11 July 2022

Praying with the Psalms in Ordinary Time:
11 July 2022 (Psalm 138)

‘All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O Lord’ (Psalm 138: 4) … a depiction of King Charles I in Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

In the Calendar of the Church, we are in Ordinary Time, and today is a lesser festival recalling Saint Benedict of Nursia, Abbot of Monte Cassino and the Father of Western monasticism (11 July 2022). Later this morning, I hope to attend the Parish Eucharist in the Church of Saint Mary and Saint Giles in Stony Stratford. Before today begins, I am taking some time this morning to continue my reflections drawing on the Psalms.

In my blog, I am reflecting each morning in this Prayer Diary in these ways:

1, Short reflections on a psalm or psalms;

2, reading the psalm or psalms;

3, a prayer from the USPG prayer diary.

Psalm 138:

Psalm 138 is the first psalm in the final Davidic collection of psalms, Psalm 138 to Psalm 145, which are specifically attributed to David in their opening verses. However, some commentators say Psalm 138 was written as an expression of thankfulness after the return from exile in Babylon.

In the slightly different numbering system in the Greek Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate, this is Psalm 137. Its name in Latin is Confitebor tibi Domine in toto corde meo.

Psalm 138 thanks God for his steadfast, enduring love and for his care for his faithful followers. When he calls upon God, God not only answers him but gives him a new calling or makes him more confident spiritually: ‘you increased my strength of soul’ (verse 3).

The psalmist then sings a hymn of praise. All the rulers of the earth shall praise God, who cares for the lowly but distances himself from the proud and haughty.

The psalmist’s faith in God is strengthened, and he grows in his trust in God, knowing God’s love endures for ever.

‘Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies’ (Psalm 138: 7) … a gargoyle at Lichfield Cathedral (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2022)

Psalm 138 (NRSVA):

Of David.

1 I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart;
before the gods I sing your praise;
2 I bow down towards your holy temple
and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness;
for you have exalted your name and your word
above everything.
3 On the day I called, you answered me,
you increased my strength of soul.

4 All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O Lord,
for they have heard the words of your mouth.
5 They shall sing of the ways of the Lord,
for great is the glory of the Lord.
6 For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly;
but the haughty he perceives from far away.

7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies;
you stretch out your hand,
and your right hand delivers me.
8 The Lord will fulfil his purpose for me;
your steadfast love, O Lord, endures for ever.
Do not forsake the work of your hands.

Today’s Prayer:

The theme in the prayer diary of the Anglican mission agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel) this week is ‘Partners in Mission.’ It was introduced yesterday.

Monday 11 July 2022 (World Population Day):

The USPG Prayer Diary invites us to pray today in these words:

We pray for everyone living today, in the knowledge that we are all made in God’s image..

Yesterday’s reflection

Continued tomorrow

Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition copyright © 1989, 1995, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org

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