Mar. 1 – Friday                                                                   Read Psalm 63:1-8

O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.

Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live; I will lift up my hands and call on your name. My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast, and my mouth praises you with joyful lips when I think of you on my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.

 

from Richard Howard, First Christian Church, Morgantown

            A great spiritual practice is to pray in the morning, before starting your day.  On a trip to Turkey I was impressed with the first Muslim “Adhan,” or call to prayer, in the morning, a call which came shortly before dawn.  This first call to prayer was the same as the other four daily calls, with the exception of one line added which declares, “Prayer is better than sleep.  I found it whimsical, yet also offering good counsel.

Prayer before starting one’s day sets the framework within which your day can be structured.  Psalm 63 is thought to have been traditionally used in the Temple in Jerusalem as a morning prayer, perhaps even before dawn.  “Oh God, you are my God…my soul thirsts for you, my flesh longs for you.”  This is the beginning of a love song which can frame your entire daily experience.  “When I remember you on my bed…” refers not to nighttime reflection, but rather preparation at the beginning of the day.

Make prayer the first act of your day, and you, too, will “rejoice in the shadow of [God’s] wings.”

Satisfy me with your Word, for it is like a rich feast,

 and my mouth shall forever  praise You with joyful lips.

 

Prayerscapes for Lent is presented by the Order of Ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia.  ©2013.  All rights reserved.  Duplication and distribution for profit is not permitted.

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