Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Due to an absolutely unexpected (aren't they all?) spiritual crisis, I was recently reminded to re-read a book I read about seven years ago. It has helped me immensely, cutting to the heart of my trouble within the first few chapters and giving me the tools use to combat my out-of-control thoughts. I can recommend it more highly than anything I've written here. In fact, if you struggle with depression, or are in a crisis of your own, I recommend you read this book immediately. This is the first and only book on the subject of depression/spiritual warfare that has ever been of any help to me. It is far more useful than anything I've ever written here (and tempts me to delete all my own writings on the subject!).
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
You are my greatest fear
and my only hope.
O my God, in you I trust;
let me not be put to shame;
let not my enemies exult over me.
Though the thought of you
fills me with dread,
Still, my heart cries to you.
Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame;
they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
Meet not my hope with shame.
Lord, though full of sin and confusion, my heart yearns for you alone,
for your embrace, your smile, your words of comfort.
Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all the day long.
Dear Lord, don't leave me waiting, fainting and helpless.
Lead me, but gently, down paths not too hard
for I am weak and frightened, and it is dark.
Remember your mercy, O Lord, and your steadfast love,
for they have been from of old.
You have always cared for me, even while I walked in rebellion.
Why can I not believe you forgive me now?
Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
according to your steadfast love remember me,
for the sake of your goodness, O Lord!
Dear Father, if You count them up there will be no hope. I will be forever lost.
Forget for ever the sins of my life, that torrent which threatens to flood back and drown me.
Hold them against me no more.
Let me hide in Your Son. Let me know I am safe with Him.
Good and upright is the Lord;
therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in what is right,
and teaches the humble his way.
It is true that you are good, but I am not.
I lie here broken, helpless, afraid of your goodness,
Teach me what is good about you. Teach me how you forgive.
All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness,
for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.
But what of me, full of doubt and fear, afraid to believe?
My faith is flagging?
Will your love for me fail as well?
Dear God, don't desert me in my weakness.
For your name's sake, O Lord,
pardon my guilt, for it is great.
Who is the man who fears the Lord?
"For your name's sake..."
Oh Lord, what does this mean?
After years of sin, it is I who fear.
I have no right to your love, your pardon.
I tremble at the thought of your displeasure, your rejection.
But I bear the name of Christ....
for His sake, in His name, I beg it.
Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose.
His soul shall abide in well-being,
and his offspring shall inherit the land.
The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him,
and he makes known to them his covenant.
Restore my faith, Oh God!
Open my eyes and pour light into the darkness of my heart.
Restore the joy I once knew,
the hope as I looked into your loving face.
My eyes are ever toward the Lord,
for he will pluck my feet out of the net.
Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.
The troubles of my heart are enlarged;
bring me out of my distresses.
Consider my affliction and my trouble,
and forgive all my sins.
Consider how many are my foes,
and with what violent hatred they hate me.
Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me!
Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
May integrity and uprightness preserve me,
for I wait for you.
Redeem Israel, O God,
out of all his troubles.
And redeem me!
*Psalm 24, a prayer of David, mingled with one of my own.