Praying the Psalms

A dedication of the temple of David

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This devotional is written by Becky Kerly. Becky is a nature lover, wine lover, story lover and Jesus lover.

Psalm 30

A psalm. A song. For the dedication of the temple. Of David.

1 I will exalt you, Lord, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me. 2 Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me. 3 You, Lord, brought me up from the realm of the dead; you spared me from going down to the pit.

4 Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people; praise his holy name. 5 For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favour lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

6 When I felt secure, I said, 'I shall never be shaken.' 7 Lord, when you favoured me, you made my royal mountain[c] stand firm; but when you hid your face, I was dismayed.

8 To you, Lord, I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy: 9 'What is gained if I am silenced, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness? 10 Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me; Lord, be my help.'

11 You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, 12 that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you for ever.


"I will exalt you, lord, for you lifted me out of the depths"

I feel this line as a physical movement. A physical exchange with god. I imagine God as a curious child, plunging his hands in to sand, driven by a curiosity to dig deeper down. The lord longs to reach in to dark places with us, to get his hands dirty and lift us out in to the light, if we are willing to let him.

"What is gained if I am silenced, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise you?"

The lord longs to touch us, to lift our hearts. In dark times, it can be easy to succumb to that feeling of wanting to run away and sink in to isolation. But even on those mornings where we may want nothing more than to stay nestled in our bed sheets and retreat from the world, as Theologian James K A Smith says, the people of god are not there.

"You turned my wailing in to dancing You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy That my heart may sing your praises and not be silent Lord my god, I will praise you forever"

As I read these lines I remember a time when I reached out to God for help. When I allowed myself to open my heart to him fully and ask for his help, puffy eyed and weak, I felt him reveal two burdens to me and physically lift them off my chest (removing my sackcloth), and I was able to accept his gift of joy, now that he had made the space. I ran around my bedroom and sang his praises, and in that moment I felt I wanted to praise him forever. Of course, this impulse may not always be this strong, or even present at all, especially in times of hardship or confusion. So I invite you now to close your eyes if they are not already, and open your heart to God. Take a deep breath in through the nose, and out through the mouth. Allow yourself to feel what is on your heart, and bring that to God.

"Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me. Lord, be my help."

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