Through the Cracks
Enter God’s presence reflecting on his goodness shown to you. Praise his consistent love and faithfulness.
Read Psalm 86:1-17
A prayer of David. Hear me, LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.  Guard my life, for I am faithful to you; save your servant who trusts in you. You are my God;  have mercy on me, Lord, for I call to you all day long.  Bring joy to your servant, Lord, for I put my trust in you.  You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.  Hear my prayer, LORD; listen to my cry for mercy.  When I am in distress, I call to you, because you answer me.  Among the gods there is none like you, Lord; no deeds can compare with yours.  All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, Lord; they will bring glory to your name.  For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God.  Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.  I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever.  For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths, from the realm of the dead.  Arrogant foes are attacking me, O God; ruthless people are trying to kill me- they have no regard for you.  But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.  Turn to me and have mercy on me; show your strength in behalf of your servant; save me, because I serve you just as my mother did.  Give me a sign of your goodness, that my enemies may see it and be put to shame, for you, LORD, have helped me and comforted me. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat does David praise God for? What does he ask for?
In “Anthem” Leonard Cohen sings, “Ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering, there is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” This psalm does exactly what Cohen is singing about–it reveals the cracks and then notices the radiance of the light. There is almost a cyclical pattern to this psalm as the two ingredients of prayer and praise interact. The opening lines carry the tone of desperation as the psalmist cries out for God to listen, showing that there is no emotion or anguish that cannot be brought to God. God desires honest dialogue, and the psalmist consistently manages to find that touching place between pain and hope (1-3). Alongside the appeals for mercy and joy (3,4), there are generous outbursts of praise (5,8-10,12,13). It is interesting that the psalmist recites the very words the Lord God said to Moses as he waited on Mount Sinai for the glory of God to pass by (15; cf. Exod. 34:6). Centuries later, the words God revealed about himself ring out again, shining light into the cracked heart of another searching saint.
Name the “cracks” in your heart today. For what reasons do you need God to intervene for you?
Ask God to shine light into the dark recesses of others’ hearts–and your own.