After Psalm 140

When the Psalmist said,

The Lord will maintain the cause

of the afflicted,

I knew I’d been wrong–

O Lord, only You can grant repentance!

O Lord, only You can grant justice!

O Lord, only You grow love of the truth!

O Lord, only You can stop the mouths of slanderers!

O Lord, now I repent of my anger,

of faithless impatience–

I have not prayed as I ought

and I have seen myself ensnared.

I fell into his trap

by giving over my gaze–

but now turn my face back to You,

or I’ll remain in the shadows and

forget what You look like!

O Lord, only You can open unseeing eyes

make ears to hear, soften and warm hearts!

Like cool rain after a drought

is Your mercy on us,

gentle on our heads and

life-giving to the ground.

Your voice is a song,

with a tempo to march to,

and Your words signpost our way.

Gather up and put in order

Your scattered and scatter-brained flock,

Raise our hearts, minds, eyes,

and empower us to resist Obsession–

Discouragement is an arrow;

Distraction is a crossbow bolt.

From bondage and defeat and exile

again and again and again

You have delivered Your people;

from Egypt and Moab and Midian and Philistia and Assyria and Babylon,

and sin and Rome;

do so again, according to Your promise

and for the sake of Your own name.

We repent of our hand in our trouble,

speak to us, save us–

imbue us with wisdom and strength

and bind our thoughts to You in righteousness

You Who are all compassion.

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