May 23 2015

Prayers of Psalmody ~ in Suffering

Prayers of Psalmody ~ in Suffering
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As for me, I am poor and needy,
but the Lord takes thought for me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
do not delay, O my God!
Psalm 40:17

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Suffering. Oh Lord, You know true suffering! Lord, would You please bend low to us as we come on our knees with uplifted hands today? With our tears, our anxieties, our pains, our needs—please, Jesus, intercede for us—please, Holy Spirit, translate our groanings—please, Father, in Your mercy accept our prayers as holy incense in Your presence.

In my poor neediness, O God, I beg you to hasten to me. You are my help! You are my deliverer! Do not delay, O Lord! (Psalm 70:5) My needs and my low estate have caused my heart to be stricken within me (Psalm 109:22), and I suffer distress and anguish. Sometimes I feel like death warmed over, I feel like I might slip into Sheol itself. (Psalm 116:3) O God of all creation, the young lions may suffer want and hunger, but I truly believe with Your psalmist that those who seek the Lord will lack no good thing. (Psalm 34:10) I come to you asking for goodness, for my daily bread, for a respite in the midst of this suffering, for comfort when my heart is in in anguish within me (Psalm 55:4). Be near to me even now in the midst of this suffering, Lord my God, for although trouble and anguish are my companions, it is Your commandments that are my delight (Psalm 119:43). Raise me from the dust, lift me from the ash heap—the pillars of the earth are Yours, my Lord, and on them You indeed have set the world (1 Samuel 2:8)—all things are under Your feet, submitting to Your command. Because of Your power and sovereignty, I know that the needy shall not always be forgotten—no, Lord, not even I!!—and the hope of the poor shall not perish forever (Psalm 9:18), for You are merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy (Psalm 103:8). I am falling, Lord—uphold me! I am bowed down—raise me up! I look to You—give me food in due season! You know my desires, O God—open Your hand to bring satisfaction according to Your grace. (Psalm 145:14-16)

God, You are my God—there is none but You. I seek You earnestly, I thirst for You, I faint for You. I have looked upon Your power, Your glory, Your sanctuary—because I long truly for You like one suffering in a desert wilderness. Even so, my God, it is Your steadfast love that is better than life itself. Oh, I praise You! I praise You with my lips, as I long for the satisfaction of your presence. I will never stop praising You, blessing You, lifting up my hands to the heavens in Your name. When I remember You and all Your marvelous deeds, it satisfies my soul! I am satisfied like a king at a banquet with the fat and rich foods of feasts. Even when I lie on my bed, and when I lie awake at all hours of the night, I remember You and I praise You joyfully—because You indeed have been my help! In my meditations I sing for joy because I rest in the shadow of Your wings. Your right hand holds me up, and my soul clings to You. Sometimes I feel my life on the brink of being destroyed—Lord, the evil and invisible prowlers against my soul will go down into the depths of the earth, and I know You will conquer all my suffering and its causes through the sword and through the devouring of jackals. The mouths of liars will be stopped. I will forever rejoice in God! You will exult me in the end, my God, because I swear by You alone. (Psalm 63) You are the God and King of my life, and I seek to praise You right through my suffering. Give me bigger faith to see You through my pains and trials, to be faithful to You even when I can not see the end from the beginning—and the days can feel oh so long.

I dwell in Your shelter, O God Most High, and I abide in Your shadow, Almighty God. You are my refuge and my fortress! You are my God, and I trust You. I know You will deliver me, even when I feel the suffocation of deadly pestilence. I know You cover me with Your pinions, and I find refuge under Your wings, even in my anguish. You are faithful!! Your faithfulness is a shield to protect me and a buckler to equip me. Nights can be terrible, but Your presence allows me not to fear—days can bring unpredictable battles, but I don’t fear the arrows because You fight for me. Neither darkness or daylight will overcome me, with their pestilence or destruction—because You are for me, and I rest in Your protection. You are my guide, so while thousands fall at Your side and ten thousand at Your right hand, no evil can come near You. Your eyes will look and see the recompense of the wicked. You are my dwelling place, O Lord! You are my refuge, O Most High! Keep evil from me! Protect me from plagues! Command Your angels over me—have them guard me everywhere and at all times, so they can bear me up on their hands if I stumble. Cause me to overcome my foes and to rise up victorious in my battles. Allow me, my God and King, to hold fast to You in love. Deliver me and protect me. Answer me when I call to You, be with me now in my troubles. Please honor me—I know Your name!—and rescue me. O my God, show me Your salvation! Satisfy me with true life! (Psalm 91) Give me eyes to see and ears to hear and a heart that lives by faith alone—remind me through my suffering and despite my suffering that I am in Your shadow, under Your wings, and dwell in Your shelter.

You are my Lord, and You are near to all who call upon You—in truth, O Lord, I call on You now. Fulfill the desire of my heart and hear my cry—save me, God! I fear You and I love You, and I trust You to preserve me because of Your great goodness. (Psalm 145:18-20)

Grow my faith as I suffer, and deliver me according to Your will.
May all power and glory and dominion forever be Yours, from this time forth.
May my lips never cease to proclaim Your faithfulness and Your mercy.

In the name of Jesus, who carries my prayers to the Father, by the power of the Holy Spirit who dwells in my soul—amen.

~part of our series, Serving Those in The Church with Chronic Needs~

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