Psalm 11

In God I take refuge
Except, of course, for the parts of me that say
“There is no God, you’re on your own
Look how long you have struggled to ‘be good’
Have you ever managed?
Don’t the same ungenerous thoughts keep coming back and back?
Don’t you struggle still and always with envy and discouragement?”
Time and again the thoughts that I hate take aim to kill my peace of mind
Time and again my security is shaken to the foundations
Time and again I wonder what I can do to restore my tranquility
That’s when I have to remember:
God is on the heavenly throne
In the throne room of my interior castle
God can help me
God knows when I am in trouble of my own making
God loves me, God loves me, God loves me
My own failings can’t defeat me
Because God defeats them with righteousness and love for me
For God is righteous and God loves justice
And God loves me – and so we can meet face to face
Though God is almighty
And I am just me.
So I can take refuge in God.  Amen.

Psalm 12

Help me, God, I am too often unfaithful
Filled with doubt
Lying to myself
Flattering myself
Deceiving myself
Banish my lies
Silence my boasting
Help me to remember
That it is not by my worthiness that I am saved
But by Your grace
I trust You to arise in my mind and heart
I trust You to protect me from my own doubts
In You I find silver truth
In You I find golden strength
In You I find sweet safety
The answer to my neediness
The protection of my righteousness
So that I will not ever honor what is vile and useless
But will rest secure in Your protection forever. Amen.

Psalm 13

I come to You, God, having failed yet again
Failed in loving
Will this be my whole life?
Can I never love in imitation of Your love?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
And every day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will anger and hurt triumph over me?
Look on me and help, O God
Be Ruler of my life
Lighten my heart or this deathly heaviness will persist
I will be lost in my own dark thoughts
Spiraling ever down into resentment and judgment, impatience and anger
BUT, writes the psalmist – the but that I want so much to live
I trust in Your unfailing love
(So very different than my temperamental likes and pouts)
My heart rejoices in Your salvation
(So save me already from failing to live Your love)
Save me so that, with the psalmist I can say, shout, sing, live
So others can see that
I sing to God, of God, with God, by God
For God has been good to me.  Amen.

Psalm 14

When I am foolish, my heart tells me
“There is no God”
All I see is corruption, vileness
My world becomes a dreary and wicked place
I imagine God looking down on us
Wanting us to seek Her
I imagine God turning away in disgust
I imagine no God, I imagine nothingness
I turn away, feeling that I am as corrupt, as vile,
As lacking in goodness
As everyone and everything else
I forget, time and again
I fail to learn, I fail to remember
I stop calling on God
I let myself be overwhelmed by dread
But my forgetfulness, my fears
Cannot change the reality of God
God remains present, with all that is good and righteous
God remains the refuge of my impoverished understanding
My salvation comes from the usual place
From God—God who alone restores me. Amen.

Psalm 15

20140708_10God, when am I within your holy shelter
Lifted high by Your grace and righteousness?
When my walk is blameless
When I do what is right
When I speak the truth from my heart
When my tongue utters no slander
When I do no wrong to a neighbor
When I cast no slurs on others
When I don’t give in to my worst tendencies
But live a life that pleases You
When I keep a promise even when it hurts
When I don’t let go of my beliefs
When I give to the poor
When I support the innocent
And I believe I can live like this
With Your grace. Amen.

A New Serenity Prayer | The Jesuit Post

It’s not a psalm and I didn’t write it, but I love this new version of the Serenity Prayer — and it is very much in the spirit of my rewrites of psalms.

God, grant me the serenity
to accept the people I cannot change,
which is pretty much everyone,
since I’m clearly not you, God.
At least not the last time I checked.

And while you’re at it, God,
please give me the courage
to change what I need to change about myself,
which is frankly a lot, since, once again,
I’m not you, which means I’m not perfect.
It’s better for me to focus on changing myself
than to worry about changing other people,
who, as you’ll no doubt remember me saying,
I can’t change anyway.

Finally, give me the wisdom to just shut up
whenever I think that I’m clearly smarter
than everyone else in the room,
that no one knows what they’re talking about except me,
or that I alone have all the answers.

Basically, God,
grant me the wisdom
to remember that I’m
not you.


via A New Serenity Prayer | The Jesuit Post.

Psalm 6

O God, when I forget You, here is what happens to me
I feel deserted, disciplined
I can’t see any light; my world grows dim and gray
Not just my spirit but even my body
Starts to fall apart
My thoughts come back again and again
To feeling sorry for myself
I know this but can’t save myself
I need you, God, to deliver me
Because Your love and light never fails, never dims
But I can’t remember You when I am caught
In the dark grave of depression and despair
I can’t see You; I can’t lift myself out
I just lie there, moaning and groaning
Wearing myself out with depressing thoughts
Now, while I can, I call out to You
Please, please, God, protect me from these very real enemies
See my weakness, hear my cry for help, accept my prayer
Let my darkness vanish in Your light. Amen.

Psalm 7

God, my God, I take refuge in you
Asking You, begging You to save me from the darkness that pursues me
Please don’t let it destroy my peace
Don’t let me tear my own life apart
Don’t let me feel sorry for myself as if there is no one who can help me
God, my God, when I forget You, when my thoughts go only downward
Then I have no peace of mind; I rob myself of happiness
I let all the dark and negative overtake me
I live in shadow; I sleep in dust. Please & Praise
God, my God, arise in my mind and lift me up
Up and up lift my thoughts
Away from my own darkness and doubt
Away from depression and despair
Awake in my mind, in my life, my God
Awake and bring truth and goodness
Gather my thoughts and feelings around You
Rule over them from on high
Judge them
Pick and choose those that are worthy
Those that will help me live life well
Those that are true and good, like You Yourself
O my good and true God
My Creator who knows my mind and heart
You can bring an end to the violence I do myself
You can make my goodness strong
You can be ruler of my mind and heart
You can keep me hopeful, loving, faithful
I need to remember that
I need to remember that I can depend on God
God is powerful
God is never negative, never defeated by darkness
God’s bright weapons are aflame
They burn through my darkness
When I am filled with doubt, despair, gloom and doom,
When I fall into the hole I have dug for myself,
When the violence I do to myself begins to tear me down
Then I need to turn my thoughts and feelings to God
To brightness and power, to hope and love
Up, up and up, to light, to thankfulness
To my powerful God
I need to sing praises to God Most High. Amen.

Psalm 8

O God, my God
Let Your name be majestic in all my life
May Your glory always shine brightly above all else in my lifeNov15_25
When I was young
I learned to sing Your praise
I learned You were stronger than any worries or wrongness
Now, I look to this universe that is Your work
The moon, the stars and everything around us

To remind myself of Your power and sovereignty
You are responsible for everything and everyone
Yet You pay attention to me individually
You love me
You want me to live well
With glory and honor
You give me the ability to rule my life
To control the beasties and burdens
That threaten me
O God, my God
How majestic is Your name in all my life. Amen.

Psalm 1

Blessed can I be
If I avoid walking in anger
Standing around feeling sorry for myself
Sitting smugly judging others
Instead let me focus on the good
Turn my mind always to God’s positive
Then my life will take shape like a fruitful tree
Watered by fresh flowing streams
(“A tree that talks to God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray”)
I will not wither and shrivel into the negative
I will feel prosperous, nourished and nourishing
The alternative is not at all attractive
My life becomes like dead leaves
Blown every which way by discouraging thoughts
My tree will be bowed down, broken and uprooted
I will be unable to enjoy goodness and good people
The good choice supports light and life
The other choice brings darkness and a living death.  Amen