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Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Today’s Reading | Psalm 66
Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth;
sing the glory of his name;
give to him glorious praise.
Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!
Because of your great power, your enemies cringe before you.
All the earth worships you;
they sing praises to you,
sing praises to your name.”
Come and see what God has done:
he is awesome in his deeds among mortals.
He turned the sea into dry land;
they passed through the river on foot.
There we rejoiced in him,
who rules by his might forever,
whose eyes keep watch on the nations—
let the rebellious not exalt themselves.
Bless our God, O peoples,
let the sound of his praise be heard,
who has kept us among the living,
and has not let our feet slip.
For you, O God, have tested us;
you have tried us as silver is tried.
You brought us into the net;
you laid burdens on our backs;
you let people ride over our heads;
we went through fire and through water;
yet you have brought us out to a spacious place.
I will come into your house with burnt offerings;
I will pay you my vows,
those that my lips uttered
and my mouth promised when I was in trouble.
I will offer to you burnt offerings of fatlings,
with the smoke of the sacrifice of rams;
I will make an offering of bulls and goats.
Come and hear, all you who fear God,
and I will tell what he has done for me.
I cried aloud to him,
and he was extolled with my tongue.
If I had cherished iniquity in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened.
But truly God has listened;
he has given heed to the words of my prayer.
Blessed be God,
because he has not rejected my prayer
or removed his steadfast love from me. (NRSV)
The psalmist encourages us, and all the earth, to shout joyfully to God, to give God praise, and to sing to the glory of God’s name. But what’s all the shouting about? One reason to praise God is because “truly God has listened; God has given heed to the words of my prayer.” How has God given heed to the words of your prayers?
In his recent book, Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps, Fr. Richard Rohr describes prayer this way:
“Prayer is not about changing God but being willing to let God change us, or as Step 11 says, ‘Praying only for the knowledge of his will.’ Jesus goes so far as to say that true prayer is always answered (Matthew 7:7–11). Now we all know that is not factually true—unless he is talking about prayer in the sense that I am trying to describe it. If you are able to switch minds to the mind of Christ, your prayer has already been answered! That new mind knows, understands, accepts, and sees correctly, widely, and wisely. Its prayers are always answered because they are, in fact, the prayers of God, too. True prayer is always about getting the ‘who’ right. Who is doing the praying? You or God in you? . . . Basically prayer is an exercise in divine participation—you opting in and God is always there!” (pp. 96–97)
Take a moment to recall ways God has changed you to “have the mind of Christ.” Write them down, let them inspire your praise, and sing and shout to God about them!
Thank you, God, for listening to my prayers and transforming my heart to conform to your will. Strengthen my resolve to praise and obey you in all things. Amen.
Written by Victoria G. Curtiss, Associate Pastor for Mission
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