The Daily Office: Day 7- HELP!
Silence for 2-5 minutes:
If your mind wanders, silently pray a simple prayer again and again, such as, "I surrender to your love" or "Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me" until the Holy Spirit gives you a sense of peace and focus.
O Lord, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me; many are saying of my soul, "There is no salvation for him in God." Selah
But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. I cried aloud to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah
I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the Lord sustained me. I will not be afraid of many thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around.
Arise, O Lord! Save me, O my God! For you strike all my enemies on the cheek; you break the teeth of the wicked.
Salvation belongs to the Lord; your blessing be on your people! Selah
Psalm 3 is the first prayer in the book of Psalms. In it, we see the most primal prayer that a human can utter. HELP!
David writes this Psalm when he is on the run from his son, Absalom, who is seeking to kill him and usurp the throne. David's foes seem countless, and his friends and supporters few. As David cries for help, he begins to picture the Lord as a shield that surrounds him, protecting him from every possible attack. Though thousands oppose, he can sleep, for the Lord will arise and strike His enemies. The people will soon be visited by the Lord of Salvation, who will return David to his rightful place as king.
Psalm 3 is an invitation for us to cry out for help, as well. David is culpable for the predicament he finds himself in. But that doesn't stop him from crying out to God for deliverance. Though David has been faithless, the covenant God he serves remains faithful.
Anne Lamott puts it this way:
Prayer is taking a chance that against all odds and past history, we are loved and chosen, and do not have to get it together, before we show up in prayer.
Actions to Take:
Listen to my rendition of Psalm 3. (You may listen at this link. It's the second track. You have to give them your email address, but it allows you to download and listen to lots of free music.)
The Psalms were written to be sung. Try singing a favorite Psalm. Try to imagine what type of music would best fit the theme of the Psalm you chose.
Cry out to the Lord for help. Picture the Lord as a shield that surrounds you and protects you from every attack. Realize that you don't have to get it together before you show up in prayer. In fact, by showing up in prayer, we begin to "get it together."
Lord, like David, most of the messes of my life come about because of my own sinful choices. Still, you invite me to cry out, "HELP!" You are a shield that surrounds me from every attack. You deliver me from all my enemies. You are the God of my salvation whose blessing rests upon me. AMEN