Praise the Lord, my soul.
Lord my God, you are very great;
you are clothed with splendor and majesty.
Reflection: Recentering on Christ
By John Tillman
The psalms are more than instructions and more than inspiration. They are not dry diaries or droning histories, but the living, breathing faith of those interacting with the Holy Spirit.
Their artistry allows us to enter the prayer room and experience both sides of a holy conversation between human artists and the creator of all. Their art is most practical for those who are seeking God in a world connected by technology. Work, news, and ephemera, now know no boundaries and pop into our hand-held devices unbidden.
Jonathan Edwards, when in difficulty at work, made use of the scripture, of intercession, and of community to recenter himself on Christ. He describes the experience in the following journal entry:
“In the morning my desires seemed to rise, and ascend up freely to God. Was busy most of the day in translating prayers into the language of the Delaware Indians; met with great difficulty… But though I was much discouraged with the extreme difficulty of that work, God supported me; and especially in the evening gave me sweet refreshment.
In prayer my soul was enlarged, and my faith drawn into sensible exercise; was enabled to cry to God for [them]; and though the work of their conversion appeared impossible with man, yet with God I saw all things were possible.
My faith was much strengthened, by observing the wonderful assistance God afforded his servants Nehemiah and Ezra, in reforming his people, and re-establishing his ancient church.
I was much assisted in prayer for dear Christian friends, and for others that I apprehended to be Christ-less… [I] was enabled to be instant in prayer for them; and hoped that God would bow the heavens and come down for their salvation. It seemed to me there could be no impediment sufficient to obstruct that glorious work, seeing the living God, as I strongly hoped, was engaged for it.
I continued in a solemn frame, lifting up my heart to God for assistance and grace, that I might be more mortified to this present world, that my whole soul might be taken up continually in concern for the advancement of Christ’s kingdom: longed that God would purge me more, that I might be as a chosen vessel to bear his name among the heathens. Continued in this frame until I dropped asleep.”
Prayer: The Greeting
My lips will sing with joy when I play to you, and so will my soul, which you have redeemed. — Psalm 71.23
– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime by Phyllis Tickle.
Deuteronomy 17 (Listen – 3:24)
Psalm 104 (Listen – 3:37)
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