Prepare to listen as you light the 2 purple candles. Pray: ‘To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens!’
Prayerfully Read Psalm 123
To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens! As the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, until he has mercy upon us. Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us, for we have had more than enough of contempt. Our soul has had more than its fill of the scorn of those who are at ease, of the contempt of the proud.
The pray-er has learned to lift her eyes, not to the hills (Ps 121) but to the LORD because she knows her God is ‘enthroned in the heavens.’ When we pray this psalm regularly, we’re being trained to trust the one who is above all and therefore able to see and control all, that is, a God who can be fully relied on to take care of all who trust him. The look the pray-er casts on the Lord is like that of a maid or servant who looks to the hand of mistress or master, a look that anticipates that direction will come, not necessarily in words spoken but in a gesture of the hand. The maid/servant is fully alert and ready to serve, trusting the mistress/master, regardless of disturbing circumstances.
The psalmist looks to the Lord’s hand because circumstances are tough, probably due to an oppressor who is ‘at ease’ and ‘proud.’ Therefore, they cry for mercy, that bountiful help only God can give. They have had more than enough contempt, are overwhelmed by (had their fill of) scorn from those who mock and oppress. The pray-er has no other recourse but to trust fully in the one ‘enthroned in the heavens,’ and her only prayer is: ‘Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us.’ It’s a prayer that often comes to my lips when life has gotten bad and that’s all I can ask.
How does this psalm encourage your faith in the Lord and embolden you to cry for mercy?
Respond to Jesus
O Lord, have mercy upon me today; have mercy upon my community; have mercy on the world you created and love. Amen.
Go live obediently in the world resting in God who is enthroned in the heavens.