How do we pray in 2020? Psalm 30

Week of November 23: Psalm 30

  • Read Psalm 30 (each day or whenever you’re able)
  • Journal for 5 minutes whatever comes to mind. Don’t overanalyze what comes out – just put it out onto the paper.
  • Go on with your day, letting the psalm marinate within you.
  • Look back at your journal at week’s end. What do you notice?

How do we talk about our “pit experiences” in prayer?

“Perhaps life is more precious on the other side of the pit. New orientation, as a surprising gift from God, means that we can live with the pain of the pit experience so that it doesn’t overwhelm and incapacitate us. We can once again smile and rejoice over the gift and beauty of life. We respond in awe and thanksgiving, gratitude and wonder over such a gift; and we feel compelled to tell the story of the reversal of our circumstances to anyone who will listen. Just as we need to give the details of the pit experience to help us deal with it, so, too, we need to share the details of the climb out of the pit.” – Denise Dombkowski Hopkins, Journey Through the Psalms

How do we develop candor with God?

“The surprising gift of new life just when none had been expected. That new orientation is not a return to the old stable orientation, for there is no such going back. The psalmists know that we can never go home again. Once there has been an exchange of real candor, as there is here between Yahweh and Israel, there is no return to the pre-candor situation.” – Walter Brueggemann, Spirituality of the Psalms

How do we pray when God gets angry?

“Israel’s faith is concrete and concerns ‘the facts on the ground.’ One of those ‘facts’ is God’s anger, which is known to cause trouble. Without flinching from this reality, Israel has deep confidence in God, which goes beyond Israel’s anger. Israel knows that divine anger is not defining for God; it is rather always God’s purpose to move beyond anger to restorative favor and rescue. Thus the psalm, without flinching from candor, holds candor about trouble to the deeper reality of God’s attentive fidelity. God’s favor is as sure as the rising od the sun when morning breaks. Israel’s thanks are a precise and appropriate counterpoint to God’s generous care. In its receptivity to God’s newness, Israel is not able to keep silent; rather Israel must sing and say its gratitude for life as a gift against every debilitating circumstance.” – Walter Brueggemann and William H. Bellinger, Jr., Psalms: New Cambridge Bible Commentary