Category Archives: Psalms

Psalm 136:1

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
His faithful love endures forever.

Psalm 136:1

Dear God, this is another moment for just some worship. This psalm is 26 verses and each one of them includes the line, “His faithful love endures forever.” That’s what I want to do right now. I just want to worship you. I do have some friends for whom I’m concerned. Some family. Some clients at our nonprofit. Some coworkers. I want your best for each of them. I want your powerful hand to move, heal, protect, grow, and guide. I want all of that. Please help all of that happen.

But now I just want to sit in your lap and be with you. I want to worship you. I have a dog who is incredibly needy. She came up to me this morning and wanted some loving. I’m never able to sit with this dog without having to pet her or she will go away. She never just wants to sit with me. It’s a very transactional relationship. But I tried something this morning. I put her in my lap when I started this and now she seems to be happy to just lie down while I type. She is content just to be in my lap. Not getting anything for herself except to know that she is a loved dog.

That’s what I want right now. I just want to sit in your lap and not ask for anything. I just want you to know that I am content just being your child. I know you love all of the people on my heart. I know you have them in your hands. So I can let all of that go for the moment and just be happy in your presence. Why? Because your faithful love endures forever.

I pray all of this in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,


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Posted by on November 29, 2022 in Psalms


Psalm 27:4-6 (a psalm of David)

Psalm 27:4-6

A psalm of David.

The one thing I ask of the Lord—
    the thing I seek most—
is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
    delighting in the Lord’s perfections
    and meditating in his Temple.
For he will conceal me there when troubles come;
    he will hide me in his sanctuary.
    He will place me out of reach on a high rock.
Then I will hold my head high
    above my enemies who surround me.
At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy,
    singing and praising the Lord with music.

Dear God, I got this praise song I remember from my church in Waco 20 years ago in my head this morning. I couldn’t find it on my iPod, which disappointed me, but I thought I might just go to the source material. Here is the chorus of the song I remember:

This one thing have I desired / that which I seek, that I might dwell in the presence of God / And that we may behold the beauty of the Lord / That we might seek him in His house.

I just want to be with you this morning. I want to worship you. I can’t sit with my wife in church this morning because she will be in the choir in the balcony, so I am going to visit a different church that I prefer. While I’m there, I just want to completely submit myself to you. Oh, how I get tempted to think too much of myself. To buy my own “press.” But I am flawed. I am a speck of dust. I am a vapor. My job is to simply love you with all my heart, mind, and strength and love my neighbor as myself. Let this be a day of that kind of worship.

I pray this through Jesus life, death, and resurrection,


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Posted by on November 13, 2022 in Psalms


Lectionary Readings for October 23, 2022

Dear God, I was attending the Catholic church this morning and some of the verses really struck me. As a Protestant, I have not been exposed to the Apocrypha much, but I’m really coming to appreciate it’s role in the Christian faith.

Old Testament Reading

I mention that because the Old Testament reading this morning was from Sirach 35. Verses 14-16 caught my ear this morning:

1Do not offer him a bribe, for he will not accept it;
15     and do not rely on a dishonest sacrifice;
for the Lord is the judge,
    and with him there is no partiality.
16 He will not show partiality to the poor;
    but he will listen to the prayer of one who is wronged.

I’m not sure which translation the church uses in its missal, but the way the missal translated the part about the poor was, “The LORD is God of justice, who knows no favorites. Though not unduly partial toward the weak, yet he hears the cry of the oppressed.” I like that you love the poor and you will listen to the prayer of the weak, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you will show partiality. There is fairness. There is justice. Just because I happen to be poor does not give me license to steal or abuse others. At the same time, you are there to love and comfort them. You are there to help provide through your own means and through your church. Help us to know what that means and looks like.


Ironically, the Psalm was parts of Psalm 34. The repeated refrain was “The LORD hears the cry of the poor.” The last verses used in the psalm say, “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; and those who are crushed in spirit he saves. The LORD redeems the lives of his servants; no one incurs guilt who takes refuge in him.” I know some people whose spirits have been crushed. You know who is on my heart right now. Hear their cry. Hear my cry for them. Holy Spirit, give them comfort. Show those of us who know them how to love them. Let your light shine on them through us. And help us to be their defenders on your behalf.

New Testament Reading

The reading is from Paul’s second letter to Timothy. I don’t know why they selectively chose just verse 6-8 and 16-18, but the words in 16-18 struck me:

16 At my first defense no one came to my support, but all deserted me. May it not be counted against them! 17 But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and save me for his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

There are some people I know right now who are worthy of defending. I’ve prayed a lot about them over the last few days. Raise up defenders in your church for them. Love them. Encourage them. Use their persecution to draw them closer to yourself. Use it to draw all of us closer to you.

Gospel Reading

Finally, there is the one I was wanting to get to. In Luke 18:9-14, Luke prefaced Jesus’s parable about the two men who went to the temple to pray by saying, “Jesus addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else.” Man, do those words ring true right now in our current society. People are claiming the high ground and righteousness in your name and using that as justification to abuse others, discount others, and, frankly, bully others.

Holy Spirit, show me the areas in my life where I am that arrogant person who needs to repent and not despise. Help me to be part of offering your comfort to the oppressed. Help me to be part of your solution in working with the disenfranchised and suffering. I have prayed a lot this morning for particular people. Hear my prayer, Oh, God!

I pray this through Jesus my Lord,


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Posted by on October 23, 2022 in 2 Timothy, Luke, Psalms, Sirach


“How Long, O Lord?” (Hymn)

From Glory & Praise hymnal, third edition

Dear God, there are times when this hymn is appropriate and there are times when it isn’t. For an oppressed people like those right now in Ukraine, it’s a perfect song. For an American church that likes to feel sorry for itself and feel like it is being persecuted, it’s the wrong song. For some, it is about desperation and devotion to you. For some, it needs to be about repenting and submitting to you.

Both of these Psalms, 13 and 22, are from David. I don’t know what he was experiencing at the moment he wrote them, but there were plenty of times when I’m sure he felt there were enemies all around him, including Saul trying to kill him. What he couldn’t see at the time was you guiding him on the path to being king. Not that all who suffer are on the path to being king, but, at the very least, the persecution can lead us to being on our knees and praying to you like this. It’s doubtful David would ever have prayed like this if he had never felt pain.

Holy Spirit, please be with me today. I am supposed to be giving an invocation for a city council meeting. Please give me wisdom in what to pray. Please join me in my prayer for the people in that room this morning and all of those they represent. Please speak into my ear and counsel me today. Guide me. Love through me. I have an important role to play this evening. Guide me in that as well. May everything you do be done to bring you glory and bring our community into communion and fellowship with the Father. Father, you know my other needs and concerns. You know those I love and how they are on my heart. My friends and coworkers as well. Holy Spirit, please heal. Heal bodies, souls, hearts, and minds. Heal relationships. Do it all for your glory and our best in your eyes.

I pray this through the right afforded to me through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, my Lord,


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Posted by on October 2, 2022 in Hymns and Songs, Psalms


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Psalm 94:17-19

Unless the LORD had helped me, I would soon have settled in the silence of the grave. I cried out, “I am slipping!” but your unfailing love, O LORD, supported me. When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.

Psalm 94:17-19

Dear God, when doubts fill my mind, your comfort gives me renewed hope and cheer. Thank you.

I suppose each of us haas a different threshold for what we perceive as suffering. For someone who has had not experienced very little suffering at the hands of others or through life circumstances, I think I still have a pretty high threshold. For example, I have a friend whose son is a movie director and he just made a documentary about a worship leader who flew in the face of the government during the first few months of Covid and insisted that the church could not be “persecuted” by being told we temporarily could not meet corporately for worship. The friend directly asked me to attend a special screening of the movie and I was trying to passively get out of it, but after he pressed on I had to be more frank and tell him that I don’t like the viewpoint that the government was persecuting the church in that moment. They were applying a standard across the board to everyone. It was awkward, but I just don’t see it that way.

That being said, there have certainly been times when I called on you because I felt I was falling. Employment struggles. Struggles in my marriage. Struggles with my children. Concerns for my community or for friends.

Father, Holy Spirit, thank you for being my God, my comforter, my counselor, my provider, and my hope beyond the seen world. Help me to continue to walk with you and worship you. Help me to bring your hope and comfort to others.

I pray this through the power of Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection,


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Posted by on August 23, 2022 in Psalms


Psalm 119:92

If your instructions hadn’t sustained me with joy, I would have died in my misery.
Psalm 119:92

Dear God, this was the verse before the “verse of the day” from Bible Gateway. It really spoke to me this morning. There have been times when I have been completely miserable. Some of them in the last year. Some the last 10 years. Outside of the miscarriage my wife experienced 27 years ago, my most miserable moments in life have come in the last 10 years. But you were there. I don’t know that I would say your “instructions” sustained me with joy through these times, but you certainly sustained me.

There were two years when I didn’t do these journals to you. I didn’t walk away from you during that time, but my misery put me in a different place. I remember praying to you that I wasn’t mad, but I just couldn’t get myself there. Looking back, it reminds me of the poem “Footprints in the Sand” when the author Carolyn Carty says (quoting you):

“My son, my precious child,
I love you and I would never leave you.
During your times of trial and suffering,
when you see only one set of footprints,
it was then that I carried you.”

Father, Holy Spirit, thank you for walking with me. Thank you for sustaining me. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for joy in the midst of misery. Thank you for using this misery for your good, for my good, and for the good of those I love even though most of the time I cannot see what you’re doing or how it is good. Thank you for being my comforter, my counselor, and my God. Thank you for giving me something bigger than myself. Thank you that I am not the center of the universe, but I am your grateful servant, ready to give everything to you.

I pray all of this through the Son, who lived, died and was resurrected for my redemption,


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Posted by on July 29, 2022 in Psalms


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Psalm 119:7

As I learn your righteous regulations, I will thank you by living as I should!
Psalm 119:7

Dear God, I started this prayer yesterday but didn’t get very far. I had a plan of when I would sit down and really spend some time with you, but then things happened. Some of it was spent in intercessory prayer for some friends, but some was just legitimate busyness. Then there was some time spent on my own private preferences instead of making this a priority. I’m sorry for that. But when I woke up this morning, I knew I wanted to live up to the sentiment of this verse and make you my priority: As I learn your righteous regulations, I will thank you by living as I should.

Holy Spirit, please walk with me today and be my connection with the Father. Help me to live as I should. Speak to me and give me ears to hear. Help me to show your compassion and offer you to others. When I talk to others, be what they need from you through me. And please grant me the aero mitt to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

In Jesus’s name I pray,


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Posted by on July 18, 2022 in Psalms


Psalm 19:1-2

For the choir director: A psalm of David.

The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known.

Psalm 19:1-2

Dear God, I’ve never liked multi-verse stuff in movies and story telling. Even in science with things like string theory. I’m just not interested. Maybe it’s because, especially with movies and story telling, the person telling me the story has no idea. There is one thing I find interesting when story tellers deal with different timelines or universes. There seems to be an assumption that the timeline they have known all of their lives is the optimal one. It’s almost an accidental acknowledgment that God (you) are directing us into the optimal timeline at all times. For example, in Back to the Future, even though the future does change, Marty and Doc are doing their best to ensure that nothing changes. I say all of this because when I read these verses from David this morning I thought about how comfortable he was with not needing to understand the sky, the stars, the clouds, etc. He just used it to lean into you a little more.

As I mentioned before, there are things like string theory that address what is beyond our physical world that we can see. What is beyond time? What is beyond the space we occupy? Honestly, I think, to some extent, that is where you reside. That’s where you move. That the timeless quality that explains so much. Personally, I think it helps explain déjà vu, but that’s beside the point.

Father, you are so much bigger than me. And although science has explained some of the things about which David marveled thousands of years ago, it makes it no less amazing. It makes you no less powerful. It makes you no less God. So I come to you this morning to marvel at even the wonder of my life. And then I think about the fragility of it all. I’ve been to a lot of funerals lately. I recently found out about a woman who potentially has a very significant case of cancer and she is still young with a grade-school child. I don’t want that boy to lose his mother. I don’t want that husband to lose his wife. I don’t want the world to lose this woman. So I pray for her. I ask that you mercifully heal her. I ask that you give her strength, wisdom, and hope. I don’t know if that hope is for a long life no earth or a hope of a joyous eternity with you. But speak to her soul and give her peace. Make this pain count in her life. Do it all for your glory.

In Jesus’s name I pray,


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Posted by on June 12, 2022 in Psalms


Psalm 90

A prayer of Moses, the man of God

Lord, through all the generations you have been our home! Before the mountains were born, before you gave birth to the earth and the world, from beginning to end, you are God. You turn people back to dust, saying, “Return to dust, you mortals!” For you, a thousand years are as a passing day, as brief as a few night hours. You sweep people away like dreams that disappear. They are like grass that springs up in the morning. In the morning it blooms and flourishes, but by evening it is dry and withered. We wither beneath your anger; we are overwhelmed by your fury. You spread out our sins before you— our secret sins—and you see them all. We live our lives beneath your wrath, ending our years with a groan. Seventy years are given to us! Some even live to eighty. But even the best years are filled with pain and trouble; soon they disappear, and we fly away. Who can comprehend the power of your anger? Your wrath is as awesome as the fear you deserve. Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom. O Lord, come back to us! How long will you delay? Take pity on your servants! Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love, so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives. Give us gladness in proportion to our former misery! Replace the evil years with good. Let us, your servants, see you work again; let our children see your glory. And may the Lord our God show us his approval and make our efforts successful. Yes, make our efforts successful!
Psalm 90

Dear God, we are not as strong as we think we are. Those are the words that come to mind as I read this prayer from Moses. We are so small. There is so much we do not understand. You must chuckle at the “smartest” among us. Almost like we cheer on a child who just learned how to phonetically read. That is what our greatest wisdom must look like to you.

It’s also kind of cool that this is from Moses. One of the things he asks is that you will teach us the brevity of life. And why? So we can grow in wisdom. I think the wisdom is to truly understand just how small we are. The earth is billions of our years old, but even before then, you were there. You exist in a realm beyond our time. You work in ways I cannot understand. I am small—so small. You are big—so big. I am foolish—so foolish. You are wise and all-knowing. That’s just the way it is, and that’s okay.

Father, help me to carry my humility and your greatness with me throughout this day. With the knowledge of my foolishness, ignorance, and smallness comes peace. If I can accept it then it will bring me peace to lean into you and away from myself. And help me to believe and live up to everything I just said.

In Jesus’s name I pray,


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Posted by on June 7, 2022 in Psalms


Psalm 139:23-24

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 Point out anything in me that offends you,
    and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

Psalm 139:23-24

Dear God, I love these verses, and I want to dig in to the word “anxious” at the end of 23, but before I get there, I have to say that, as great as this psalm is, there is part of it that I really don’t like. Namely, verses 19-22:

19 O God, if only you would destroy the wicked!
    Get out of my life, you murderers!
20 They blaspheme you;
    your enemies misuse your name.
21 O Lord, shouldn’t I hate those who hate you?
    Shouldn’t I despise those who oppose you?
22 Yes, I hate them with total hatred,
    for your enemies are my enemies.

What? Where did this come from? When I read these words I think about how each of us deserves what David wishes you would deliver to your enemies. We have all been wicked. We have all blasphemed. We have all made ourselves your enemies. If you start drawing a line between those who are blameless and those are are wicked, I think David might be surprised to find himself on the other side of your cut line.

But I digress. What I really want to talk about is the phrase “anxious thoughts.” I looked at some different translations to see if they used the word “anxious.” The NIV, NASB1995, and NLT used the word. The KJV and ESV just said “thoughts.” No knowing how the translating works, I am going to just keep the word “anxious” and think about that.

Test me and know my anxious thoughts.” All of the translations either use “Test” or “Try” at the beginning of the line. It reminds me of what I heard at an FCA conference when I was in high school. The speaker said (paraphrasing), “Just like when you squeeze a sponge and what inside comes out, when we are tested and pressed, what’s inside of us will come out too.” If we can take a moment in those times, either in real time or in retrospect, and prayerfully look at what came out, both in our actions and our “anxious thoughts,” maybe we can learn about something for which we need to repent and from which we need to grow and change.

Father, point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

In Jesus’s name I pray,


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Posted by on March 7, 2022 in Psalms