When my children were younger, my wife and I taught them to recite Psalm 4:8 as part of their bedtime routine. “I go to bed and sleep in peace, because, LORD, only you keep me safe.” (New Century Version). This is a promise that I still often repeat…especially if I am facing stress or worries.
In this psalm, The Psalmist speaks of enemies and their lies, but also speaks of how he is able to sleep in peace because of the confidence he has in God. I wanted to reflect that in today’s poem. The last 2 lines of my poem repeat (as closely as I could stay to the NCV rendering as I could within my chosen meter) and expand upon Psalm 4:8. The form of the poem is called a “Fourteener” as there are 14 syllables per line.
To sleep in peace, Lord, Ah! That is a treasure worth much more
than all the gold and riches that the evil have in store
They scheme and plot to try to steal the things another built,
but in the end they only gain an ever deep’ning guilt!
Lord, what I have may be no more than I need to get through,
yet I have joy, for I have found contentment’s found in you!
“I go to bed and sleep in peace”, I need not fear the night
“For only you, Lord, keep me safe” until the morning light
I am going to attempt to write poetic responses to the Palms, hopefully posting one on most Sundays until i have worked through all 150 of them. Today’s poem is a response to Psalm 1
Prevent me, Lord, becoming like the chaff:
that worthless stuff the wind blows far away
Let me not mock along when scoffers laugh
nor with the wicked, Lord, let me not play
Instead, by streams of water let me grow
that i may bear abundant fruit for You
Teach me your precepts, Lord, that i may know
what’s right, what’s holy, beautiful, and true.
I prayed to God a while back
and said “I need a sign
some miracle that proves to me
that you’re indeed divine
Some wondrous work is all I want
It’s all I need to know
some thing that science can’t explain
will help my faith to grow”
I saw no miracles that day
no signs from Father God
and so I said “I must conclude
that He must be a fraud
But then I prayed more recently
“Lord help my faith to grow
so even when there is no sign
That even then I’ll know you’re God
and since that day I’ve found
that when I look with eyes of faith
God’s miracles abound!
The wicked walk with heads held high
rejoicing in the destruction of the righteous
They delight in inflicting pain
on the ones who would
do all that they can to
alleviate the pains of others
they gather in secret councils
to plot ways to do more evil
How long O LORD
will the wicked have their way?
how long will You allow them
to glut themselves
on the misery of the upright?
Come near O LORD
expose the wicked for who they are
expose their lies and bring Your divine justice
Restore the righteous
who have been unfairly trampled
for You are no lover of evil
but You take pleasure in those
who serve you
written for my friends SH and DH…and for their friends KR and KR, PR, GR, and LR…and all others in their community who are suffering right now. God knows the details better than any of us. He holds you in his hands!
Today’s prompt at napowrimo.net is to experiment with voice (1st, 2nd, 3rd person perspectives)
Prayer and Response
Oh Lord I am beset on every side
I’m trapped within a a lightless place
I look, for you oh Lord, why do you hide?
I seek but cannot find your face
My child, my arms are opened to you wide
Protecting you with light and grace
Although you see me not, I’m by your side
I always see you with my smiling face
Not one of my best, but it’s been a crazy day. Brevity has been a necessity today.
These prayers of mine: It sometimes seems
Are falling on deaf ears. They are
Not being answered in the way I would like.
The fact is, though, the miracles I want would pale beside the
Miracles that are actually happening if I only had the eyes to see.
You, O Lord, work in ways that I cannot comprehend, and you
Are doing so much more than I can imagine. Help me to start
Looking beyond what I think I want, and looking
For your far greater plan
you spoke the earth and sky in place
you spoke in place the creatures too
you spoke the fiery stars in space
you speak and you make all things new
you whisper and the mountains shake
just speak and ev’ry knee will bow
a shout from you: the earth would break
one word is all I’m asking now
at a word from you the lame can walk
at a word from you the sightless see
at a word from you the mute can talk
at a word from you the demons flee
oh Lord why don’t you hear my plea
oh Lord would you speak a word for me?
sharing with dVerse
Note: Logos is the Greek word for “Word”. In the New Testament book of John, the “Word of God” was made flesh in Jesus Christ, and thus Jesus is Logos personified.
My mind is prone to wander
my thoughts too often stray
to things I should not think upon
to thoughts that lead away
from thinking about pure things,
about the good and true
the praiseworthy, the excellent,
the thoughts that lead to you
Oh Lord I pray that on my head
your helmet you would place
the one that guards my wayward mind
with peace, with love, with grace
so that the things I do each day
will help me truly know
the depth and width of your great love
that my own love may grow
Based on Philippians 4:8 and Ephesians 6:17
My plate starts full at every meal
and by the end no crumbs remain
and yet too often I forget
that I am blessed, instead complain
of little things that matter not
I know that there are many who
don’t have the blessings I’ve received
and every time they find a scrap
of food to eat they are relieved
to know they’ll live another day
O Lord, forgive this attitude
I have of looking for the bad
O help me count my many boons
so that my heart might be made glad
then help me bless the ones in need
at NaPoWriMo, we have been given the prompt of writing about food. I wanted to do something a bit more serious, about how blessed I am…and yet how quick I am to count all the things that have gone wrong instead of countless blessings. The rhyme scheme was accidental (I was planning on xaxa,xbxb,etc, but somehow it felt “right” to have an additional unrhymed line at the end of each stanza.
taps into God’s power – and
surrenders to it
Far too often, we use prayer as a sort of ‘incantation’…as a way to try to bend God to our will. Yes, prayer taps into God’s power, but God can only truly use us when we surrender to God’s will…surrender to his power, rather than trying to coerce Him into doing our will. To be honest, not something that I’m good at, but I’d like to get there.