Psalm 27 - for Morning Prayer today

There are psalms that bring one line to the fore in one’s mind, and there are psalms that flow from beginning to end, and there are psalms that throughout keep throwing up images and thoughts, one by one, in words of the deepest emotional feeling.  Psalm 27 is just such a psalm.  “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom then shall I fear?” the opening few words.  Surely these are enough for one day?

But, no. The psalm contains so many passages of depth and meaning, that the heart cannot contain it in one reading.  “One thing I have asked of the Lord; one thing I seek; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.”  To skim over the next few lovely lines seems almost foolish, but I leap on to the end of verse 7, “he shall hide me in the secrecy of his dwelling and set me high upon a rock.”  And, again slipping past other verses my eyes light on a core verse of immense significance, “You speak in my heart and say, ‘Seek my face’.”  The psalm ends with the words, “wait patiently for the Lord.”

I have drawn these words from a psalm which holds much pain and distress.  These lines are the response from the psychological affects of having been abandoned and threatened.  They are indeed bringing to the surface much of which we bury.  As one commentator has put it:  “Pray it quietly, again and again.”*

John Mann

* Patrick Woodhouse in his book, Life in the Psalms