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.