One of the beauties of daily sustained reading and reflection upon the lectionary Scriptures is that a psalm is read each day. Over time the reader becomes quite familiar with the range of emotions, life situations, and theology of the psalter. This is a very good thing. In an era when so many believers are “too busy” for daily prayer and connection with God, the psalms are the church’s prayer book. That means the psalms are accessible for many Christians via their smart phones, tablets, and computers. Add the voice function to the mix and the believer could pray along with particular psalms.
An advantage to becoming conversant in the psalms is the ability to use them for all kinds of situations. Today’s psalm meets a particular need for prayer in the American election cycle. Just say the word “politics” and many people get a visceral response before there is even a discussion about it. Feelings and opinions run high. Negativity is rampant. But Psalm 67 offers a path of blessing the nations and inviting God to work his grace among us. Rather than become mucked in worry or despair over present circumstances and the unknown future, the psalmist orients our minds, hearts, and voices toward the sovereign God.
The psalms are meant to be used – repeatedly. One cannot overuse them. Try this: today set your phone, watch, or other device to alarm at two or three hour intervals. Whatever you are doing (if you are able), stop and pray Psalm 67. It will take less than a minute. Let the positive approach to blessing others and seeing God’s control shape how you go about the rest of your day. Who knows? Maybe the psalter will eventually alter how you view the world.
Loving God, be gracious to us and bless us and make your face to shine upon us so that your way may be known upon earth, and your saving power among all nations; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.