psalm 5

Give ear to my words, O Lord;
   give heed to my sighing.
Listen to the sound of my cry,
   my King and my God,
   for to you I pray.
O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice;
   in the morning I plead my case to you, and watch.
For you are not a God who delights in wickedness;
   evil will not sojourn with you.
The boastful will not stand before your eyes;
   you hate all evildoers.
You destroy those who speak lies;
   the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful.
But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love,
   will enter your house,
I will bow down toward your holy temple
   in awe of you.
Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness
   because of my enemies;
   make your way straight before me.
For there is no truth in their mouths;
   their hearts are destruction;
their throats are open graves;
   they flatter with their tongues.
Make them bear their guilt, O God;
   let them fall by their own counsels;
because of their many transgressions cast them out,
   for they have rebelled against you.
But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
   let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
   so that those who love your name may exult in you.
For you bless the righteous, O Lord;

   you cover them with favor as with a shield. (NRSV)


Here, the psalmist, probably David, writes a morning prayer to a God that listens. Not a prayer of lament, but one that is meant to clear the path to God so that whoever is reciting this prayer can serve God without any distractions.

This is a timely passage for our world today that is filled with distractions that we have created. Anything that takes our eyes away from God is a distraction that we must navigate around. All that navigating can be so exhausting, but that is the task that we have as God’s people.

There is nothing easy about being God’s people and living into our faith. It is a never-ending task and we cannot do it alone. We not only need God, but we need each other to navigate.

As we start out in a new year, with new goals and hopes for what is to come, let this prayer serve as a reminder that we must continually seek God’s help in clearing all distractions from our path so that we might recreate God’s love here on earth.

Great listener God, hear us as we navigate this world. Watch over us, your people, as you do the psalmist. Give us the strength and fortitude to help one another push through the distractions of this world, so that we might see you more clearly. Amen.

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