Stop and thank God for being present with you today. Ask for God’s guidance as you hear God’s voice through scripture and the writer.
Psalm 34 (NRSV)
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the LORD;
let the humble hear and be glad.
O magnify the LORD with me,
and let us exalt his name together.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me,
and delivered me from all my fears.
Look to him, and be radiant;
so your faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor soul cried, and was heard by the LORD,
and was saved from every trouble.
The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
O taste and see that the LORD is good;
happy are those who take refuge in him.
O fear the LORD, you his holy ones,
for those who fear him have no want.
The young lions suffer want and hunger,
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.
Come, O children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
Which of you desires life,
and covets many days to enjoy good?
Keep your tongue from evil,
and your lips from speaking deceit.
Depart from evil, and do good;
seek peace, and pursue it.
The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous,
and his ears are open to their cry.
The face of the LORD is against evildoers,
to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears,
and rescues them from all their troubles.
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted,
and saves the crushed in spirit.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
but the LORD rescues them from them all.
He keeps all their bones;
not one of them will be broken.
Evil brings death to the wicked,
and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
The LORD redeems the life of his servants;
none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.
I remember learning to pray by using the letters C-A-R-T. We made bracelets with pony beads and letters to remind us of this prayer. C is for Confession, A is for Adoration, R is for Request, and T is for Thanksgiving. See, I still remember it!
In Hebrew, Psalm 34:9-10 is an acrostic for the purpose of instructing those hearing it to trust in God and find all that’s needed to sustain life. Although we all have different experiences in life, as humans we all seem to go through times of suffering. Personally, I find comfort knowing God hears my lament in my tough times. Knowing that God is a refuge and a bringer of new life is comforting to me as I seek God’s plan for my next steps. Other days, bad news comes in waves, and I need a simple formula to remind me of these truths:
Confess the ways I’ve fallen short.
Adore God for the wonder and awesome majesty that God is.
Request, through intercessory prayer. that God meet the needs of those who are on my heart.
Thank God for all the blessings in my life and throughout creation.
God, please forgive me for the times I have not been the person of faith you’ve called me to be. You are wonderful and mighty, and I am confident in your promises. Please comfort my brothers and sisters around the world who are suffering losses. Be with them as they put their lives back together. Thank you for sending your creative Spirit to lead me in ways to which I can respond in love. Amen.
Go with God.