Psalm 146 Prayer

Here’s a prayer inspired by Psalm 146.  It was written by Grace Olsen Claus.

(based on Psalm 146)

Do not put your trust in princes, the psalmist says,
nor in mortals, in whom there is no help, whose plans perish.
And yet here we are,
bending over backwards to find ways to put our trust in ourselves.

We are sure that writing a killer paper,
or preaching a fabulous sermon,
or speaking wise words to our friends,
or committing to another program,
or establishing a daily rhythm of reading Scripture will save us.

We have convinced ourselves that to rest means to fail.
We have to keep up the routine.
We fear that if we do not, we will be ruined,
fall into poverty,
become imprisoned by a modest way of life,
be left alone to feel like orphans,
find ourselves a stranger to our friends, lose hope.

What we do not realize is that we’re already oppressed,
already famished,
already imprisoned,
already alienated,
already orphaned and widowed.

And it is precisely in this oppression, hunger, and loneliness
that you stoop down and scoop us up.
You are our help.
You are our hope.
You keep faith forever.

And you promise to watch over us.
We can rest,
we can sleep,
we can say no to this activity or that invitation,
we can quit the exhausting work of trying to sustain ourselves,
because you never slumber or sleep.
You are faithful always.

O my soul, praise the Lord.

~ written by Grace Olsen Claus (November 8, 2011) and offered during morning prayers at Western Theological Seminary.  Posted on The Twelve.