From Sarah Haig
I love the self-awareness in today’s reading, and the exhortation to pray to a faithful Father out of the honest assessment of my extreme humanness.
- David asks God to “keep me from the hands of the wicked…preserve me from violent men that purpose to trip my feet.” (Ps 140: 4).
- But then asks God to help him not be that person from whom he seeks protection. “Set a guard over my mouth, keep watch over my lips. Do not incline my heart…to practice the deeds of wickedness.”
When do I have the humility to ask God for rescue, and then to ask Him to keep me from being the kind of person from whom I seek protection?
- David asks God for attention—and not just for a little bit of leftover notice, but for his prayers to be considered beautiful. “Give ear to my voice when I call to you! May my prayers be counted as incense before You.” (Ps 141:1-2)
- But, recognizing his own need for and avoidance of correction, David asks God to persevere and chase him in his retreat. “Let the righteous reprove me; it is oil on my head (a mark of blessing); Do not let my head refuse it.” (Ps 141:5)
When do I have the confidence in God’s permanent love to demand his attention, followed in the next breath by the humility to ask God for the fortitude to not run away when He answers my prayer and I don’t like what it requires of me?
- The writer of Hebrews urges me to remember times I have been a faithful to the salvation and justice that God has revealed to me. “But remember…when, after being enlightened, you endured a great conflict of sufferings…partly by being made a public spectacle…and partly by becoming sharers with those who were so treated.”
- He then reminds me that I need endurance. I grow tired of suffering! My faithfulness flames out; yet I am called to continue up the mountain to the glorious peak, regardless of the gale-force headwind—that we in God’s family are “not of those who shrink back, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.” (Heb 10:39)
When do I have the appetite to keep on suffering—not just once, as if I’ve then paid my dues, but with endurance? When can I take the exhortation of others to keep on going, even when life is not just and I’m completely fed up? (It is like oil on my head; do not let my head refuse it.)
That’s my prayer today: God, please answer me, and let me not refuse you!
I love running, reading, riding the MBTA ferry, and opining on how to run the world.