Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Praying the Psalms in Lent

Praying the Psalms in Lent
Psalm 46

                One of my favourite Psalms begins with “God is our
refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” How many situations have you found yourself being in trouble- physically, emotionally and spiritually? One might define trouble as what comes from within our own hearts and minds or it might be something that we are experiencing with other people. Our world is also facing many troubles- wars, famine, destruction, extreme climate changes and leadership around the world which seems to focus on itself and what may be gained. Troubles may include they times when we are grieving the death of a loved one or experiencing physical pain and hurt. Yet no matter what the trouble we might have, it is never too big that God won’t be with us as we face it. Because God is with us in those times of trouble, we have nothing to fear. Even if there is an earthquake which changes the landscape and mountains disappear. God will be with us. How comforting this is when grieving, or even feeling a little down due to winter seeming to drag on? How comforting this is to know that God is not going to leave us when troubles come our way. But this psalm does not end there.
                This Psalm tells us to have hope because the city of God where God is and it will not disappear. God is in charge. The river that is present near God’s dwelling place offers new hope as the streams of life will continue to flow as God helps each day. God is in control. It is up to us to draw closer to God; to see what God has done and the wonders he has brought upon the earth. It is also important to know that God stops wars and lead people to break down their weaponry. But we are to pray and ask God to do this order that change will come.  We are to ‘be still and know” God. God is here among us and he continues to be our refuge and strength. Do you know this God who will renew you?
When you are feeling down or are grieving Psalm 46 offers new hope and reassurance of where God is for those who believe. God knows our problems and our fears and there is nothing He does not know about us. We are to be still and know God. How do we do this? How are you still and knowing or are you fretting about wondering what to do?  During this Lenten season we are asked to reflect on what it means to be still and understand God. God is amongst us. Reach out through prayer and know that he is in control of this world and your life if you so let him. God’s plan includes us and he will not leave us he is forever our refuge and strength.
PRAYER:   Read Psalm 46 again and pray.

God of strength and refuge, help me today. Help me to realize anew that you are never away from me or that you would leave me, even though I have turned away from you in the past. You give me strength when I need it and when down. I know that I am safe seeking refuge in you. Reveal to me how I may be strengthened through your word and how I may in turn tell others of what you call me to do. Also, show me what to do so that others may come to know the depth of your love for us. Amen.