So, this past weekend I was blessed to lead a second retreat in as many weeks. This time it was a group of amazing Air Force wives in Nellis AFB, Nevada. It’s just outside of Las Vegas and I did not do any gambling, I promise!
But I did spend a wonderful day praying the Psalms with the women. The theme was, “Be Still and Know That I Am God,” from Psalm 46, verse 10. And that was, as I explained to the women that morning, the goal of our time together: to be still in order to hear what God is saying to each of us.
Being still and quiet, with just our thoughts and prayers and listening for God’s voice, should not be a challenge, but it is for many of us as our lives are so busy and full of noise and activity. So this day was an opportunity to cultivate peace in our hearts and spirits for a little bit of time. And, hopefully, everyone learned some new ways to pray and to spend time with the Lord so they could take that with them into the rest of their lives.
So Many Psalms!
Our last psalm experience was, after listening to the first 6 verses of Psalm 91, and singing “On Eagle’s Wings,” which is based completely on this Psalm, writing our own Psalm to the Lord. We had learned about Praise Psalms, Wisdom Psalms, Trust and Confidence Psalms, and Lament Psalms, and even a Psalm of Zion (Psalm 46). And I also mentioned a few other types of Psalms in the Book of Psalms. The women were invited to reflect back on the psalms we had experienced that day or just peruse the Book and find one to help them as they began composing one of their own.
So, I decided, since I’d given them 30 minutes and it was our last item on the agenda and I had some time to contemplate the Psalms myself, that I would work on writing a psalm, too. It’s below. Not perfect, maybe not even my best work. But from the heart. And that’s the most important thing.
Contemplation, not Meditation
I explained to the women that contemplation involves being still so God can speak to us. So, that is always a part of the process when we want to converse with God. We need to listen first and then speak. Try it yourself! Really. Just carve out a few minutes of your day to be still and listen for the voice of God. Then, free of distractions and any demands on your time, you can begin to compose your own psalm of praise or lament or of wisdom or trust and confidence to the Lord.
Here is the song that I used to accompany this psalm. We had some technological issues at the beginning of the day when I had planned for the women to hear it, but we brought it back at the end, before we left for the day and that may have been an even better time to hear it. (My Psalm is under the link!)
Most high and glorious God-
I praise You and I adore You,
I glorify You and I give you thanks for your great glory!
Never let me be separated from You. Never let me think You do not care, or do not
know what I’m doing, or enduring – whether rejoicing or in near despair.
open my heart, my mind.
Settle my spirit so I may rest in all that You, Lord, offer to me.
I am so grateful, I am so unworthy, at least I feel that way. But I must remember
that You have made me worthy.
Through Your passion, death, and resurrection,
You have made me worthy.
And so I must thank You with my life.
I must live a life worthy of Your sacrifice!
Make me, Lord, a fitting emissary for Christ. Make me as Christ-like as You
desire me to be.
I will sing Your praises forever! Amen.