Psalms: Prayers about thanks and justice

Our psalms today are a matched pair. Taken together, they are an acrostic poem, where each line starts with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

Psalm 9: Here is a prayer about gratitude.

Gratitude is an essential ingredient to our life of prayer. Without it, we grow entitled like spoiled children. Gratitude reminds us that God is God and we are not and that’s a good thing.

The psalm begins naming four different actions that David chooses to do:

I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart;

     I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.

I will be glad and exult in you;

     I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

David announces this and doesn’t tell us how he feels about it. He is choosing to give thanks, recount God’s deeds, to be glad, and to sing praise. Feelings don’t factor in the equation. He simply chooses to do them.

What might our prayers look like if we anchored in first saying Thanks, followed with remembering the good things God has done, being glad, and singing to him?

Psalm 10: Here is a prayer for justice.

Verse 1 is one of those verses in the Bible to sit and chew on for awhile. I have spent time with Christians who would just as soon scrub it out. But there it is. So what do we do with a prayer like this?

We can start by acknowledging that it’s okay for prayer to sound like this. Sometimes the Christian life is disappointing. Sometimes we don’t feel like God is with us.

But if indeed Psalms 9 and 10 are to be taken as one whole, then our feelings don’t have the final word. Psalm 9 begins with gratitude and remembering the times that God has come through. Psalm 10 ends with the reminder that God is still king, still faithful, and still just despite what circumstances look like.

When was the last time you brought your disappointment before God in prayer?


About peterjwhite

I am a pastor to college students in Tulsa, OK.
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