October 20, 2017

Psunday Psalms: Morning and Evening

King David, Chagall

Psunday Psalms
Devotional Thoughts on the Psalms

* * *

Each morning you listen
    to my prayer,
as I bring my requests to you
    and wait for your reply. (Psalm 5:3, CEB)

I can lie down
    and sleep soundly
    because you, Lord,
    will keep me safe. (Psalm 4:8, CEB)

* * *

The first pieces in the Book of Psalms include a morning prayer (Ps. 5) and an evening prayer (Ps. 4).

These psalms remind us, at the very beginning of the book, that each day belongs to God and that we should seek his blessing and help throughout the course of each day. We start the day with God and end the day with him as well.

In these prayers, we see King David seeking God in the morning

Lord, in the morning you hear my voice.
    In the morning I lay it all out before you.
    Then I wait expectantly….

Because of your great mercy,
    I come to your house, Lord,
and I am filled with wonder
as I bow down
    to worship
    at your holy temple.
You do what is right,
    and I ask you to guide me.
    Make your teaching clear
    because of my enemies.

– Psalm 5:7-8

And then, at the end of the day, we see him conversing with God again…

You brought me more happiness
    than a rich harvest
    of grain and grapes.
I can lie down
    and sleep soundly
    because you, Lord,
    will keep me safe.

– Psalm 4:7-8

The habit of morning and evening prayer has been a long-standing practice in the church. It is good to begin and end each day with God, talking to him, seeking him, resting in him.

Notice also that in the order of psalms, evening prayer comes first, then morning. I have found this true in my own conversational relationship with God. Falling asleep talking to him, embraced by his love, and mindful of his gracious promises and presence, I not only sleep better, but I awaken more ready to greet him in the morning. Well, let’s say as ready as someone who is definitely not a morning person can be!

No matter how the world may oppose us, God is with us throughout each day. Morning and evening prayers remind us that we live our lives in this world in relation to another world, the world of the heavenlies, the spiritual reality of God’s Kingdom which surrounds and influences everything that takes place in our daily lives. Through this practice, we build a “frame” around each day to remind us that his grace encompasses our lives.

Morning and evening, and everywhere in between, he is with us!

Comments

  1. Another great habit that I don’t do.

    Thanks for the reminder, though.

    Someday, maybe.