Prayer: Let my prayer rise up like incense to you, O God. Amen.
Reading: Psalm 141: 1-4 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: This psalm is one of my favorite passages in the Holy Bible, because of the sheer intensity of these words. What I love about this psalm is the fact that it is a prayer for preservation from evil. When I say this psalm, I ask God to answer me when I call to God and hear my prayers so that God may know that I am in need of attention. Since incense was offered during evening prayers, the fact that just the prayer alone could be offered as incense instead.
When I look back on this psalm, I feel like a huge reason I like it so much is just the sheer fact that I can relate to it really well. It seems that there are many times in my life where I feel like evil is always knocking on my door. So many times, I feel like I don’t call upon God for help or preservation. There have been times when I do let evil in, and I do forget to lift up my prayers. However, from what I take in from this psalm, calling to God isn’t as intimidating as it sometimes appears.
What I truly get out of this psalm is that when I call upon God, and offer my prayers, God always answers in one way or another. So, for the times in my life when I want to offer up my prayers, I just think of this psalm and remember that God will accept my prayers as incense and not turn me away.
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