Psalm 116

I love God because She has heard my cries and pleas
Lady Wisdom never fails
I promise myself: I will turn to God as long as I live
Again and again, my deadly tendencies entrap me
Aain and again, my ugly enemies lay hold of me
I become distressed and discouraged, doubting and depressed
Again and again I have to call on God
“O God, I pray, save my life, my sanity, my faith!”
God is gracious
Gracious and righteous and merciful
God protects the simple – and I am simple
God saves those who are brought low – and I am brought low
Return, O my soul, to rest in faith
For God will continue to help me
Continue to save me
Continue to deal bountifully with me
You, God, and only You have delivered me from living death
Time and time again
From killing doubt, from deadly rage, from drowning depression
I cry but I also laugh
I stumble but I also skip
I doubt but I also believe
Help Thou my unbelief
Sometimes, when the darkness is on me
I think it is all a lie
I think You are a figment of imagination, of unfounded hope
But You never abandon me to those times
You rescue me, You restore me, You save me
Help me, God, to continue to honor You, praise You
Help me to remember Your reality, Your love, Your mercy
Help me to worship You
Precious in the sight of God
Is even the struggles, the trials of Her faithful ones
God, I am Your servant, the child of my mother
My mother, whose life has been spent in obedience to Your church
You loose my spirit’s bonds
I praise and worship You
I offer You my life, which is already Yours
In Your great cloud of witnesses, I bow to You, I praise You. Amen

Psalm 118

O give thanks to God, for She is good
Her steadfast love endures forever
When I am happy and content, let me say
Her steadfast love endures forever
When I struggle and doubt, let me say
Her steadfast love endures forever
When I am hurt and angry, let me say
Her steadfast love endures forever
In all circumstances, let me say
Her steadfast love endures forever
And let me rejoice
Distressed, I called to God
And She answered me – time and again
With God I do not need to fear
My own darkness, my own badness
God is on my side to help me
And so I shall triumph over my hates
I take refuge in God
God who is a safer shelter than all my own thoughts
Than all my own attempts
Than all my own philosophies and psychologies
My troubles, my failures surrounded me, overwhelmed me
Threatened to utterly defeat me
But God helped me, God saved me
God is my strength and my might, my salvation
And so I am quietly glad
Perhaps there will be other times of noisy gladness
Of shouting those glad songs of victory
But today, this morning, the quiet gladness is enough
To know that God is with me
Even when I fail to be what I want to be
To know that God is exalted
Even when I doubt that God even exists
I shall not die, I shall live
I shall live in God
I shall try to remember God’s grace to me
I shall try to remember that God has saved me
I still struggle, I still feel abandoned at times
But God did not give me over to death – not ever
Let me enter into God’s righteousness
(Having none of my own)
And give thanks
Thank You, God, that You have answered me
And have become my salvation
“The stone that the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone.”
The cornerstone of my life
This is God’s doing and it is marvelous
This is the day that God has made
Let me rejoice and be glad in it
Again and again I have to come back to pleading
Save me, please, God, save me
Give me success in my struggles with myself
Blessed am I when God is with me
Blessed am I when I see by God’s light
Blessed am I when I worship God
You are my God and I will give thanks to You
You are my God and I praise You
O my soul, give thanks to God
For She is good
Her steadfast love endures forever. Amen

Psalm 119

All happiness comes through knowing You, my God
Seeking you with my whole heart, walking with You
Oh, that I could be as steadfast to You as You are to me
Then joy and peace would come more readily
Then I should not sink in shame
Then I could praise You with an upright heart
Ah yes, then and then and mythical, magical then
It is not to be, but do not forsake me, O my God

By guarding my heart according to Your Word
By seeking You with my whole heart
By treasuring Your Word in my heart
I find freedom and peace, love and wisdom
Blessed are you, O God
Teach me where delight is truly found
Teach me to meditate on Your truth
Teach me to remember You

Can You please be generous with me so that I may live
Can you please open my eyes to Your wonders
Do not hide from me
I long to know You better
When I wander from You, I am unhappy
I start to feel only contempt and scorn
For myself and for others
Your enduring love is my delight and my best guide

Dust, my efforts are but dust unless You enrich them
When I pray, You listen (though I do not hear an answer)
Help me to believe, to understand, to remember You
I melt into sorrow unless You lighten my heart
I lose my way, unless You guide me
I choose to believe, I choose the God of the Bible
O God, let that be a good choice
Guide me, Lady Wisdom, enlarge my understanding

Eventually my life here must end; let me be full of faith throughout
Lady Wisdom, give me right understanding of Your Word and Your will
Let me delight in following You
Turn me from selfishness to generosity
Turn my eyes from vanities to life in You
Let me live within Your promise
Turn me from the disgrace, the terrible Ds that I dread
Look at me, I want to do good, I want to live within Your righteousness

Faithful to Your promise, save me, O God
Let me replace discouragement with trust in You
Let me speak truth, let me know hope
Let me live always within Your grace
Let my mind be freed from doubt and worry
Let me rejoice in my faith
Let me love Your righteousness, Your salvation
Let me love and honor You, let me meditate upon Your righteousness

Give me hope and peace in Your Word
“This is my comfort in my distress, that Your promise gives me life.”
Keep me from arrogance
Let me turn to You, again and again, for comfort
I don’t like myself when I forget You
I sing with joy and find my true home with You
Through my dark night, still I pray to You, O God
Let Your blessings fill my mind, my heart, my life

Help me, I implore You with all my heart
Remember Your promise to me that I may keep my promise to You
That I may always meditate on Your ways
That I may live as You would have me live
Even as I struggle within my own traps
Even in my own dark midnight, let me praise You
I want to be among Your great cloud of witnesses
Teach me to see Your steadfast love everywhere and always

I know You have been generous to me
Lady Wisdom, please bring me good judgment and knowledge
Help me when I wander; bring me back to You
You are good; You are God; You do good; teach me
Do not let my arrogance betray me
Do not let me become careless and complacent
Keep me humble, keep me coming back to You
Because You are better than any wealth or achievement

Just as You made me in Your image, give me Your grace
Let me hope always in Your Word and rejoice
Even when humbled, I am within Your righteousness
But please let me feel the comfort of Your steadfast love
Please show mercy to me or I will give up
Do not let my own arrogance subvert me from You
Let me be among those who turn to You always
Do not let me forget Your righteousness and goodness

Keep my hope in You, in my salvation, alive
You know how often I doubt and worry
I try to fill my life with You, but too often I fill it with meaningless vapors
How long will I have to fight those terrible Ds
I know it is my own arrogance that gets me in trouble
Your goodness endures, mine comes and goes, help me, please
I keep coming back to You although I wander often and get lost
Please, help me, save me, because of Your steadfast love

Lasting forever, Your Word is firmly fixed everywhere
Your faithfulness to me endures, and is my firm ground
I, with all of creation, am Yours
Without You, I would have sunk in my own misery long ago
You give me life and hope
You save me and make me Your own
On my own, my terrible Ds would destroy me
My best efforts accomplish little; in You alone is perfect help

Mediating on Your reality brings me joy and peace
In You I find truth and grace to overcome my failings
Knowing You is worth more than all my degrees
Years of life add nothing to wisdom and love without You
With You, with Your grace, I can avoid stumbling into evil
I want, I try to live within Your truth
Because within Your words, I find sweetness and strength
Within Your truth, I find comfort and understanding

Now Your Word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path
Again and again I come back to You, to Your light
Again and again I fail: help me, please God
Hear my plea, fill my emptiness with Your grace
I try every day to live as You would have me live
Despite my failings, I do try
In You I find eternal truth and joy
I want to know and live Your truth forever

Oh, God, I hate my double-mindedness
With You and only You, with Your Word is safety
I pray for protection from my worst tendencies
Keep me close, that I may feel life and hope
Hold me close, that I may be safe and love You always
I wander away, into pride and reliance on myself
I trust knowledge rather than You, Lady Wisdom
And so I start to fear You rather than love You

Please do not abandon me to my oppression by depression
Do not let my doubts and disbelief oppress me
But I get so tired of trying to feel saved, trying to believe Your promise
Forget my doubts and be generous in Your steadfast love for me
Grant me Your peace, understanding of Your righteous hope for me
You have to save me, God; you know on my own I fail again and again
Even though I try, even though I love being Your own
Even though I want to live always within Your Word and Your love

Quiet my doubts, O God, with Your wonderful truth
Lighten my darkness with Your Word and Your understanding
I wait, I wait with longing to live easily in Your truth
Treat me as if I love You, even when I doubt You
I depend upon You to keep me from my own failings
I depend upon You to help me live In Your truth and love
Make Your face to shine upon me, and give me Your peace
How sad it makes me to doubt, to forget You, to wander

Righteous are You, my God, merciful and just
Unlike me, You are always righteous and faithful
I try to love You but I defeat myself too often
I try to remember that Your promises, Your love
So often I feel small and despised
When I want to live within Your truth and everlasting righteousness
But trouble and anguish come upon me time and again
Please let me live in Your righteousness, Your love, Your wisdom forever

Save me, O God, help me to live well
Save me, O God, help me to live well
Morning and night, I need Your help, I need my hope in You
Morning and night, I need to pray, I need to seek You
Because of Your steadfast love, Your merciful justice, save me from myself
Thoughts, feelings that persecute me are too close to me, too far from You
And yet, You are always near, always true, even when I doubt and wander
Long ago, as a child, I learned of You, of Your foreverness, of Your reality

Take my misery into account and rescue me
Only in You can I have redemption and life
On my own, left to myself, I have no hope
So, please merciful God, give me life and hope
Time and again my doubts and troubles arise
Time and again I desert You
Please remember that I try, please keep me in Your steadfast love
Because You are eternal truth

Unwanted thoughts, ungenerous feelings attack me
So I run to You, to Your Word, for help and protection
I hate my own falseness; I love Your faithfulness
I come again and again here, to Your psalms
Here I find peace and sure footing
Here I find hope, here I find salvation, here I find You
Ah, I wish I had the psalmist’s sureness, but I can only keep trying
Trying to follow You, to know You, to love You

Verse by verse, I cry to You, Lady Wisdom, for understanding
Please, please hear and answer me, save me
I want to sing Your praises as my rescuer and teacher
I want to sing Your praises as my promise and wisdom
Please, please say close and help me
I long for Your saving peace, I long to live within Your truth
I long to live praising You and depending only on You
When I wander, come find me, seek me out, return me to You. Amen

Psalm 120

In distress, I call out to God
Please hear me, answer me
Deliver me, O God
From lying to myself
From deceiving myself
From deceiving others
How is this to happen
How can I live truth and love
Ah, another D: deceit
How, God, how do I destroy deceit
I feel lost, without hope
A refugee exiled from God’s kingdom
Too long have I struggled
Struggled with my own worst
Struggled with my own insufficient love
My own insufficient peace
I want peace, I long for peace
But too often I feel anger
So in distress, I call out to You, God
Please hear me, answer me
Deliver me, O God
Defeat my raging wars with myself
And grant me Your peace. Amen