Psalm 33

[I read the start of psalm 33 and wondered, why would I sing joyfully?
But by the end of the psalm, my heart WAS singing.]

I sing joyfully to God
Though I have only borrowed righteousness
I can do the loud shouts
Not so much the playing skillfully
And my song is not a new song
But the old, old song of that great cloud of witnesses
This, this is the God who calls me to Her
God of faithfulness
God of righteousness
God of justice
God of steadfast love
God is creator and savior
God is my hope and my strength
God’s word is strong and true
God’s promise is faithful and righteous and just
God’s love is unfailing; the earth is full of God’s unfailing love
God created the world: skies, seas, land, every living being
Rulers hold power for a time
God’s power is forever
Might can win some battles
God’s might conquers all
Sometimes we can do what we want; often we fail
God’s plans never fail
God’s purpose never waivers
And God’s plan, God’s purpose, is to love us, to save us
God watches over all of us, forms our hearts
Considers our strengths and weaknesses – with love
So we can always wait in hope for God
God who is our help and our shield
God whom we trust, God in whom we rejoice
God whose unfailing love is always with us
God who causes us to sing
A song of hope and love and praise and joy.
Amen.

Psalm 34

(one of my favorites)
This is how I want to live my life:
Praising God at all times, for the greater glory of God
When I am afflicted with doubts and despair
Let me remember and rejoice
Let me remember that God answers me when I call
God delivers me from all my fears
God makes me glow with happiness and security
God saves me out of all my troubles
God surrounds me with love and delivers me
Let me taste and see that God is good
Let me be among the blessed who take refuge in God
Let me remember that those who revere God are content
Natural strength and power fail, God’s never fails
Like a child, I need to learn this lesson again and again
(I write the psalms to teach myself this lesson)
Like everyone, I love life and want many good days
I want success and contentment and love
God instructs me, in love, in the right way
The way of truth, the way of goodness, the way of peace
Let me seek peace and pursue it always
God sees the goodness in me; God supports the goodness in me
God turns away my depression, doubts, despair
God delivers me from all my troubles
When I am brokenhearted, when my spirit feels crushed
Even then God is close, God saves me
God lends me Her own righteousness
God protects my life and my spirit, my soul and my heart
Evil and wickedness, doubt and despair will disappear
God will never disappear
My rescue is assured, my refuge is safe, forever
Amen.

Psalm 35

God, you know my enemies
I do not have to worry about war or life-threatening illness
I do not have to worry about people wanting to kill me
You know what kills my spirit, what threatens my faith and contentment
You know my terrible Ds: doubt, depression, despair, discouragement
You know how often my own thoughts and worries defeat me
How often I say, “This is too much”, “I can’t”, “I’m not good enough”
These are the enemies I need You to contend with for me
Come to my aid with all Your weapons of salvation and love
Turn away my downtrodden thoughts and feelings
Let them blow away on Your mighty wind
Don’t let them overtake me, trip me up, bury me
Let me rejoice in You, let me praise You to the skies
Let me find my confidence and peace in You
Rescue and enrich my poor soul
Rescue me from my own tendencies to rob my confidence
When those thoughts of being unworthy fill me
When I question the value of everything I have done
When I feel unloved, unnoticed, unworthy
When I begin to compare myself, always unfavorably, with others
Rescue me, save me, grant me Your peace that passes understanding
Lift me up so that all can see my great thanksgiving to You
Save me from my own turmoil, doubts and confusion
Do not be far from me, God
Save me through Your righteousness
Save me from my monsters that swallow my possibilities
My friends will join me in praising You, in shouting for joy and gladness
We will say, “God, who ensures our well-being, be exalted”
I will proclaim YOUR righteousness, sing YOUR praises all day long
Amen.

Psalm 26

I need You to claim me, God
As if I had led a blameless life
As if every day had been a best day
Because on a best day
I trust You without wavering
You can examine my thoughts and feelings
And find only love and Your truth
No lies, no hypocrisy, no envy
No sins, no doubts, no failings at all
Just Your innocence and my worship of You
My life resonates with Your praise
My words and actions reflect Your grace, Your salvation
I love Your place in my soul, that interior castle
Where Your glory dwells
So please, God, make this best the daily reality of my life
Don’t let my thoughts, feelings and actions turn dark
Don’t let me sink beneath storms of doubt
Don’t let me forget
Redeem me and be merciful to me
As if I had led a life without doubt, a life always centered on You
Quiet my storms, level my pits
So I can stand secure in Your peace
So I can praise You with my whole being. Amen.

Psalm 27

God is my light and my salvation – What  darkness need I fear?
God is my strength – What  weakness can destroy me?
When the dark and deadly arise in me to devour my peace
When my doubts and depression attack me, they will not, cannot succeed
Though darkness besieges me, God can lighten my heart
Though those warring nations arise inside me, even then I can trust God
One thing I ask of God; this is what I seek: That my spirit may ever find
Rest, peace and shelter in God all the days of my life
That my inner vision remain fixed on the strong beauty of God
That my thoughts ever seek God
Then in my times of trouble God will keep me safe and secure
God will shield me from despair; God will lift me high above depression
Then I will feel exalted, victorious over that creeping darkness
Then I can offer God my joy, my praise, my song, my soul
So, God, please: Hear my voice when I call; have mercy and answer me
My heart tells me to seek You; help me, God, to follow my heart
Don’t give up on me; don’t get angry with me; don’t reject or forsake me
O God, my Savior. Though I sometimes feel forsaken by family, friends
And even by You, God, You keep me close.
So please, teach me Your ways, lead me in Your path
Away from my darkness, away from my doubts and demons
Away from the violence I do to my own peace of mind
So that I can recognize Your goodness all around me
Then I will wait with confidence for You, God
Then I will be strong and take heart and wait – and wait –
Confidently for You, God.  Amen.

Psalm 28

To You I call, O God, my steady support
Do not turn a deaf ear to me
For if You remain silent I will be lost
Lost in the pit of my doubts and darkness
Hear my cry for help, for mercy
As I lift my heart to Your holiness
Do not let me be dragged down by wickedness
Do not let me be good only in how I look to others
While inside my heart turns to evil and malicious thoughts
You and You alone can destroy the darkness in me
Only Your light can banish that darkness
You can tear down the hardened walls around my heart
You can soften my heart as You did Pharaoh’s of old
And so I praise You, my God, knowing You have heard me
Truly You are my strength, the shield of my mind
My heart trusts You; my heart leaps for joy
The joy in my heart spills upward into song and praise
I am Yours. You are my strength and shield, my fortress of salvation
You save me, You save us all, You bless us, You shepherd us, You carry us
Forever. Alleluia and Amen!

Psalm 29 — once and again

In God I find strength, glory and holiness
In God is power and majesty
Uprooting my weakness and troubles
Breaking down my doubts and denial
When I feel close to God, my heart skips and sings
When I feel close to God, my spirit overflows with joy
When I feel close to God, there is no desert in my soul
There is no forest of confusion
There is no storm of uncertainty
Such relief, to believe in, to know, the power of God
My spirit cries “Glory to God”
God is my sovereign forever; God is my strength forever
God blesses me with peace. Amen.
________________________________________________________
and again:
Let me always acknowledge God’s glory and strength
Let me worship God, humbly before such holiness
Here is my hope and victory:
God rules the world
Oceans and forests, animals and weather, deserts and cities
All heed God’s voice, God’s powerful, majestic voice
As with the physical world, so with my internal world may it be
May God rule, may God be enthroned forever
So I can cry, “Glory! Glory and praise and thanksgiving”
God, give me strength; God, bless me with peace
Your peace that passes understanding. Amen.
(And thank you very much)