Psalm 119.81
My soul faints with longing for your salvation,
    but I have put my hope in your word.

Reflection: The Stretching Arm of Salvation :: A Guided Prayer
By John Tillman

The gospel is not a lifehack. Salvation is not a touch-up job on a fender bender. Sanctification is not akin to the marginal improvements available by the effort of will and self-determination. Jesus is not a self-help guru.

Self-help righteousness has been tried. It failed. Despite the fact that Moses tells the people that it, “is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach,” the rest of Israel’s history proved otherwise. Israel lived by sight yet could not avoid idolatry and judgment. We live by faith and our failures, in many ways, are more spectacularly evil than theirs. 

We cannot reach salvation. Salvation reaches for us—and His arm is not too short.

We pray, today, along with a section of Psalm 119, a prayer for those in need of salvation. It is a prayer for those suffering oppression, injustice, and persecution. We pray on behalf of those suffering worldwide, but we remember with special focus those inside our own borders who are suffering now the sting of unjust treatment and the careless disregard of the powerful. May God move on their behalf and may he do it through us. 

For Salvation
My soul faints with longing for your salvation,
    but I have put my hope in your word.

Extend to us the stretching arm of salvation, promised in your holy word and fulfilled in The Word who became flesh for us.

My eyes fail, looking for your promise;
    I say, “When will you comfort me?”

We seek not the comforts of this world but those of the next, “on earth as it is in heaven.”

Though I am like a wineskin in the smoke,
    I do not forget your decrees.

May suffering burn up our pride and vanity and fill us with your Word.

How long must your servant wait?
    When will you punish my persecutors?
The arrogant dig pits to trap me,
    contrary to your law.

Your law is abused, Lord. 
Twisted to harm rather than protect.
Used to excuse abuse rather than to empower love and mercy.

All your commands are trustworthy;
    help me, for I am being persecuted without cause.
They almost wiped me from the earth,
    but I have not forsaken your precepts.
In your unfailing love preserve my life,
    that I may obey the statutes of your mouth.

We can obey your commands with joy, for they are good.
Your love will not fail us.

Prayer: The Call to Prayer
…Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.
He stilled the storm to a whisper and quieted the waves of the sea.
Then they were glad because of the calm, and he brought them to the harbor they were bound for. 
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his mercy and the wonders he does for his children. — Psalm 107.28-31

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

Today’s Readings
Deuteronomy 30 (Listen – 3:12)
Psalm 119:73-96 (Listen – 15:14) 

Thank You!
Thank you to our donors who support our readers by making it possible to continue The Park Forum devotionals. This year, The Park Forum audiences opened 200,000 free, and ad-free, devotional content. Follow this link to join our donors with a one-time or a monthly gift. 

Read more about Suffering and Sin
We feel less responsible for problems in the world when we can believe that only the lazy are poor.

Read more about Meaning In Suffering
God has come into the world himself and actually suffered with us. No other religion says that God is both a sovereign and a suffering God. — Tim Keller