looking through old prayer journals, I found this, unexpectedly...
v.1 'I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.'
I want to be like the Psalmist, Lord--able to bless and praise You at all times, continually. Even when I'm sick. Even when I'm panicking, or discouraged, or worried sick about the future. I need to remember that if I seek You, You will deliver me from all my fears; I will not be ashamed of trusting in You.
v.2,3 'My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together.'
Why 'the humble?' Because those who boast in anything or anyone but the Lord is proud; not because the other things are not good, but because they are not wholly good, and not anywhere near the goodness of God.
Only the humble, those who trust only God and see Him as the only truly, wholly good thing, will understand and be glad; and praise Him for His goodness.
v. 4-6 'I sought the Lord, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears.
They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces were not ashamed.
This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him, And saved him out of all his troubles.'
Even if I feel like a poor man--even though I am a poor man.
v.7 'The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him,
And delivers them.'
I can't see You. I can't always realize that You're all around me--not just hovering around, but 'encamped'; poised, ready for action at the first sign of danger--but You are, all the same.
v. 8,9 'Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!'
Yes, You are good! Truly, all I have to do now is trust in You and taste, to find that You are good.
v.10 'There is no want to those who fear Him.
The young lions lack and suffer hunger,
But those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.'
'I shall not lack any good thing with You.' What a presumptuous, ridiculously impossible claim for a human to make. Which makes it even more amazing, but wonderfully possible, when You say it.
v. 11-14 'Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
Who is the man who desires life, and who loves many days, that he may see good?
Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit.
Depart from evil and do good;
Seek peace and pursue it.'
Yes--I want to live, to live a full and beautiful and joyous and useful life, to see good. I will try to obey what You tell me to do in order to live out that life I desire; how to have that life I desire.
v. 15-16 'The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their cry.
The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.'
And You hear me! You repeatedly do--always do--even though I would never, and could never, call myself 'righteous'. Oh lord, You are gentle and compassionate and You yearn with love and mercy for us. You know when our hearts are broken. And You are there--when we don't realize it, even.
v.17 'The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.'
You know when we have suffered wrongfully at the hands of others.
v. 18 'The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.'
You know when we've sinned, when we've repented with guilt and tears and true anguish of soul--and You save us.
You forgive us, because though sinful, we are repentant.
v. 19 'Many are the afflictions of the righteous; But the Lord delivers him out of them all.'
We suffer, as Your people, but we have You through it all.
v. 20 'He guards all his bones; not one of them is broken.'
Ultimately, we will come out unharmed--stronger, even--while those who caused our suffering suffer.
v.21 'Evil shall slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous shall be condemned.'
Putting our souls in Your hands;
v.22 'The Lord redeems the soul of His servants,
And none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned.'
...putting our hope of salvation in You, trusting You for it, is not in vain.
Trust, in You, is not in vain.
a small voice
Ci thinks some of God's greatest blessings to mankind are
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