I like the tradition of prayer the Prayer Book gives to me. The rhyme of prayer – morning and evening – is central to the Anglican expression of the “catholic faith”. I have always appreciated that the psalms are part of this daily cycle of prayer. The psalms, more than any other part of Scripture, embody how the individual feels before God. Maybe because the psalms, unlike the rest of the Bible, do not have a particular context. Yes, they were used in the temple but often my life sets the context for the psalm, sets the context for my prayer using the psalms.
So this morning Psalm 143 was one of the psalms. I was struck by these verses, especially in the light of my previous post:
For the enemy has pursued me,Psalm 143:3-6
crushing my life to the ground,
making me sit in darkness like those long dead.
Therefore my spirit faints within me;
my heart within me is appalled.
I remember the days of old,
I think about all your deeds,
I meditate on the works of your hands.
I stretch out my hands to you;
my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.
I identify with the darkness about which the psalmist speaks. I know that feeling of my heart dropping. And my spirit faints within me – I am overwhelmed and have no more energy to go on.
This psalm is my prayer today. Like the psalmist I am sitting in darkness crushed to the ground. And, like the psalmist, I look for the Lord to come to me and refresh me like the rain does to a parched land. I remember the mighty acts of God in Jesus and how He is my Helper now.