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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6 Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm:
7 “Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.
8 “Would you discredit my justice?
Would you condemn me to justify yourself?
9 Do you have an arm like God’s,
and can your voice thunder like his?
10 Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor,
and clothe yourself in honor and majesty.
11 Unleash the fury of your wrath,
look at all who are proud and bring them low,
12 look at all who are proud and humble them,
crush the wicked where they stand.
13 Bury them all in the dust together;
shroud their faces in the grave.
14 Then I myself will admit to you
that your own right hand can save you
The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Job 40:6–14.
Job 29:21-25 21 “People listened to me expectantly,
waiting in silence for my counsel.
22 After I had spoken, they spoke no more;
my words fell gently on their ears.
23 They waited for me as for showers
and drank in my words as the spring rain.
24 When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it;
the light of my face was precious to them.
25 I chose the way for them and sat as their chief;
I dwelt as a king among his troops;
I was like one who comforts mourners.