One of my favorite psalms is 143. Do you know it?
“Hear my prayer, O Lord; give ear to my pleas for mercy!” When you “plea” for something, it’s more than a ritual prayer. It comes from a troubled heart that needs actual help, not just pity. “Mercy” means real help.
“In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness!” “Faithfulness” means God keeps His promises to you. “Righteousness” is His justice through Jesus who makes us right with God. So we plea on the basis of what God has revealed about His mysterious being. God, You are faithful and righteous.
Not that we deserve it. “Enter not into judgment with your servant, for no one living is righteous before you.” How ashamed you and I would be if other people knew the thoughts and feelings buried deep within us. Our Creator knows. He is Judge. Who are we to strut our religious stuff?
“The enemy has pursued my soul… My spirit faints within me; my heart within me is appalled.” Oh, how I want Sunday sermons that penetrate my weekday heart the way the psalms do!
“I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of your hands. I stretch out my hands to you.” Have you experienced the calm that comes when you ponder the psalms? That’s because they lead us to rest in our Father and Savior.
“Answer me quickly, O Lord! My spirit fails! Hide not your face from me… Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust.” Can you identify with my feelings?