Mowing the lawn & praying the Psalms

photo-2I’ve never been a guy who loves mowing the lawn. Over the last year, I’ve begun to take more pride in getting it done, though. Mainly because I was mowing the lawn of our family home, the place we were supposed to raise our kids and grow old together. We built it in a beautiful setting in the small town my wife grew up in. Now, every time I make another pass and turn back toward this house on the mower, my heart hurts a little bit more. I find myself crying out to God with each pass and soon tears are freely pouring from my eyes that have nothing to do with my allergies.

I find myself crying out loud from the mower, asking God to end the injustice of my circumstances, to rescue me quickly, to save me from being put to shame for my obedience, to give me some direction, to reveal the truth and to destroy the lies and illusions of the enemy. “Come quickly, God, and save me!” I cannot comprehend how the lover of my soul could allow the enemy to use my help mate, my one-flesh spouse, my best friend, and my covenant partner against me so openly and not stop it now…


As a modern Christian, I’ve often struggled with these feelings and how to express them in prayer. The writers of the Psalms did not have such hangups. Incidentally, much of the language I find myself using from the back of the old Wheelhorse, comes directly from the Psalms. If you’re feeling a bit put upon, abandoned, or neglected in your stand tonight. If you’re struggling with how to “get in God’s face” about your pain, your hurt, and your desperation, without sounding ungrateful or snarky, begin by praying the Psalms. Go grab the Message or, better yet, the Remix, and just get on your knees with a box of tissues and go for it.

 

May I recommend the following:
  • Psalm 42 (NIV / MSG)
  • Psalm 43 (NIV / MSG)
  • Psalm 69 (NIV / MSG) I recommend stopping at verse 20, unless you can visualize the real enemy… see below.
  • Psalm 38:9-22 (NIV / MSG)
  • Psalm 70 (NIV / MSG)
Remember, that if you are praying some of the imprecatory Psalms, such as Psalm 69, in their entirety, that your enemies are not your spouse and / or any non-covenant partners. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12). If you can visualize the right enemy, go for it. 

Psalm 43 The Message (MSG)1-2 Clear my name, God; stick up for me
against these loveless, immoral people.
Get me out of here, away
from these lying degenerates.
I counted on you, God.
Why did you walk out on me?
Why am I pacing the floor, wringing my hands
over these outrageous people?

3-4 Give me your lantern and compass,
give me a map,
So I can find my way to the sacred mountain,
to the place of your presence,
To enter the place of worship,
meet my exuberant God,
Sing my thanks with a harp,
magnificent God, my God.

5 Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?
Why are you crying the blues?
Fix my eyes on God—
soon I’ll be praising again.
He puts a smile on my face.
He’s my God.

 

You will notice that in almost all of these Psalms, the writer recognizes at the end the God is still with him and continues to praise. Remember that. Even when it really sucks, and we can’t comprehend the delay, God is still worthy of praise… and probably doing a good deal more behind the scenes for us that we’ll ever know or comprehend.

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