the avenger.
Wednesday, June 13 – Psalm 126:5-6
Those who sow in tears will reap with shouts of joy. Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, carrying their sheaves.
Thursday, June 14 – Psalm 16:1-2
Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the Lord, You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.
Friday, June 15 – Psalm 16:8
I keep the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
Saturday, June 16 – Psalm 16:9-11
Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices; my body also rests secure. For you do not give me up to Sheol, or let your faithful one see the Pit. You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.