Readers’ Choice Month:
This September, The Park Forum is looking back on readers’ selections of our most meaningful and helpful devotionals from the past 12 months. Thank you for your readership. This month is all about hearing from you. Submit a Readers’ Choice post today.

Today’s post was originally published, on January 7th, 2022, based on Psalm 12.
It was selected by reader, cjs: 

“This devotional is how I feel almost daily. Where has truth gone in our world? I especially liked the prayer, which I have saved to use in the future. I shared this post with friends that are struggling with the same issue. All of them said they saved the prayer for their personal use in the future as they too, struggle to find truth in our broken world. Come quickly, Lord Jesus. Fill us with the living water that heals us from the inside out. Fill us, so we may serve You in truth and faith.”

Scripture Focus: Psalm 12
1 Help, Lord, for no one is faithful anymore; 
those who are loyal have vanished from the human race. 
2 Everyone lies to their neighbor; 
they flatter with their lips 
but harbor deception in their hearts. 
3 May the Lord silence all flattering lips 
and every boastful tongue— 
4 those who say, 
“By our tongues we will prevail; 
our own lips will defend us—who is lord over us?” 
5 “Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan, 
I will now arise,” says the Lord. 
“I will protect them from those who malign them.” 
6 And the words of the Lord are flawless, 
like silver purified in a crucible, 
like gold refined seven times. 
7 You, Lord, will keep the needy safe 
and will protect us forever from the wicked, 
8 who freely strut about 
when what is vile is honored by the human race. 

Reflection: Prayer When None are Faithful—Readers’ Choice
By John Tillman

In Psalm 12 we see a cry and a response. The psalmist cries out about lies, deception, and boastful leaders. God responds, saying, “I will now arise…” God’s response also gives us a clue about who the lies targeted and who suffered under the deceptive and false leaders: the poor.

God says the “poor are plundered” and the “needy groan.” He says they have been “maligned” but that he will keep them safe and protect them from the wicked.

When we look around at our society, we can easily relate to the psalmist’s cries from Psalm 12. The costs of lies are all around us. Violence. Confusion. Desperation. Loss of life. They fill our news programs, newsfeeds, and memories. Over this weekend, reflect on Psalm 12 and pray this prayer based on its themes.

Prayer When None Are Faithful
Help, Lord, for no one is faithful!
Kings promise help but only help themselves.
Leaders demand loyalty while planning betrayals
Braggarts call themselves “saviors” to boost their influence.

Boasting and flattering people rise up
They weaponize their words and destroy
They threaten and pretend to be joking
They cause death and deny responsibility

We are dismayed, Lord…
We are sheep among wicked shepherds…

Will only braggarts lead?
Will only the boastful hold sway?
Will deception take root and blossom?
Will disdain and derision take bows to applause?
Will people believe anything so long as it insults their enemy?
Will people deny any authority other than their own desires and their own words? 
Is there any loyalty left to the truth?
Is there anyone faithful?

Rise up, Lord, and protect the poor from the powerful
Sweep down, Lord, and shield those being crushed, defending truth
Speak up, Lord, and drown out boastful lies designed to deceive the elect
Step down, Lord, and make those that strut pridefully stumble into their own traps.

Come, Lord Jesus, the Way. Lead us away from wicked shepherds.
Come, Lord Jesus, the Truth. Cut down idolatrous liars with the sword of your mouth.
Come, Lord Jesus, the Life. Fill us with living water that heals us from the inside out.

Come quickly, Lord Jesus.

Divine Hours Prayer: The Request for Presence
Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; knit my heart to you that I may fear your Name. — Psalm 86.11

– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime by Phyllis Tickle.

Today’s Readings
Jeremiah 26(Listen -4:04)
1 Corinthians 3(Listen – 3:05)

Read more about The Floodlight of Epiphany
Today, we will pray that the light of Christ would dawn, exposing darkness.

Readers’ Choice is Here!
There’s still room for your favorite post from the last 12 months. Tell us about it and we will repost it in September.