Hear my prayer, O LORD

Psalm 102:1 Hear my prayer, O LORD; let my cry come to you!

The Psalms continue to be a major force in my daily walk with the Lord.  They are so transparent and real in dealing with all the factors of our life.  The Psalmist isn’t afraid to talk with the Lord.  

We face daunting odds every day of our life.  For every good thing that happens it seems unbidden at least 10 strike us.  As we age we struggle to stay in contact and open communication with our children, grandchildren and some great grandchildren.  The world is always upside down.  I read the headlines today and the simple issues of morality are just over whelming.  One of the big stories of 1978 was the serial killer Ted Bundy murdering the young coeds at Florida State.  This morning I read of the abortion doctor that had 50,000 abortions, many admitted had been live births to harvest the organs.  50,000?  No one is marching about those precious lives lost, murdered by a serial killer of babies.  The helpless.  The persecuted.  Lord help us as we strive to serve you.  How can we stand in the midst of a society so brutal that claims up is down and down is up.  A society that enshrines hate and evil while casting aspersions on those who would seek to help.  O Lord let my cry come to you.  

One of the tragic things we discover as we study history is that every generation that has lived on Earth have huge commitments to evil and sin.  We are not particularly special-no better, certainly no worse-because evil is evil and sin is sin and we all are desperately in need of a Savior.  When we come to Jesus we come to the One who paid the price for our sin.  Personal payment.  He knew our name.  He saw our face.  When you read Psalm 139 you quickly realize that God didn’t create an amorphous World-He created us one by one.  None of us asked to be born.  It was the creative act of a loving and caring God.  Jesus loves me this I know-For the Bible tells me so.  

I’m reminded of Melvin Jones, New Orleans-my partner for more than 25 years.  Mel is African American.  He was a wealthy, self-made millionaire who began to read his own ads and got run over by evil-drugs.  Jesus found him in the gutter, living on the street, slowed down enough that he could hear the Lord speak.  Mel, Mel why are you persecuting me?  Mel’s response was to consider suicide but he threw one last challenge to the Lord and Jesus saved him.  I wish I could tell you it was all easy after that-it wasn’t.  He was a multiple relapse offender.  He struggled.  He failed and finally not long before Katrina it all clicked and he’s been clean and sober now about 20 years.  But much more than that, God created through him Bethel Community, a drug rehab center in New Orleans.  There are generally about 200 plus folks in drug rehab every day for the six month program.  He encourages folks to do one year and those that succeed generally take a year to lay the foundation of their lifelong battle with addiction.  

Hear my prayer Lord, let my cry come to you.  Praying for Mel Jones, Jim Lee as he struggles with recovery from heart surgery, my wife Carol as she struggles with recovery from back surgery, and each one of you as you struggle with a fight against cancer, difficulties of various nature.  The Lord is so good to us but the struggle of life is so real.  Help us Lord to grow and mature in Christ.  Help us Lord to be usable and useful.  Help us Lord.  We love you.  

PSALM 103 [†] y Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! 2 y Bless the LORD, O my soul, and z forget not all his benefits, 3[†] who  forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, 5 who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Hallelujah.  Thank you Lord.  Another thing I love about the Psalms is the Psalmist begins Psalm 103 praising God.  God is good.  God is all knowing.  God is here with us.  God never lets us get out of his sight.  God is here every minute of our struggle equipping us for that time of renewal when we get together with him.  Yes this world is passing away but we are eternal because we have been bought with a price.  Thank the Lord for people like Mel Jones.  Thank the Lord for your struggle.  Thank the Lord for friendships.  Jesus loves you this I know-for the Bible tells me so.