Psalm 22

Even though I am a sinner, so far from perfect on even my best days;
even though I have consistently been ungrateful, abusive, and demeaning toward You with my attitudes and actions,
the only person You have ever turned Your back on and abandoned completely
— the only one who has ever had the right to cry, “My God, why have You forsaken me?” —  was Your son; Your own, only, perfect son.  Thank You.

Psalm 21

Your strength, O Strongman of the Skies, is my strength.
When You help me I shout, “Hallelujah!”

You gave me exactly what I needed, You didn’t hold back.  My arms are filled with good gifts from You.  You, giver of all things beautiful, are like an over-generous father on His child’s birthday.  Is it any wonder I love You so much, my heart brimming with thankfulness, joy, and love?

Those who don’t know and trust You cringe before You as the hole You should fill eats them alive.  All their ideas of how to fulfill themselves have come to nothing.  You can’t be replaced!

Show Your strength, God, so no one can miss it.
We’re out singing the good news!

Psalm 20

This is a battle and we are all warriors.
Well, warriors, traitors, or cowards.  Standing by and watching is not an option.  “Whoever is not for me is against me.”  I don’t want to serve the enemy!
Send reinforcements, Father!  I want to fight alongside someone who has more experience than I do!

We’re preparing for a victory that we know is already ours; we know our king is sovereign over all.

Psalm 19

The glory of God surrounds me.
From the tent of the sky filled with stars, to the majesty of Mt. Hood, to the stately trees in Pier Park.  From the beauty of my daughter’s face and spirit to the quick firing of my son’s mind.  From the the nutrients that cause their bodies to grow to the germ fighting cells of their immune systems, everything screams:

I WAS CREATED BY A MAGNIFICENT GOD!!  GIVE HIM GLORY!!

Psalm 18

“I love You God – You make me strong.”
God is my firm foundation, the walls that hold me up, and the roof that protects me.  His Spirit is as vital to me as air.

When I nestle down to spend some quiet time with You, Intimate Father, I can’t help but marvel at how safe I feel, how cared for.  I’m moved to tears because You love me immensely and You saved me in spite of my stubborn sin nature.

Thank You Father for Your patience with Your children!  You have so much power and we are nothing compared to You and yet so often we elevate ourselves above You.  We deign to claim we don’t need You!  It’s not true!  You could extinguish my life like a candle.  But You are gracious!  So very gracious!

Even my suffering is a gift from You.  I can think of no curse worse than going through life completely satisfied by the world and never realizing my need for a Savior.  My suffering has brought me to that place; heartache has always driven me closer to You.

And You are so gentle with me when I come to You broken! Your caresses and tender words bring life back to my dead heart.  Not life the way it was, but new life, richer life, deeper relationship with You.

I’m singing Your song all day and night because You have brought me through the storm and I am that much closer to You.  Come again soon, King of Heaven and Earth!  I can’t wait to look full in Your wonderful face!  I want to see the love in Your eyes.

Psalm 17

“I’m not trying to get my way in the World’s way.
I’m trying to get Your way, Your Word’s way.”

This is my prayer, Father in Heaven.
Lead me down the path You have prepared for me and keep me from being distracted by the roads that would entice me away from You.  I have confidence that You are guiding my steps, but I need more strength to carry on.  Fill me with Your Spirit – Your Spirit of power, of love, and of self-control.  Gird me with mental and emotional strength.  I need Your wisdom and discernment every day as I parent.  Be in and through me Father.  You are the fuel and the engine to my car.  You are the wind and the string to my kite.  Without You I am useless.

Psalm 16

I cannot say it better and I don’t want to say it differently.  This is my song today.

Psalm 16 from The Message

Keep me safe, O God,
I’ve run for dear life to you.
I say to God, “Be my Lord!”
Without you, nothing makes sense.

And these God-chosen lives all around—
what splendid friends they make!

Don’t just go shopping for a god.
Gods are not for sale.
I swear I’ll never treat god-names
like brand-names.

My choice is you, God, first and only.
And now I find I’m your choice!
You set me up with a house and yard.
And then you made me your heir!

The wise counsel God gives when I’m awake
is confirmed by my sleeping heart.
Day and night I’ll stick with God;
I’ve got a good thing going and I’m not letting go.

I’m happy from the inside out,
and from the outside in, I’m firmly formed.
You canceled my ticket to hell—
that’s not my destination!

Now you’ve got my feet on the life path,
all radiant from the shining of your face.
Ever since you took my hand,
I’m on the right way.

Psalm 15

Who really knows the depths of Your love?
Who knows the peace Your Spirit can bring?
How do I get refrigerator rights* in God’s House?

Pray in bad times and good.
Let go of my desire to control.
Enjoy God’s provision.

Thank God for His goodness.
Let His laughter fill my heart.
Dance with wild abandon, filled with His joy.

Fall back, resting in His arms.
Feel His peace fill my heart.
Resting in His intimacy, I am home.

 

*What it’s called when you feel comfortable enough in someone else’s house to root around in their refrigerator for a snack.

Psalm 14

Is it true?
Are we “useless, unshepherded sheep, taking turns pretending to be shepherd”?  Am I so easily swayed by my fellows?  Can our culture’s lack of Absolute Truth so easily change my convictions from “‘I believe’ to ‘One does think’*”?

Protect my heart from their lies, Truthful One.  Give me confidence in the never changing verity of Your Word.  Give me the courage to stand by Your Truth come what may.

* I read this phrase in the C.S. Lewis book Surprised by Joy.