Date: Saturday, September 27
Scripture: Psalm 56:1-13
Verse: You yourself have kept track of my misery. Put my tears into your bottle— aren’t they on your scroll already? (Psalm 56:8)
In the movie Bruce Almighty, Jim Carrey’s character Bruce is given by God (Morgan Freeman) the opportunity to be God for a period of time. After having a bunch of fun with his unlimited power, one night Bruce begins to hear voices. Pretty soon, the audience and Bruce that he is hearing prayers. There are so many that they are indistinguishable from one another, and the noise they are creating is nearly deafening. Bruce struggles with ways of organizing the prayers —file cabinets, Post-It Notes, and an email system are the ways he tries without success.
I like this scene because I have often wondered how God handles all of our prayers. Or to say it another way, “What happens when we pray?” Psalm 56 gives us an image which I gives a clue of how to think differently about prayer. God is not a distant deity receiving requests. Rather, in this psalm, God is there with his arm around the psalmist through a very difficult time. He is compassionate, loving us through the struggle, and holding on to our tears. As we have been saying throughout the month of September, prayer is about a deepening relationship with God.
When we pray, we are talking to one who cares deeply about us. God shares our deepest sorrows and our greatest joys. He is there to listen to our frustration, and comfort us in our fears and anxiety. We pray to talk to one who knows us better than we know ourselves, even when all we want to do is share what has in our lives happened recently. There is no right way to pray, nor a wrong way. Our task is instead to stay in contact with our creator, who loves us more deeply than we can imagine.
Prayer: Thank you, loving God, for this great gift of prayer and your patience to walk with me through every aspect of my life, even the tears. Amen.
Action: Take some time on this Saturday, to talk to God about the week that has passed, and the week ahead — even if nothing particularly exciting has or will happen.
Respond: As you read today’s psalm, what images came to mind for you?
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