For our Friday Psalm, we are skipping ahead to Psalm 55. Go ahead and read it.
The first fifteen verses of this Psalm reveal a man in anguish and despair. Apparently a close friend of David’s has betrayed him, which hurts more than any attacks from his enemies. Following this he writes:
16 As for me, I call to God,
and the Lord saves me.
17 Evening, morning and noon
I cry out in distress,
and he hears my voice.
18 He rescues me unharmed
from the battle waged against me,
even though many oppose me.
19 God, who is enthroned from of old,
who does not change—
he will hear them and humble them,
because they have no fear of God.
Last evening at CSF, I shared how I have benefited from putting times to pray throughout the day into my schedule. There is a long tradition among God’s people, throughout the history of the church and the whole way back to David in the Psalms, of pausing from our work to pray. The ancients knew, as we need to learn, that life throws a lot at us. If we want to be the sort of people God created us to be, people who more and more reflect Jesus, we need to step away and pray.
Becoming Christ-like requires the choice to put ourselves in a place where the Spirit can shape us. David knew this. Jesus knew this (read Mark 1:35, he began his day in prayer). The Christians in Acts knew this (Acts 2:15; 3:1; 10:9 and 16:25). Christians throughout history, from monks living in community away from the world to regular people living in the world, knew this.
What if we made a conscious choice to step away from the hustle and bustle of our day and spend a few moments in prayer. This was my challenge to the students last night:
Challenge: Choose to Add a Daily Time of Prayer to your life this week. If you do a daily quiet time, add a second time of prayer. If you do not pray, set aside a time each day
I also shared how I have had trouble praying in my life. My mind easily wanders. Over the years I’ve found reading prayers and using other tools to be helpful. Again, the Holy Spirit knows we are often distracted and I believe these tools have been provided as proven ways to help us learn to pray.
Utilize Tools to Help You Pray
- Recite The Lord’s Prayer
- Recite The Gloria – “Glory be to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit as it was in the beginning, is now and forever will be”
- Recite The Jesus prayer – “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
- Download a prayer app – Echo Prayer; Book of Common Prayer; Prayer Prompter; My Daily Office
- Read a Psalm (or other scripture). Make it a small chunk and chew on each word.
- Write in a journal
- You can just talk to God too. I have trouble with this, but it is still important to offer requests and simply talk to God.
Choose to pray this week.
**I recently began sending the students in CSF a brief reflection on a Psalm each Friday. My hope is that it will provide them with some motivation to read scripture. I have enjoyed meditating on the Psalms, and I look forward to taking the next few years to get through them all! I decided it might be worthwhile to post the weekly devos here, so if you happen to read this, I pray it is helpful. Enjoy.