Friday, June 5
Arise, Lord! Lift up your hand, O God. Do not forget the helpless. Why does the wicked man revile God? Why does he say to himself, “He won’t call me to account”? But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless. Break the arm of the wicked man; call the evildoer to account for his wickedness that would not otherwise be found out.
Now that you have read this passage of Scripture, get ready to go back and
it. This prayer is an example of a lament, which may not be familiar to modern Americans but is very common in the Psalms. Such passages might sound like mere complaining. There is plenty of that going around. But complaints and laments are different: “by contrasting Israel in the wilderness with Israel in worship, we can say that
a complaint is an accusation against God that maligns His character
a lament is an appeal to God based on confidence in His character
” (N. T. Wright)
Therefore, when we pray these forms of praise and worship we are receiving the mind of Christ just as much as when we sing Hallelujah. In other words, a lament like this fills out the more simple petition, “deliver us from evil.”
Consider the protests that have been happening. Then pray this passage again, asking the Lord to reveal whatever person, group, or situation He would have you to be praying for or against. What is the Lord revealing to you?
Try it again later in the day. Because when we pray the Psalms, repetition leads to further revelation.