How Long, O Lord?
Loving Lord, today I surrender all my hopes and dreams, desires and visions to follow Your perfect will.
Read Psalm 12:1-8
 For the director of music. According to
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Jesus does not bless those who are happy with the present state of affairs. He blesses those who mourn” (Dave Andrews). A challenging truth!
Thank God for the honesty of the psalmists. The presence of so many passionate, no-nonsense prayer-songs in the Bible gives us permission to be completely honest with God. God wants us to articulate our deepest anxieties, and even our doubts. It’s not that he would be otherwise unaware of what inhabits the deepest recesses of our hearts and minds. Far from it; including them in our conversations with God helps us to be honest with ourselves, and gives the Spirit opportunity to nurture faith and hope within us. This is the experience of the psalmist.
Lament over the appalling state of human society is the crucible for this prophetic psalm (1). Wickedness and evil are the dominant forces (8), the poor are crushed by the powerful (5), and honesty and integrity have been stripped from public discourse, replaced by lies and arrogance (2,3). The psalmist, in much the same manner as the prophets and Jesus himself (Mark 8:38), was filled with grief over what he saw. It is in times such as this that “the faithful … make prayer and prophecy the mode of their speech” (James L. Mays). In prayer, inspired by the Spirit, the psalmist declares: “Into the hovels of the poor, into the dark streets where the homeless groan, God speaks: ‘I’ve had enough; I’m on my way to heal the ache in the heart of the wretched'” (5, The Message). But when? When will God fulfill his promises (6)?
Do you find yourself yearning for the day when this will happen, impatient for it to come? Thank God, for it is he who cultivates such longing within us, nurturing that inner compulsion to pray, as Jesus did, “your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt 6:10).
Take time to pray with this psalm, mindful of the lies and oppression that blight our world and cause great suffering. You could pray through a newspaper or magazine.
Lord, help me mourn those things that break Your heart and feel the suffering of the world. I need to be a bearer of hope in the midst of so much despair.
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