Psalm 143: Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Listen, Lord, as I pray! You are faithful and honest and will answer my prayer.
I am your servant. Don’t try me in your court, because no one is innocent by your standards.
My enemies are chasing me, crushing me in the ground. I am in total darkness, like someone long dead. I have given up all hope, and I feel numb all over.
I remember to think about the many things you did in years gone by.
Then I lift my hands in prayer, because my soul is a desert, thirsty for water from you.
Please hurry, Lord, and answer my prayer. I feel hopeless. Don’t turn away and leave me here to die.
Each morning let me learn more about your love because I trust you. I come to you in prayer, asking for your guidance.
Please rescue me from my enemies, Lord! I come to you for safety.
You are my God. Show me what you want me to do, and let your gentle Spirit lead me in the right path.
Be true to your name, Lord, and keep my life safe. Use your saving power to protect me from trouble. I am your servant. Show how much you love me by destroying my enemies.
This psalm is hardly the first of King David’s cries for God to rescue him from some peril. Certainly being the king of Israel is a complex job, but David often frames his problems in the extreme – “PLEASE rescue me! I’m doing the best that I can, but my enemies are at the gates, coming to take my life and all that I have.” Though David has his failings – as do we all – he never stops seeking for God and pleading for one more chance. In verse 8 he pleads for God’s daily guidance to bring him back to a righteous path. He affirms that he needs God’s daily counsel.
It’s easy to center our focus on God on Sundays. It’s when we gather as a body for worship; we pray and praise in song; and we hear the preaching of God’s word. Then Monday comes, and with it come so many daily life demands and concerns. Before we know it, we’re back at Sunday again. Unlike David’s enemies, our “enemies” may be personal habits – like impatience, laziness, and focus on self – all of which let us wander away from a God-focused path. How then do we steer back onto the God-seeking path? I think the answer lies in making that focus a daily habit. Let us pray to seek each day the better path to a more Godly life.
Holy God, we pray for the discipline to call on you and listen for your guidance all the days of the week. Help us be more aware of daily human needs that you would have us meet.