Praying the Psalms: 5,6

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Lord, in the morning thou shalt hear
my voice ascending high,
To thee shall I direct my prayer,
To Thee lift up my eye.
(Traditional Hymn)

My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct [my prayer] unto thee, and will look up.

4 For thou [art] not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.

Psalm 5

What is interesting here is the reason given for lifting up prayers/psalms to God. “I will pray to you (and expect you to hear me) because you don’t take pleasure in evil/injustice/foolishness).

We can cry to God because of his nature. He will not ignore us and our needs because his desire is to work good in the world and to undo evil. How much of what we ask is given to that same goal?

In one sense very little: we ask for the things we need and we feel that they are mundane. In a cosmic sense however they are anything but mundane. When we ask for food, shelter, a better job, health etc. we are asking that God will be who he says he is (the restorer of good in the world). Each time that we trust him for the things we need we are allowing him to put a small piece of his universe back right and we participate in that healing process.

Psalm 6 continues this theme:

O LORD, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.

2 Have mercy upon me, O LORD; for I [am] weak: O LORD, heal me; for my bones are vexed.

3 My soul is also sore vexed: but thou, O LORD, how long?

4 Return, O LORD, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies’ sake.

Because of who You are Lord, restore me. We know that many times we are participating in the breaking of the world and not its healing. We know when those unkind words slip out that we are harming or even breaking our relationships, yet we often cannot help ourselves. Now with this psalmist we can say “restore us to a place of healing and being healed….”

Journal: What is your reason for prayer? (Psalm 5 For thou [art] not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.)

What restoration do you desire? How do you know you have been restored to a place of healing?

(adoration, praise, thanksgiving, penitence, oblation, intercession, or petition). How can I pray with this Psalm? What about it resonates with my condition at this hour?

For instance the portion in this reading that jumped out at me was Psalm 1:

1:1 Blessed [is] the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

I see this as being both thanksgiving and praise and can pray thanking God for his keeping of me. Alternately I could see this as a place to confess and repent of the times I have walked in the counsel of the ungodly etc.

1:2 But his delight [is] in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night

Here is oblation, offering of my time and attention to God, in response to his blessing.


And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

4 The ungodly [are] not so: but [are] like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

Whether we see it in this day or in the future this is the way the world looks in God?s eyes.

1:6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

To me this was both an opportunity for thanksgiving and a petition.

Meditation: Choose some portion of your passage and keep it present to yourself throughout the day. Write it on a paper and place in your pocket, on the steering wheel of your car or in some other prominent spot.

Finally keep a journal of your praying. This is not an easy discipline and journaling can be a great encouragement. Alternately you can journal by posting in the comments section of this blog.

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