Scripture Focus: Psalm 89.46-49
46 How long, LORD? Will you hide yourself forever?
How long will your wrath burn like fire?
47 Remember how fleeting is my life.
For what futility you have created all humanity!
48 Who can live and not see death,
or who can escape the power of the grave?
49 Lord, where is your former great love,
which in your faithfulness you swore to David?
From John: As we continue in many kinds of crises, we repeat this prayer from 2020. In every kind of crisis, we can rely upon God for mercy and justice.
Reflection: A Prayer for Times of Crisis—Guided Prayer
By John Tillman
Perhaps Psalm 89 was written by the same “Ethan the Ezrahite” who was a contemporary of David. Or perhaps it was written later by a contemporary of Ezekiel and other exiles. Regardless of when it was written, it shows us a helpful, repeatable pattern of prayer for those in suffering, doubt, frustration, or crisis.
The psalm contains three distinct movements of thought. In the first section, the psalmist praises the power of God over the cosmos. From the highest court of the heavens, he rules over things seen and unseen.
In the second movement, the writer describes God’s vision and purpose for humanity. The Lord promises an intimate, fatherly, guiding relationship. David stands in as a symbol for both the nation of Israel and for the role of Jesus who will be the “Son of David” to whom those longing for deliverance will call. (Mark 10.46-52)
In the third, the writer laments the sin of his people and that God seems to be abandoning them to suffering and allowing his purposes for them to fail. Despite this lament, or perhaps because of it, the writer ends with a challenging view of hope. The psalmist trusts that God will save, that wrongs will be forgiven, and justice will be done.
A Prayer for Times of Crisis — Guided Prayer
Praise God for who he is and acknowledge him as the king and creator of all. He is more than just the source of all life but the source of all joy, love, and justice.
Review for yourself the assurances we have in his promises to us. That we will be made like him. That we will suffer, but with him and in his power. That we will be forgiven. That we will be his images, his sons and daughters, representing him.
Express to him your doubts and fears. Tell him what you don’t believe and ask him to help you believe. (Mark 9.23-24) Tell him how you feel without fear of rejection. Tell him what you fear without being shamed.
Praise him that he is the Lord, forever. Eternal life is not just in the future. It is now. Abundant life is not just pie in the sky. He is with us now. Praise him that he is with us forever.
Divine Hours Prayer: The Request for Presence
Let your loving-kindness be my comfort, as you have promised to you servant.
Let your compassion come to me, that I may live, for your law is my delight. — Psalm 119.76-77
– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime by Phyllis Tickle.
Read more about Peace in Crisis
Today, we focus on the comfort and peace that we have from God in disturbing and difficult times.
Read more about The Hope of Lament
Biblical lament is not expressing a gripe or complaint. Complaining arises from a mindset of scarcity…lament is anchored in the confidence of God’s abundant goodness.