Words To Be Heard, Hands To Be Lifted (Life Journal – 4/23/2015)


I call upon you, O Lord; come quickly to me;
    give ear to my voice when I call to you.
Let my prayer be counted as incense before you,
    and the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice.

Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord;
    keep watch over the door of my lips.
Do not turn my heart to any evil,
    to busy myself with wicked deeds
in company with those who work iniquity;
    do not let me eat of their delicacies. (Psalm 141:1-4)


David as a “temple” – incense in prayers, sacrifices in lifting of his hands, door of his lips. Imagery of cleanness of word and heart.

Counted suggest substitution – can David not worship as God expects or David thinks God wants?

Lots of body allusions in all of this – ear, voice, hands, mouth, lips.

David’s actions are yielded to God’s control – set a guard, keep watch, do not turn. But David also expects / asks God to act, to respond.


The beauty of the Psalms is their applicability to every mood, every phase, every experience of life and the spirit. Something in the Psalms speaks to where we are at this moment whether exultation or depression, unspeakable joy or bottomless doubt.

Today is a reminder to expect God to respond, to approach the Almighty as one who will hear and act. David sings boldly that God would respond even though his words are not accompanied by incense and sacrifice in the temple.

Are my words inadequate? Is my heart not as quiet as I would like? Is my life not reflective of what I know God wants? Pray anyway. Ask anyway. Lift hands and voice and ask God to hear.


O Lord, hear my voice. O Lord, accept my prayers. May this mouth that prays to you speak always as if I am speaking to you. May my heart be turned to you and my deeds to your good. In the name of Christ who always please you and always did your will… Amen.

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