Walking With Jesus, Talking to God: Psalms as Prayer (A Lenten Devotional)

DEVOTIONAL FOR 2/24/2012: Psalm 25:1-10
To those of us paying attention these last two or three weeks at worship, it should be clear that Pastor’s emphasis has been on one theme…….prayer.

I confess that I have neglected selection of any Psalms in my past Devotionals. Still a neophyte in my study of scripture and Lutheran teachings, I confess that I have endeavored, perhaps out of pride, to focus on readings which ‘speak’ to me, and to discount the value of the Psalms as rigid, ’sing-song’ recitals…..having, until recently for me at least, been an exercise in ’chanting’ prescribed by the ‘pro forma’ structure of the worship service.

How wrong I was!

My study of the Psalm selections for this issue of Devotionals has revealed to me the value of the Psalms as ‘prayer’.

Psalms typically are three-part recitals:

1) They begin with a plea or petition… (Here, “..do not let me be put to shame”, and ”… do not let my enemies exult over me”)

2) They identify a trouble or a suffering being struggled with…(Here…“Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame”, by those “who are wantonly treacherous”…i.e., those non-believers who persecute us.)

3) They conclude with an expression that we can, by expressing ourselves TO God assure ourselves that God does indeed hear us. (Here,…”Good and upright is the LORD”…”he instructs sinners in the way”…the paths of the “LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness for those who keep his covenant and his decrees.”)

I thank Pastor for his stress and gentle, yet firm, insistence on learning the importance….indeed, the power of prayer. Further, I thank him for his request of me to submit more than the one or two devotionals I usually submit.

Call it serendipity, call it Grace……the lesson I have been blessed to finally comprehend is that all of the writings in Scripture are of equal value. Instead of ’cherry-picking’ those readings which, as I noted above, ‘spoke’ to me, I should have recognized that the Psalms, as prayer, stress the vital fact that we all of us need regularly to ‘speak’ to God.

As we all await his glorious coming as saved but mortal sinners, prayer is the least we can do, as it shows Him our waiting is active rather than passive. Further, as a continuous and daily exercise, it helps us all to more readily be in a frame of mind of kindness and compassion to our fellow sinners.

Thanks to all at Covenant who afforded me this opportunity to grow in the Lord by leaving these last few unclaimed dates to fill.

Heed Pastor’s lesson!……pray….often; sincerely and with the knowledge that He will hear us as “Day by Day, We Magnify Thee”.