Tuesday, February 7, 2017

It would be easy to ... but we chose the narrow upward way ( a prayer of thanksgivng and confession ( a lament really) based on Psalm 18)

I'm using the Bible in one year app for my daily devotions again this year. Systematically working my way through the bible with a reading from  Psalms (or Proverbs) the New Testament and Old Testament (other than the psalms) each day, with a reflection on each by Nicky and Pippa Gumble.

My plan is to use the Psalm I read on the day I write a prayer for Sunday as the inspiration for that prayer.

  This week we've been working our way through Psalm 18, a royal psalm where King David talks of God as his shield and rock, his strong tower, the reason that as king he has been able to subdue his enemies and extend his kingdom... while I found myself identifying with David's trust and hope in God and found his victory encouraging I couldn't help feel like I wasn't quite there... I was still in the fight, wrestling with the dark. But I still wanted to affirm with David 'the Lord lives! I still wanted to say in the face of the stuff that would try and bring me down 'Praise be to my Rock!' I still wanted to say Exalted be God my saviour!' these things are true in the battle as well as in 'victory won'.

I may not use it on Sunday I've got a few days to think about it... But I offer this lament and prayer of hope and faith.  The refrain in Bold comes from Psalm 18 v 46 I will invite the congregation to declare their faith in and praise of God by saying it.

feel free to use any or all of it, if you find it helpful...

It would be easy to focus on the night

To give in to the dark as it drapes over us;

Oppression like a blanket, sorrow like a shroud  

It would be easy to forget about the dawn

To lose hope in the once come and coming light

The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock!
    Exalted be God my Saviour!

It would be easy to get lost in the fight

To give in to the struggles that assail our heart

All those things that have declared war on our faith and love

It would be easy to submit to this sense of powerlessness

To forget the presence of the one who is our shield and might.

The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock!
    Exalted be God my Saviour!

It would be easy to be bound up in sin

To give in to the weight of brokenness and shame

All the things that we have done, that we know we ought not

All those good things we ought, that we have left undone

To forget the one who by his blood gave freedom and invited us in

The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock!
    Exalted be God my Saviour!

But we will not give in; we take the narrow upward way

We will give praise to God for God’s great grace in Jesus Christ

We confess our sin and know God’s forgiveness flow

Filled afresh with Spirit’s help, we set our face to keep his ways
we pursue justice and peace and proclaim his name today

The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock!
    Exalted be God my Saviour!

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