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Praying Psalm 25:4-5 - a prayer for guidance

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The Psalmist, David, begins his prayer very naturally, by expressing his trust in God. Then he asks God to protect him and defend his reputation from evil slanderers. He protests that only traitors are subject to shame, but his own experience proved that, even having done his best, he was still the victim of a mud slinging slander campaign. Maybe his belief that "where there's smoke, there's fire" is a naïve assumption! This is an humbling realization, which leads him to question his own wisdom. Time spent in prayer can be eye opening. This is fruitful, if we respond as David did, by asking for guidance.

Show me your ways, Lord,

teach me your paths.

Guide me in your truth and teach me,

for you are God my Savior,

and my hope is in you all day long.*

We often come to prayer believing we know exactly what we need, so we hand God our wish list and go on our way. When God doesn't do what we ask, we sometimes suffer disillusionment and loss of faith. Disillusionment can be healthy, because it simply means our naïve assumptions have been cleared away. Still, grieving our perceived losses, we can easily create new, negative illusions about God, ourselves, and others, that are just as false and far more harmful.

Instead of letting grief and anger color our perceptions, we need to learn to take time to allow God to deal with our hearts and gently clarify our vision. If we let doubt and confusion be our cue to ask for guidance and are willing to live awhile with uncertainty, God will teach us his truth and lead us in paths that are far better than those we might have childishly chosen on our own.

Make this a daily prayer, and be open to new ways of seeing. God is faithful. He will always give wisdom to those who truly long for it.

Show me your ways, Lord,

teach me your paths.

Guide me in your truth and teach me,

for you are God my Savior,

and my hope is in you all day long.*

*Psalm 25:4-5, Holy Bible, New International Version

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