Prepare to listen. Light 2 purple and pink candles and pray: ‘Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.’
Prayerfully Read Psalm 124
If it had not been the LORD who was on our side—let Israel now say—if it had not been the LORD who was on our side, when our enemies attacked us, then they would have swallowed us up alive, when their anger was kindled against us; then the flood would have swept us away, the torrent would have gone over us; then over us would have gone the raging waters. Blessed be the LORD, who has not given us as prey to their teeth. We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken, and we have escaped. Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
This psalm begins and ends with words of hope: God is on our side and God is our help. In between the pray-er describes some of the adversities Israel survived thanks to the LORD. The psalmist is upbeat and seems a bit unrealistic. However, his own community had been overcome by many other disasters and yet sang this psalm with confidence in their God. Countless numbers of God’s people through the ages have joined them, despite their adversities.
The psalmist doesn’t explain or defend God’s record. Instead, he sings in testimony of what he knows God can and will do, even when it seems the worst is happening. As Peterson writes, “Hazards or no hazards, the fundamental reality we live with is ‘The LORD who was on our side…. Our help is in the name of the LORD’” (Peterson 1980, p. 73). It’s more of a corporate than a private reality. The community stands firm, the snare is broken, escape comes to those who dare to throw their hard questions at God and admit their doubts. Then they discover and experience that God indeed is on their side; God indeed is their help.
Praying Psalm 124 won’t change how we feel, but it will change what we know about God and his power. It helps us claim that God is on our side. Pray it again and again today and trust in the God who is on your side and who is your help despite what happens around you.
Respond to Jesus
Lord, sometimes I struggle to believe you’re on my side and my help. Things don’t pan out the way I hoped. I give you my doubts and questions today and ask you to remind me throughout this day that you are on my side. Amen.
Go live obediently in the world, trusting that God is on your side.