Daily D – Psalm 119:77
Surround me with your tender mercies so I may live, for your instructions are my delight. PSALM 119:77 (NLT)
Simple prayers are often the best. Here is one to try on for size. “Surround me with your tender mercies so I may live, for your instructions are my delight.”
It may be helpful to consider yesterday as you pray this prayer today. What evidence of his tender mercies do you see? Think back to the stories of yesterday, the relationships, the conversations, the moments, and the places. Looking back, where do you now recognize the hand of God at work?
A comment caught me off guard. A person I trust to tell the truth as he sees it without varnish spoke up and declared something so simply and straightforwardly that it could not be misunderstood. It could only be pondered. They were the right words at the right time. In retrospect, it was a holy moment.
In the 1983 Academy Award-winning movie Tender Mercies, Tess Harper lies in bed alone, listening fearfully and hopefully to every sound as she says her prayers. She tells Robert Duvall in another scene about giving thanks each day for God’s tender mercies. Here is a pattern for us.
Day by day, especially evening by evening, it is profitable to give God thanks for his tender mercies. It is good to call to mind how he has guided us by his gentle and loving hand into one experience of his kindness or another. It is good to review the ups and downs of our day from his perspective. It is good to ponder adjustments we made or need to make as a result of our reflection.
Life is less about what happens to us than about how we respond to what happens to us. Here is a prayer to assist us in proper response and adjustment. Here is a prayer to help us build on the forward progress of yesterday.
Count your blessings.
Name them one by one.
Review God’s tender mercies,
and know he is not done.
I will ponder God’s tender mercies day after day.
Our Father, how good you are to me. I often do not recognize what you are doing in my life until I pause to reflect. Then I can see clearly your unmistakable guidance, your tender mercies at work in my pain and in my delight. Remind me as often as necessary when I lie down to pause and reflect by your still waters. It is restoring to my soul. Amen.
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Psalm 23:3, 4 He renews my life; he leads me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for you are with me; your rod and your staff—they comfort me. (CSB)
Daniel 5:11 “There is a man in your kingdom who has the spirit of the holy gods in him. In the days of your predecessor he was found to have insight, intelligence, and wisdom like that of the gods. Your predecessor, King Nebuchadnezzar, appointed him chief of the magicians, mediums, Chaldeans, and diviners. (CSB)
Daniel 1:20 In every matter of wisdom and understanding that the king consulted them about, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and mediums in his entire kingdom. (CSB)