A Leaf from our Church’s Prayer Guide—September 17
 
Psalm 6
 
O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger,
    nor discipline me in your wrath.
Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing;
    heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled.
My soul also is greatly troubled.
    But you, O Lord—how long?
Turn, O Lord, deliver my life;
    save me for the sake of your steadfast love.
For in death there is no remembrance of you;
    in Sheol who will give you praise?
I am weary with my moaning;
    every night I flood my bed with tears;
    I drench my couch with my weeping.
My eye wastes away because of grief;
    it grows weak because of all my foes.
Depart from me, all you workers of evil,
    for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping.
The Lord has heard my plea;
    the Lord accepts my prayer.
10 All my enemies shall be ashamed and greatly troubled;
    they shall turn back and be put to shame in a moment.
 
 
For our church:
 
Please pray that the members of our church would experience profound and continual repentance for sin coupled with an even deeper assurance in the God who forgives for the sake of his steadfast love.
 
 
Our teaching moment:
 
Psalm 6 is the first of what has traditionally been called the penitential psalms (Psalm 6; 32; 38; 51; 102; 130; 143). These seven psalms express contrition, lament, and repentance over sin. Each one of the penitential psalms contains promises pertaining to God’s willingness to hear prayer or confident assurances of God’s steadfast love (Ps. 6:8-10; 32:10-11; 38:15; 51:17; 102:17; 130:7-8; 143:12). Five of the seven penitential psalms were written by David (Ps. 6; 32; 38; 51; 143). Wow! What does this tell us? At the very least, it tells us that the work of repentance over sin is a continual one. When David felt the soul-troubling and bone-wasting weight of sin and guilt, he found comfort in the faithfulness of our covenant-keeping God. And this was not a one-time experience but rather a regular occurrence for this king who has been described as a man after God’s own heart (1 Sam. 13:14; Acts 13:22).  
 
 
A prayer from the past:
 
O God of Grace,
 
Thou hast imputed my sin to my substitute, and hast imputed his righteousness to my soul, clothing me with a bridegroom’s robe, decking me with jewels of holiness. But in my Christian walk, I am still in rags; my best prayers are stained with sin; my penitential tears are so much impurity; my confessions of wrong are so many aggravations of sin; my receiving the Spirit is tinctured with selfishness.
 
I need to repent of my repentance; I need my tears to be washed; I have no robe to bring cover to my sins, no loom to weave my own righteousness; I am always standing clothed in filthy garments, and by grace am always receiving change of raiment, for thou dost always justify the ungodly; I am always going into the far country, and always returning home as a prodigal, always saying, Father, forgive me, and thou art always bringing forth the best robe.
 
Every morning let me wear it, every evening return in it, go out to the day’s work in it, be married in it, be wound in death in it, stand before the great white throne in it, enter heaven in it shining as the sun. Grant me never to lose sight of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, the exceeding righteousness of salvation, the exceeding glory of Christ, the exceeding beauty of holiness, the exceeding wonder of grace.
 
[anonymous puritan, cited in Arthur Bennett, ed. The Valley of Vision, 76.]
 
Have a blessed week and we will see you on Sunday.
 
Love in Christ,
 
Pastor Dale