From Catherine Con
Hear a just cause, O Lord; attend to my cry!
From the opening line of Psalm 17, David establishes a tone that is at once desperate and deeply intimate and familiar with God. The Psalm begins with a declarative petition, which in its very simplicity conveys a sense of urgency (as it should, since David was being hotly pursued by his enemies). This is a guy who knew how to pray: Right away, he asks God to listen to Him and reminds God that he's been faithful, as in My steps have held fast to your paths; my feet have not slipped. We also get the sense that David has been on his knees a lot recently, and that he's seen God at work. Although he would like God to make haste, his tone is not one of panic or despondency. Instead, David affirms that God will hear Him and deliver Him in the same breath that he petitions Him, saying, I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; incline your ear to me; hear my words.
As David appeals to God, he poetically shows us many sides of His character: When David asks for God to Wondrously show your steadfast love,God is also portrayed as a Savior of those who seek refuge. He asks God to keep him as the apple of His eye and hide him in the shadow of His wings (wings! whoa); both of these images convey greatest care and protection, and a God who can be both powerful and gentle.
I like the Psalms because they are prayers for the times when I don't quite know what to say to Him, and this one seems especially fitting for Lent. It teaches us how to pray: with a sense of our own desperate need for God, all-encompassing view of Him and His abilities, and a deep faith in His own faithfulness. The wicked in this passage are satisfied with their portion in this life; by contrast, during this season we fast from things that give us pleasure, we deny ourselves our own "portions." I pray that my own fasting would remind me of how deeply I need God at every turn. May we come to God in our prayers with this sense of urgency, fully aware of our desperate need.
When we wake each morning, may we be able to join David in saying:
As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness;
when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.
I am a fun friend who loves my friends at CotC, and especially love speaking to them in a British accent.