Praying with the Psalms – Clara Mapley (DRS)

To you alone, O Lord, to you alone,
    and not to us, must glory be given
    because of your constant love and faithfulness.

Why should the nations ask us,
    “Where is your God?”
Our God is in heaven;
    he does whatever he wishes.
Their gods are made of silver and gold,
    formed by human hands.
They have mouths, but cannot speak,
    and eyes, but cannot see.
They have ears, but cannot hear,
    and noses, but cannot smell.
They have hands, but cannot feel,
    and feet, but cannot walk;
    they cannot make a sound.
May all who made them and who trust in them
    become like the idols they have made.

Trust in the Lord, you people of Israel.
    He helps you and protects you.
Trust in the Lord, you priests of God.
    He helps you and protects you.

Trust in the Lord, all you that worship him.
    He helps you and protects you.
The Lord remembers us and will bless us;
    he will bless the people of Israel
    and all the priests of God.
He will bless everyone who honors him,
    the great and the small alike.

May the Lord give you children—
    you and your descendants!
May you be blessed by the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth!

Heaven belongs to the Lord alone,
    but he gave the earth to us humans.
The Lord is not praised by the dead,
    by any who go down to the land of silence.
But we, the living, will give thanks to him
    now and forever.
Praise the Lord!

When we isolate symbols of faith,
It is so easy to bestow upon them powers
They don’t possess,
Causing bread and wine, Bible and Cross,
To become distant tools of some “other”
Who plays with the contours of our life.

“… the dead do not give praise
Nor do those who go down into silence…”

God can not be contained in form or shape,
Nor imprisoned by words
To be admired or adored,
Lest we bow to the concepts of our understanding,
Like mindless idol-worshippers
To gods of our own making.

“… the dead do not give praise
Nor do those who go down into silence…”

God-life is found in the pith of living,
In emotion, and in struggle
And in the arriving.
Whether we are little or great
We have no advantage
Save to tear our mind open,
If we have the courage,
And receive the rain of blessing
God-life pours out
For the namesake of love and truth.

“It is the living that gives praise
Not those who go down into silence!”