Psalm 109: 21-29 [NLT]
21 But deal well with me, O Sovereign Lord,
for the sake of your own reputation!
because you are so faithful and good.
22 For I am poor and needy,
and my heart is full of pain.
23 I am fading like a shadow at dusk;
I am brushed off like a locust.
24 My knees are weak from fasting,
and I am skin and bones.
25 I am a joke to people everywhere;
when they see me, they shake their heads in scorn.
26 Help me, O Lord my God!
Save me because of your unfailing love.
27 Let them see that this is your doing,
that you yourself have done it, Lord.
28 Then let them curse me if they like,
but you will bless me!
When they attack me, they will be disgraced!
But I, your servant, will go right on rejoicing!
29 May my accusers be clothed with disgrace;
may their humiliation cover them like a cloak.
Adore—What did you learn about God for which you could praise or thank him?
God is faithful and good; has unfailing love; and blesses me
Admit—What did you learn about yourself for which you could repent?
Need rescuing, I am poor and needy and my heart is full of pain.
I am a joke to people everywhere
Aspire—What did you learn about life that you could aspire to, ask for, and act on?”
You are everything that I’m not. Find me, bless me, change my heart O, God.
From Tim Keller’s book: Songs of Jesus
BUT YOU, LORD. The phrase “But you, Sovereign Lord” here, as ever in the psalms, marks a great turning point. Hard prayers become softer, hopeless prayers more confident, sad prayers are filled with joy, and guilty prayers arrive in mercy. Our prayer may rightly begin with our own hurts, sins, enemies, surroundings, troubles. But it is only when you lay these things before God, see them in light of who he is, and say, “But you . . .”—that release, relief, growth, hope, and strength begin to come. The “But you . . .” of the psalms has its New Testament counterpart in Paul’s great “But now. . . .” The entire human race is lost in sin (Romans 1:18–3:20), “but now apart from the law . . . righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ” (Romans 3:21–22).
Prayer: Lord, I thank you that your reality changes everything. I am weak—O, but you . . . I deserve nothing—O, but you . . . I don’t see any way out of this—O, but you . . . My life seems to be derailed—O, but you . . . I don’t know how to pray. Ah, but you will help me. Amen.