Psalm 14
Mark Rhoads

July 25, 2021

Father,

We are not in the camp of those who say “There is no God,” for we acknowledge you as God, creator of heaven and earth.  We long to be your people, to trust and obey you in all of our ways. We kneel humbly before you; we say that you are our protection, our hope, the lifter of our heads, our fortress and our deliver.

We see those in our world today who deny your existence and live according to their own rules; those who freely oppress the vulnerable, those who having no fear of any divine retribution, persecute and kill.  We pray that soon the wicked will know the terror of your judgement and that those under their thumb will find refuge in you, if not in this life, then in the life to come.

We take heart that evildoers will be cut off, terrified of you, and that all those who trust in you will be saved. But we are apt to wonder about your timing, Father.  We fear that one day we will find ourselves among the oppressed, under the hand of God-denying fools. If this day comes, may we recall the promise of this Psalm, that you are the protector of the righteous, all those who turn to you.

We confess, Father, that we can read this Psalm with a certain smugness.  We can point the finger at the fool who says, “There is no God,” but in our prosperity we are prone in many subtle ways to deny your sovereignty by trusting in our wealth or resting in or comforts. Or maybe when times get tough we begin to give in to fear, wonder if you are really there, if you will come to our aid.  Father, give us a steadfast trust in you, that weather we have plenty or are in great need, whether feeling safe or are in great danger, we will acknowledge you as God, bear witness with confidence to your sovereignty and your promise of salvation. Help us on one hand to live above the fray, and on the other, be attentive to the needs of others, to give as was given to us whether it be worldly goods or encouragement.

We ask, Father, for your help as a congregation of believers.  You have ordained that through community we are built up in you.  Give us the longing to see growth in the knowledge of you among our brothers and sister.  Help us resist isolation. Give us the desire and opportunity to know each other well and thus encourage one another in this difficult world.

We pray all of this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

And all the people said, AMEN