Words for When We Have No Words

Psalm 6

“O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger,
or discipline me in your wrath.
Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing;
O Lord, heal me, for my bones are shaking with terror.
My soul also is struck with terror,
while you, O Lord—how long?
Turn, O Lord, save my life;
deliver me for the sake of your steadfast love.
For in death there is no remembrance of you;
in Sheol who can give you praise?
I am weary with my moaning;
every night I flood my bed with tears;
I drench my couch with my weeping.
My eyes waste away because of grief;
they grow weak because of all my foes.
Depart from me, all you workers of evil,
for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping.
The Lord has heard my supplication;
the Lord accepts my prayer.
All my enemies shall be ashamed and struck with terror;
they shall turn back, and in a moment be put to shame.” NRSV

As a part of my daily prayers, I have been reading a chapter a day from the book, Let My Prayer Rise to God: A Spirituality for Praying the Psalms by Rev. Dr. William Paulsell. Bill is a retired President of Lexington Theological Seminary who has been both a mentor and friend to me for many years. It was Bill who first introduced me to the Abby of Gethsemane and whetted my curiosity for a prayer-grounded life. Bill actually attended a class (or a workshop, can’t remember which) that Thomas Merton led when Bill was beginning his journey in ministry. Some of you may remember, Father Matthew Kelty, a long time fixture of the Abby. He and Bill were the best of friends. One of my most treasured days was spent with Bill and Fr. Kelty at the Abby many years ago.

In this book, Bill introduces the reader to the power of the Psalms and their ability to penetrate the deepest recesses of the human heart and find God there, no matter what the circumstances. I am loving reading it again. Psalm 6 is one of the many Psalms that speak for us when we can’t seem to find the words. I encourage you to give it try.

Be a blessing to someone today!

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