Prayers to the God of My Life: Psalms for Morning and Evening

Prayers to the God of My Life: Psalms for Morning and Evening

by Lisa B. Hamilton

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Overview

The Psalms have long been a staple in the devotional life of religious people. Composed thousands of years ago, they bring every emotion known to humankind—from anger to adoration—into the presence of God. In many monastic traditions all 150 Psalms are prayed each week. But those who live outside the cloister, even if they love the Psalms, would find such a schedule difficult to maintain. In Prayers to the God of My Life, Lisa Hamilton provides small portions for daily reading each morning and evening for 365 days of the year. Matched both to nature’s seasonal cycle of the year and the church’s liturgical calendar, these Psalm fragments invite us to focus on all aspects of our relationship with God: praise, trust, fearfulness, pain, confession, thanksgiving, longing, the need for guidance, and more. A question worthy of reflection or a suggested action accompanies each selection. The Psalm translation is from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer. Excellent for use as a daily devotional, a companion to fixed-hour prayer, or for use by groups.


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780819225559
Publisher: Church Publishing Inc.
Publication date: 04/01/2003
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 240
File size: 1 MB

Read an Excerpt

PRAYERS to the GOD of my LIFE

Psalms for Morning and Evening


By Lisa Belcher Hamilton

Church Publishing Incorporated

Copyright © 2003 Lisa Belcher Hamilton
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-8192-1922-0



CHAPTER 1

JANUARY


January 1 Hope

Morning 65:12–14

You crown the year with your goodness, and your paths overflow with plenty. May the fields of the wilderness be rich for grazing, and the hills be clothed with joy. May the meadows cover themselves with flocks, and the valleys cloak themselves with grain; let them shout for joy and sing.

How do you hope God will crown this year with goodness?

Evening 18:29–31

You, O Lord, are my lamp; my God, you make my darkness bright. With you I will break down an enclosure; with the help of my God I will scale any wall. As for God, his ways are perfect; the words of the LORD are tried in the fire; he is a shield to all who trust in him.

Recall a time when God illuminated your darkness.


January 2 Praise

Morning 5:1–4

Give ear to my words, O Lord; consider my meditation. Hearken to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I make my prayer to you. In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; early in the morning I make my appeal and watch for you. For you are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness, and evil cannot dwell with you.

In what ways do you experience God differently at different times of the day?

Evening 79:13

For we are your people and the sheep of your pasture; we will give you thanks for ever and show forth your praise from age to age.

Recall someone you have known who lived as a person of God. What kind of example does that person offer you?


January 3 Strength

Morning 37:24–25

Our steps are directed by the Lord; he strengthens those in whose way he delights. If they stumble, they shall not fall headlong, for the Lord holds them by the hand.

Today, notice how God is holding you by the hand. How is God directing your steps?

Evening 55:17–19a

But I will call upon God, and the Lord will deliver me. In the evening, in the morning, and at noonday, I will complain and lament, and he will hear my voice. He will bring me safely back from the battle waged against me.

How is God at work in the battles being waged against you?


January 4 Trust

Morning 28:1–2

O Lord, I call to you; my Rock, do not be deaf to my cry; lest, if you do not hear me, I become like those who go down to the Pit. Hear the voice of my prayer when I cry out to you, when I lift up my hands to your holy of holies.

Notice times today when you feel God hears you.

Evening 28:7–9

Blessed is the Lord! for he has heard the voice of my prayer. The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I have been helped; Therefore my heart dances for joy, and in my song will I praise him.

Is there a connection between trust and joy?


January 5 Seeking

Morning 61:1–4

Hear my cry, O God, and listen to my prayer. I call upon you from the ends of the earth with heaviness in my heart; set me upon the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. I will dwell in your house for ever; I will take refuge under the cover of your wings.

What images of God as a refuge resonate with you?

Evening 119:1–2

Happy are they whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord! Happy are they who observe his decrees and seek him with all their hearts!

How did you observe the Lord's decrees today?


January 6 The Epiphany (See Matthew 2:1–12)

Morning 68:28–31

Send forth your strength, O God; establish, O God, what you have wrought for us. Kings shall bring gifts to you, for your temple's sake at Jerusalem. Rebuke the wild beast of the reeds, and the peoples, a herd of wild bulls with its calves. Trample down those who lust after silver; scatter the peoples that delight in war.

What gifts do you offer God?

Evening 72:11–14

All kings shall bow down before him, and all the nations do him service. For he shall deliver the poor who cries out in distress, and the oppressed who has no helper. He shall have pity on the lowly and poor; he shall preserve the lives of the needy. He shall redeem their lives from oppression and violence, and dear shall their blood be in his sight.

Pray for, and plan on how you can act of behalf of, someone who has no helper.


January 7 Confession

Morning 99:1–3

The Lord is King; let the people tremble; he is enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth shake. The Lord is great in Zion; he is high above all peoples. Let them confess his Name, which is great and awesome; he is the Holy One.

How do you experience the power of God?

Evening 62:8–9

In God is my safety and my honor; God is my strong rock and my refuge. Put your trust in him always, O people, pour out your hearts before him, for God is our refuge.

When is it easiest to pour out your heart before God?


January 8 Thanksgiving

Morning 9:1–2

I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will tell of all your marvelous works. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing to your Name, O Most High.

Try thanking God for every blessing you notice today. How does gratitude affect your relationship with God?

Evening 147:7–12

Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; make music to our God upon the harp. He covers the heavens with clouds and prepares rain for the earth; He makes grass to grow upon the mountains and green plants to serve mankind. He provides food for flocks and herds and for the young ravens when they cry. He is not impressed by the might of a horse; he has no pleasure in the strength of a man; But the Lord has pleasure in those who fear him, in those who await his gracious favor.

Recall ways God has given you pleasure today, and recall ways you have given God pleasure today.


January 9 Wisdom

Morning 14:1–2

The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." All are corrupt and commit abominable acts; there is none who does any good. The Lord looks down from heaven upon us all, to see if there is any who is wise, if there is one who seeks after God.

Can you recall a time when you were foolish and gained the wisdom to change?

Evening 139:16–17

How deep I find your thoughts, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I were to count them, they would be more in number than the sand; to count them all, my life span would need to be like yours.

What do you think God thinks about?


January 10 Presence

Morning 139:6–9

Where can I go then from your Spirit? where can I flee from your presence? If I climb up to heaven, you are there; if I make the grave my bed, you are there also. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there your hand will lead me and your right hand hold me fast.

Recall a time when you were aware of God's presence only in retrospect. What tends to make you less aware of that presence?

Evening 42:10

The Lord grants his loving-kindness in the daytime; in the night season his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.

When have you known night seasons in your life?


January 11 Counsel

Morning 68:1–3

Let God arise, and let his enemies be scattered; let those who hate him flee before him. Let them vanish like smoke when the wind drives it away; as the wax melts at the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God. But let the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; let them also be merry and joyful.

What kind of wickedness do you pray for God to melt?

Evening 16:7–9

I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel; my heart teaches me, night after night. I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand I shall not fall. My heart, therefore, is glad, and my spirit rejoices; my body also shall rest in hope.

What is the relationship between your heart, your spirit, and your body? January 12 Time


Morning 37:14–16

The Lord laughs at the wicked, because he sees that their day will come. The wicked draw their sword and bend their bow to strike down the poor and needy, to slaughter those who are upright in their ways. Their sword shall go through their own heart, and their bow shall be broken.

Recall a time when you have seen wickedness come back through the heart of an evildoer.

Evening 90:1–2

Lord, you have been our refuge from one generation to another. Before the mountains were brought forth, or the land and the earth were born, from age to age you are God.

Who, in a previous generation, taught you about God?


January 13 Inheritance

Morning 119:33–34

Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes, and I shall keep it to the end. Give me understanding, and I shall keep your law; I shall keep it with all my heart.

What makes it difficult for you to keep God's statutes?

Evening 73:21–25

When my mind became embittered, I was sorely wounded in my heart. I was stupid and had no understanding; I was like a brute beast in your presence. Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You will guide me by your counsel, and afterwards receive me with glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? and having you I desire nothing upon earth.

How has God healed bitterness in your life?


January 14 Shelter

Morning 46:5–6

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be overthrown; God shall help her at the break of day.

What do you imagine life is like in the city of God?

Evening 5:12–15

Because of their many transgressions cast them out, for they have rebelled against you. But all who take refuge in you will be glad; they will sing out their joy for ever. You will shelter them, so that those who love your Name may exult in you. For you, O Lord, will bless the righteous; you will defend them with your favor as with a shield.

How do you feel about asking God to punish?


January 15 Calls

Morning 66:1–3

Be joyful in God, all you lands; sing the glory of his Name; sing the glory of his praise. Say to God, "How awesome are your deeds! because of your great strength your enemies cringe before you. All the earth bows down before you, sings to you, sings out your Name."

What is it that makes certain hymns and songs your favorites?

Evening 120:1–2

When I was in trouble, I called to the LORD; I called to the Lord, and he answered me. Deliver me, O Lord, from lying lips and from the deceitful tongue.

From what deceit do you desire God to deliver you?


January 16 Promise

Morning 37:36–39

Wait upon the Lord and keep his way; he will raise you up to possess the land, and when the wicked are cut off, you will see it. I have seen the wicked in their arrogance, flourishing like a tree in full leaf. I went by, and behold, they were not there; I searched for them, but they could not be found. Mark those who are honest; observe the upright; for there is a future for the peaceable.

Recall a time when you saw wickedness flourish ... and wither.

Evening 112:4

Light shines in the darkness for the upright; the righteous are merciful and full of compassion.

What do you notice about yourself when you are upright?


January 17 Assistance

Morning 71:8–9

Let my mouth be full of your praise and your glory all the day long. Do not cast me off in my old age; forsake me not when my strength fails.

Pray for the elderly.

Evening 113:6–8

He takes up the weak out of the dust and lifts up the poor from the ashes. He sets them with the princes, with the princes of his people. He makes the woman of a childless house to be a joyful mother of children.

Recall great gifts, even miracles, that God has given you.


January 18 Salvation

Morning 17:6–8

I call upon you, O God, for you will answer me; incline your ear to me and hear my words. Show me your marvelous loving-kindness, O Savior of those who take refuge at your right hand from those who rise up against them. Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me under the shadow of your wings.

What loving-kindness do you need for today?

Evening 85:7–9

Show us your mercy, O Lord, and grant us your salvation. I will listen to what the Lord God is saying, for he is speaking peace to his faithful people and to those who turn their hearts to him. Truly, his salvation is very near to those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land.

How can you help bring God's glory to dwell in our land?


January 19 Waiting

Morning 10:1–4

Why do you stand so far off, O Lord, and hide yourself in time of trouble? The wicked arrogantly persecute the poor, but they are trapped in the schemes they have devised. The wicked boast of their heart's desire; the covetous curse and revile the LORD. The wicked are so proud that they care not for God; their only thought is, "God does not matter."

When do you feel frustrated with God?

Evening 62:6–7

For God alone my soul in silence waits; truly, my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold, so that I shall not be shaken.

When you put all your hope in God, how do you find God working in surprising ways?


January 20 Instruction

Morning 94:11–14

The Lord knows our human thoughts; how like a puff of wind they are. Happy are they whom you instruct, O Lord! whom you teach out of your law; To give them rest in evil days, until a pit is dug for the wicked. For the LORD will not abandon his people, nor will he forsake his own.

Meditate on wisdom that endures.

Evening 16:1–2

Protect me, O God, for I take refuge in you; I have said to the LORD, "You are my Lord, my good above all other." All my delight is upon the godly that are in the land, upon those who are noble among the people.

Pray for those people in whom you delight.


January 21 Safety

Morning 27:7–8

For in the day of trouble he shall keep me safe in his shelter; he shall hide me in the secrecy of his dwelling and set me high upon a rock. Even now he lifts up my head above my enemies round about me.

Ask God to relieve your anxiety, and the anxiety of others as well.

Evening 84:1–2

How dear to me is your dwelling, O LORD of hosts! My soul has a desire and longing for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh rejoice in the living God. The sparrow has found her a house and the swallow a nest where she may lay her young; by the side of your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God.

Where do you find God dwelling?


January 22 Mighty Acts

Morning 150:1–2

Hallelujah! Praise God in his holy temple; praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts; praise him for his excellent greatness.

Begin your day praising God and notice if it affects your day.

Evening 74:15–16

Yours is the day, yours also the night; you established the moon and the sun. You fixed all the boundaries of the earth; you made both summer and winter.

Why do you think God included so many opposites when creating the world?


January 23 Protection

Morning 6:6–9

I grow weary because of my groaning; every night I drench my bed and flood my couch with tears. My eyes are wasted with grief and worn away because of all my enemies. Depart from me, all evildoers, for the LORD has heard the sound of my weeping. The LORD has heard my supplication; the LORD accepts my prayer.

Pray for those—maybe even yourself—who face the day worn out from weeping through the night just passed.

Evening 63:7–8

For you have been my helper, and under the shadow of your wings I will rejoice. My soul clings to you; your right hand holds me fast.

Do you experience God primarily as a helper? A protector? A companion?


January 24 Frailty

Morning 89:46–47

How long will you hide yourself, O Lord? will you hide yourself for ever? how long will your anger burn like fire? Remember, Lord, how short life is, how frail you have made all flesh.

Do you ever experience God as angry?

Evening 25:3–4

Show me your ways, O Lord, and teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; in you have I trusted all the day long.

What paths is God teaching you?


January 25 Judgment

Morning 7:11–12

God is my shield and defense; he is the savior of the true in heart. God is a righteous judge; God sits in judgment every day.

How would you describe God's judgment?

Evening 30:4–6

Sing to the Lord, you servants of his; give thanks for the remembrance of his holiness. For his wrath endures but the twinkling of an eye, his favor for a lifetime. Weeping may spend the night, but joy comes in the morning.

For what do you hope?
(Continues...)


Excerpted from PRAYERS to the GOD of my LIFE by Lisa Belcher Hamilton. Copyright © 2003 Lisa Belcher Hamilton. Excerpted by permission of Church Publishing Incorporated.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

Acknowledgements          

Introduction          

January          

February          

March          

April          

May          

June          

July          

August          

September          

October          

November          

December          

Recommended Resources          


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