Journal Ps 9 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.” (Ps 9:1-2)
“…for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.” Ps 9:10b
“…he does not forget the cry of the afflicted.” Ps 9:12b
“For the needy shall not always be forgotten, and the hope of the poor shall not perish forever.” Ps 9:18
Observation: I notice the imperatives (verbs) versus the acknowledgments—the “whys” of God’s initiatives.
My prayers don’t always remember His faithfulness. Dumb, isn’t it?
Analysis: Here I am, thinking I am on the upside of maturity, and I realize my prayers are regressed to: “Help me, Lord. Give me this and that and the other thing. Oh, and thank you.”
It is like I run into a time of prayer and completely forget acknowledging his faithfulness concerning my past. I don’t even try. Pray, touch all the bases of prayer, and get out—go do something else.
Even now, as I am writing this, I could give the impression that I am affected by this chapter and am energized to change my ways. The impression would be false.
As it is, I am like many other believers, I am drawn to the easy path, not the hard one. Study and writing are easy for me. Spending, allotting significant time to pray is not. For others, perhaps it is sharing their faith with outsiders—the more shared, the more warm fuzzies and sense of spiritual accomplishment. However, confessing faults, doubts, questions, owning up to sin issues, etc.—that may not be in their wheelhouse.
The Psalmist remembers how to pray.
I tried teaching youngsters how to pray a long time ago. It is like teaching how to play baseball; I have to think about all the little things so I can teach the little things. Not having the need to prepare to teach, I have forgotten all the stuff myself.
I should take from Ps 9 (and the rest of Psalms) the remedial course.
Prayer: Father, how can I best serve my brothers and sisters? By being real, confessing sin and faults; by being blunt and transparent is what I am thinking.
It is not how I succeed that makes a difference I think; It is how I approach you and deal with my failures.
O Spirit: remind me to enthusiastically recount all that you have done. Cultivate humble gratefulness in me.