Prayer When None Are Faithful — Guided Prayer

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 — Guided Prayer
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 Refrain for the Morning Lessons
I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me out of all my terror. — Psalm 34.4

– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime by Phyllis Tickle.

Today’s Readings
Job 7 (Listen – 2:23) 
Psalm 11-12 (Listen – 1:59)

This Weekend’s Readings
Job 8 (Listen – 2:09), Psalm 13-14 (Listen – 1:43)
Job 9 (Listen – 3:22), Psalm 15-16 (Listen – 2:03)

Join us! Walk through the Bible with us…
Join us. Hear from God through God’s Word this year…

Read more about The Floodlight of Epiphany
May lies and liars be exposed.
May truth shine, expelling every dark, deceitful shadow.
May the darkness of violence have no shelter in our hearts.

The Righteous Judge :: A Guided Prayer

Psalm 9.7-8
The Lord reigns forever;
   he has established his throne for judgment.
He rules the world in righteousness
   and judges the peoples with equity.

From John:
Some scholars believe that Psalm nine and ten were originally one Psalm. Today we combine them in a prayer to God, the only righteous judge and the only one who dispenses justice without failing. May he hear the cries of all victims. May he bring every wrong-doing to light. May those who seek to cover their secrets have their plans exposed by his light and truth.

Reflection: The Righteous Judge :: A Guided Prayer
By John Tillman

May our highest, most prized right, be to stand before you.

For you have upheld my right and my cause,
   sitting enthroned as the righteous judge.

May we learn from you, true judgement.
Make us a part of bringing your kingdom, your justice and righteousness on earth.
And this is your justice on earth—to be a refuge and stronghold for the weak and troubled.

He rules the world in righteousness
   and judges the peoples with equity.
The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed,
   a stronghold in times of trouble…
   he does not ignore the cries of the afflicted.

The Lord is known by his acts of justice;
   the wicked are ensnared by the work of their hands.
But God will never forget the needy;
   the hope of the afflicted will never perish.
Arise, Lord, do not let mortals triumph;
   let the nations be judged in your presence.

The world hates us, because it first hated you, Lord.
Trouble comes to us in different ways and in different levels of severity, in every corner of this world, God.

Why, Lord, do you stand far off?
   Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak,
   who are caught in the schemes he devises.
He says to himself, “Nothing will ever shake me.”
   He swears, “No one will ever do me harm.”
His mouth is full of lies and threats;
   trouble and evil are under his tongue.

In times of trouble, Lord, we look to you.
Do not abandon us to the schemes of the wicked.

But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted;
   you consider their grief and take it in hand.
The victims commit themselves to you;
   you are the helper of the fatherless.
Break the arm of the wicked man;
   call the evildoer to account for his wickedness
   that would not otherwise be found out.

You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted;
   you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,
defending the fatherless and the oppressed,
   so that mere earthly mortals
   will never again strike terror.

We commit ourselves to you, O Lord.
See our trouble. Hear our cry. Take our grief.
Give us courage to shake the world with your love.

Prayer: The Morning Psalm
For God alone my soul in silence waits; truly, my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold, so that I shall not be shaken. — Psalm 62.6-14

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

Today’s Readings
Leviticus 8 (Listen – 5:06) 
Psalm 9 (Listen – 2:21)

This Weekend’s Readings
Leviticus 9 (Listen – 3:18) Psalm 10 (Listen – 2:13)
Leviticus 10 (Listen – 3:25) Psalm 11-12 (Listen – 1:59)

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Read more about The Commission of Truth
We are acting according to our nature and our calling when we help facts come to light and when we stand up for truth and for truth-tellers.

Read more about Honoring The Truth
Seeking the truth is not only a spiritual quest. It is sometimes a civic one. Or a legal one. As followers of Christ, the Truth, we should ask, seek, and knock, not giving up until the truth is revealed.