Uncollected Psalms

Pastoral Prayer — August 14, 2022

If you read through the Psalms, you will see that there are 150 of them, ranging from the very short (Psalm 117) to the very long (Psalm 119).

They are generally prayers, songs of praise, expressions of sorrow, or requests for God to intervene, but there are other types as well.

Psalm 117 simply says:

     Praise the Lord, all nations!
                 Extol him, all peoples!
 
     For great is his steadfast love toward us,
                 and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.
 
     Praise the Lord!

It is an exhortation that all people should praise him, especially those who are part of his covenant.

There are 150 Psalms, but if you are on a reading program that has you read through the books of the Bible, you will notice that there are many more uncollected Psalms.

As I was reading through the books of Chronicles this last two weeks, I came across this, which was a prayer of David’s at the end of his life when he is reflecting on what he has accomplished in his life and the fact that Solomon will reign after him.

It is as though he were responding to the exhortation expressed in Psalm 117.

Listen to 1 Chronicles 29:10-13:

     Blessed are you, O Lord, 
                 the God of Israel our father, 
                                  forever and ever. 
 
     Yours, O Lord, is the greatness 
                 and the power and the glory 
                                  and the victory and the majesty, 
     for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. 
 
     Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, 
                 and you are exalted as head above all. 
 
     Both riches and honor come from you, 
                 and you rule over all. 
 
     In your hand are power and might, 
                 and in your hand it is to make great 
                                  and to give strength to all. 
 
     And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.

Sometimes we don’t need to be asking for things for ourselves or even interceding, we simply need to thank God and praise him.

Let’s pray.

Holy Father, like David, we have lived long, and we have done things that we are proud of and things that we are ashamed of.
But as we have come here to this year, to this place, to this moment, we come in praise and thanksgiving.
 
You have done so much for us.
 
You have been our perfect father when our own fathers were imperfect,
You have been our protector when we were in anxiety and danger,
You have been our healer when we were sick and injured,
You have been our counselor when we were in deep sorrow.

     “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness 
                 and the power and the glory 
                                  and the victory and the majesty, 
     for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours.”
 
The moon and the stars are yours, you fashioned them with your power;
The earth is yours, you made it with your wisdom;
All peoples are yours, though they may rebel against you;
We are yours, for you saved us out of our rebellion.
 
     “Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, 
                 and you are exalted as head above all. 
     Both riches and honor come from you, 
                 and you rule over all.”
 
We know you are the source of all that is good;
We admit that to be valued by you is the greatest honor; 
We see you are rightful king of the world;
We recognize you as our daily sovereign.
 
     “In your hand are power and might, 
                 and in your hand it is to make great 
                                  and to give strength to all.” 
 
You, Lord can accomplish whatever you choose;
Nothing is too difficult for you;
No one is beyond redemption;
You can strengthen even the weakest soul.
 
     “And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.”
 
Please accept from us
                 Our worship in song,
                 Our attention to your word,
                 Our obedience in this coming week,
And when our time on earth is over, our praise throughout eternity.

Amen.

The Endless Afternoon

It has seemed to me that the afternoon of Jesus’ crucifixion would have stretched out forever in the minds of those who were present, and in another sense the events of that afternoon stretch to our day as well. We consider the viewpoints of a priest, a thief, Mary, John, Simon, and others and the seven last words they heard from Jesus.

20190420 Service

For anyone in Jacksonville tomorrow, a service titled “The Endless Afternoon: Words and Witnesses at the Cross,” at 7:00p at Westside Chapel, 4541 Shirley Avenue, Jacksonville, FL 32210, 904 388-5117.