read Psalms 140-144

pray Psalm 144

Gracious God,

You know my heart and you know my vexations,

and you know better than I do what I am after.

Purify the source.

Give me clearer vision, so that I may see myself more clearly,

so that I may understand my desires more fully,

explore my virtues more carefully,

and know what battles must be fought.

And then guide my heart, Lord,

so that I fight real enemies and fight them the right way.

Purify the source.

Take away the ache, the hurt, the sullen wrath; take away the rage

that makes it impossible for me to see and hear and know things accurately.

Take away my willfulness, which distorts others and makes them worthy of destruction.

Train my hands for war, but let it be your war.

Destroy those who are full of deceit,

but have mercy on me when I fall short of the truth,

for I am small and broken and do not often know my true state.

We pray for sons and daughters full of grace,

for good harvests and for bounty,

for the city in which there is no cry of distress in the streets.

Bring all those blessings home to me:

Make me gracious, bountiful, peaceful, just.

Purify the source.


(Also printed in Acceptable Words: Prayers for the Writer ed. Gary Schmidt and Elizabeth Stickney.  Used with permission.)


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