Slow your breathing and become aware of the taking in and letting out of your breath. Focus on putting things aside so you will be open to what God is saying to you today.
Psalm 26 (NRSV)
Vindicate me, O LORD,
for I have walked in my integrity,
and I have trusted in the LORD without wavering.
Prove me, O LORD, and try me;
test my heart and mind.
For your steadfast love is before my eyes,
and I walk in faithfulness to you.
I do not sit with the worthless,
nor do I consort with hypocrites;
I hate the company of evildoers,
and will not sit with the wicked.
I wash my hands in innocence,
and go around your altar, O LORD,
singing aloud a song of thanksgiving,
and telling all your wondrous deeds.
O LORD, I love the house in which you dwell,
and the place where your glory abides.
Do not sweep me away with sinners,
nor my life with the bloodthirsty,
those in whose hands are evil devices,
and whose right hands are full of bribes.
But as for me, I walk in my integrity;
redeem me, and be gracious to me.
My foot stands on level ground;
in the great congregation I will bless the LORD.
It seems to me that, in this psalm, David (if, indeed he was the author) is saying something like: “Just in case you missed it, God, I am a pretty great guy: I am faithful, I am innocent….Oh, and please remember that I am always singing to you and dancing for you and praising you. I love you, and I bless you, Lord! Just a reminder… in case you forgot…just in case….”
Maybe David was feeling a little guilty? Maybe he needed to boost his own morale, as well as remind God that, after all, he, David, had been chosen to be king. Of course, we cannot determine his motives or put words in him mouth, but some sources say that this psalm is the prayer of a forgiven sinner—a description that is a perfect fit for him.
Do our prayers sometimes sound like the words of this psalm? Do we feel the need to remind God of what good Christians we are? Do you think that we, instead of telling God how great we are, ought to remember to offer prayers of thanksgiving to God for the grace and blessings we receive every day? For without that grace and those blessings, we would be able to do nothing.
God of grace, remind us daily that all good things truly do come from you. We, by ourselves, are unworthy of even the smallest portion of the abundant life that we enjoy as Christians. All that we have is yours because of your love and the sacrifice of our Savior, Jesus. Amen
Go with God!