God’s Saving Word: Prayer
Psalm 143: You may have noticed that, throughout this month, several of the psalms selected for reflection focused on prayers for God’s help and/or protection. In today’s reading, the psalm writer pleads with God for protection from enemies, to be released from despair, and to be guided on a safe path. Yet, while expressing loss of hope, the writer also acknowledges God’s goodness and constant love.
A Prayer for Help[a]
143 Lord, hear my prayer!
In your righteousness listen to my plea;
answer me in your faithfulness!
2 Don’t put me, your servant, on trial;
no one is innocent in your sight.
3 My enemies have hunted me down
and completely defeated me.
They have put me in a dark prison,
and I am like those who died long ago.
4 So I am ready to give up;
I am in deep despair.
5 I remember the days gone by;
I think about all that you have done,
I bring to mind all your deeds.
6 I lift up my hands to you in prayer;
like dry ground my soul is thirsty for you.
7 Answer me now, Lord!
I have lost all hope.
Don’t hide yourself from me,
or I will be among those who go down to the world of the dead.
8 Remind me each morning of your constant love,
for I put my trust in you.
My prayers go up to you;
show me the way I should go.
9 I go to you for protection, Lord;
rescue me from my enemies.
10 You are my God;
teach me to do your will.
Be good to me, and guide me on a safe path.
11 Rescue me, Lord, as you have promised;
in your goodness save me from my troubles!
12 Because of your love for me, kill my enemies
and destroy all my oppressors,
for I am your servant.
Today’s Key Verse: Psalm 143:10
You are my God; teach me to do your will. Be good to me, and guide me on a safe path.
Based on your reading of this psalm, how would you describe the psalm writer’s plight?
While the writer says that he has “lost all hope” (verse 7), what verses speak of his trust in God?
What does he ask of God? What will you ask of God today? Overall, what did the reading of these selected psalms this month teach you about God?
Faithful, loving, and merciful God, in those times when I am burdened with troubles and in the depths of despair, you do not abandon me. When I have lost hope, you are there to comfort and sustain me. Thank you, Lord God, for allowing me to pour out my heart to you. Remind me each morning of your constant love. I lift up my hands to you in prayer, thanking you for your steadfast goodness and care. In your holy name, I pray. Amen.
Psalm 31: A prayer of trust in God.