The beautiful Psalm 130 is our Psalm in worship this week (online 9AM Sunday). Thanks to Tess Shearer for this adaptation of devotional materials by Erica Schemper. Tess was setting up these stations for us at New Life during Lent, and we were enjoying this hands-on way to experience the Psalms. Now she is giving us ideas for setting up the stations each week in our homes, worshiping in yet another new way. (Photo: Mediterranean Sea, Haifa, Israel, Carmen Retzlaff)
PRAYER STATION: THE FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT, MARCH 29...PSALM 130: 1-2
“OUT OF THE DEPTHS I CRY TO YOU, O LORD! LORD, HEAR MY VOICE!
LET YOUR EARS BE ATTENTIVE TO THE VOICE OF MY SUPPLICATIONS!
IF YOU, O LORD, SHOULD MARK INIQUITIES, LORD, WHO COULD STAND?
BUT THERE IS FORGIVENESS WITH YOU, SO THAT YOU MAY BE REVERED.
I WAIT FOR THE LORD, MY SOUL WAITS, AND IN HIS WORD I HOPE; MY SOUL WAITS FOR THE LORD MORE THAN THOSE WHO WATCH FOR THE MORNING, MORE THAN THOSE WHO WATCH FOR THE MORNING. O ISRAEL, HOPE IN THE LORD! FOR WITH THE LORD THERE IS STEADFAST LOVE, AND WITH HIM IS GREAT POWER TO REDEEM. IT IS HE WHO WILL REDEEM ISRAEL FROM ALL ITS INIQUITIES.”
For the psalmist, the bottom of the ocean was perhaps the deepest, most faraway place he could imagine. ”Out of the depths…” he cried. Even for us today, we can explore outer space, but the depths of the ocean remain a mystery...vast, and difficult to explore.
It doesn’t matter how “deep,” or how far away we go, God can still hear us...God wants to hear us. It doesn’t matter what we have to say. It is important to God. What do you need God to hear? Even if it comes from your “depths,” God will hear it, and will hold close what you have to say.
During this critical time in our nation’s history, this psalm may resonate deeply within us, as we feel the depth of pain and suffering, uncertainty, and even despair being experienced by thousands of people, not just here, but around the world. We may indeed cry out, as we plead with God to hear our voices... to heal the sick, to comfort the dying and grieved, to bring peace to weary bodies and hearts, to bring wisdom to health care professionals and leaders. “...hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love.” We hope, we believe, we pray.
Some ideas if you wish to set up this Prayer Station at home. Adapt as you wish.
1) Choose a spot to set up your prayer station: a small table in a corner of a room, the center of your dining room/kitchen table, a coffee table, a table on your deck or back porch, or anywhere you choose.
2) Cover your prayer table this week with a blue cloth, or some blue paper you may have, or that you have colored, or cut out of a magazine perhaps. Bunch the cloth or paper so that it looks a bit like water.
3) Possible things to set on your prayer table: a candle or tea light, a Bible open to Ps. 130, some rocks/pebbles, or even marbles spread on the table, and a small container to put the rocks in.
What do you need God to hear? Take one of the stones from the table, and place it in the container as you pray this verse from the psalm: “Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord! Lord, hear my voice!” As it comes from your deepest, inmost self, God will hear and hold what you have to say.
THINK ABOUT OR WRITE DOWN A SHORT RESPONSE TO THE QUESTION: What is the deepest place you have been? Where/What are your “depths?”
(Adapted from Walking With Jesus Through the Psalms, by Erica Schemper)