Lord, I Cry to You All the Day Long: A Prayer of Hope and God’s Mercy

“Turn Your ear, O Lord, and give answer for I am poor and needy.
Preserve my life for I am faithful; save the servant who trusts in You.
You are my God, have mercy on me, Lord, for I cry to you all the day long.
Give joy to your servant, O Lord, for to you I lift up my soul.”
Psalm 85 from Night Prayer 2/15/16

Lord, sometimes I haven’t been able to “lift up my soul”
because I am poor and small and needy.
Preserve my life – the life of my soul – despite my unfaithfulness,
despite the feeling that my cries often echo in the darkness,
and despite how often I don’t trust you
as You deserve to be trusted.

There is a painful lance piercing me,
not to end my life but to save me.
A sword of love that sustains even as it carves away
at the gangrene that poisons me and tries to steal my life.

Wounded and limping, I drag myself
through the darkness of the valleys of unfaithfulness and paucity of trust,
fighting to lift up my soul and to rejoice in the Lord.
It is a painful crawl to the mountain,
where my breath, time and again,
must re-acclimate to the dizzying heights where the air is pure and clear.

My body and soul always betray me, slowly adjusting to the changing oxygen levels.
The pain of the sword can take my breath away and drop me to my knees.
It is a slow trudge up the mountain.
My breath is heavily; I become light headed as the oxygen levels decrease.
My poverty and neediness explode from hiding as I struggle to breathe.

Only by the grace of God, whose hand reaches out always holding mine, am I saved.
His strong arm embraces me so that each time I fall from the heights of the mountain,
I am not crushed to death, but crushed only enough to weaken me.
His mercy teaches me to depend less upon my weak legs and faint breath.
and more upon  His loving strong arm that always pulls me to safety.

And in His mercy, the lance that pieced the side of His son,
also painfully pierces me – not out of cruelty, not to kill me –
but to enliven me so that His mercy and love may transform me
and allow His mercy and love to flow through me.

Lord, I am poor and needy, but I lift up my soul to You who are Mercy.

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