Advent Prayer: Psalm 38:9-22

This was the Psalm from today’s (Wednesday 12/12/12) Morning Office. This portion of Psalm 38 seemed particularly pertinent to Advent. Longing, waiting, anticipating for justice, peace, and salvation.

The Psalms are our collective prayer book covering the gamut of earthly longings, feelings, and experiences. They bring us out of modern Christianity’s monoculture of canned happiness. They bring us back to our senses when the anesthesia of rootless spirituality wears off. And they’ve been doing for this quite some time. When we pray the Psalms we join in the plethora of voices who have come before us, currently surround us, and will join with us someday.

If you will, take a moment and talk with God. Respond to his word to us.

Lord, my longings are sitting in plain sight,
my groans an old story to you.
My heart’s about to break;
I’m a burned-out case.
Cataracts blind me to God and good;
old friends avoid me like the plague.
My cousins never visit,
my neighbors stab me in the back.
My competitors blacken my name,
devoutly they pray for my ruin.
But I’m deaf and mute to it all,
ears shut, mouth shut.
I don’t hear a word they say,
don’t speak a word in response.
What I do, God, is wait for you,
wait for my Lord, my God—you will answer!
I wait and pray so they won’t laugh me off,
won’t smugly strut off when I stumble.

I’m on the edge of losing it—
the pain in my gut keeps burning.
I’m ready to tell my story of failure,
I’m no longer smug in my sin.
My enemies are alive and in action,
a lynch mob after my neck.
I give out good and get back evil
from God-haters who can’t stand a God-lover.

Don’t dump me, God;
my God, don’t stand me up.
Hurry and help me;
I want some wide-open space in my life!

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