God’s Word of Prayer
Psalm 141: Today’s reading is a psalm in the wisdom tradition with the writer asking God to keep him on the right path and to keep him from wanting to do wrong (verse 4). The writer also asks for God’s protection, praying that the traps that have been set for him will ensnare his enemies.
An Evening Prayer
1I call to you, Lord; help me now!
Listen to me when I call to you.
2 Receive my prayer as incense,
my uplifted hands as an evening sacrifice.
3Lord, place a guard at my mouth,
a sentry at the door of my lips.
4Keep me from wanting to do wrong
and from joining evil people in their wickedness.
May I never take part in their feasts.
5Good people may punish me and rebuke me in kindness,
but I will never accept honor from evil people,
because I am always praying against their evil deeds.
6When their rulers are thrown down from rocky cliffs,
the people will admit that my words were true.
7Like wood that is split and chopped into bits,
so their bones are scattered at the edge of the grave.
8But I keep trusting in you, my Sovereign Lord.
I seek your protection;
don’t let me die!
9Protect me from the traps they have set for me,
from the snares of those evildoers.
10May the wicked fall into their own traps
while I go by unharmed.
Today’s Key Verse: Psalm 141:2
Receive my prayer as incense, my uplifted hands as an evening sacrifice.
The psalm writer begins by asking for God’s help (verse 1). What does he ask of God (verses 3, 4)? Smoke and the aroma from burning incense represented the prayers that went up to God, and uplifted hands signified reaching out to God’s heavenly dwelling. What are your thoughts about this image? How are corporate prayers conducted within your community of faith?
Sovereign Lord, receive my prayers as incense, as I lift them up to you. Guard my words and my actions this day so that all I do is in accord with your will and gives glory and honor to you. Amen.
Daniel 9:1-19: Daniel prays for his people.