Within the Bible there are many different types of literary forms from stories and history, letters and prophecies, to even proverbs and poetry. Personally, I am not one for poetry. I much prefer the stories and proverbs, but I know that for others they prefer poetry. There is something about poetry that allows one to express their abstract feelings into concrete terms. That is needed at times. That is the reason for the book of Psalms. The Psalms are prayers of thanks, praise, or cries for help to God that God had recorded for believers to have a starting point for their own prayers of thanks, praise, and cries for help.
I read a psalm recently about being betrayed by a friend. Instead of potentially having you miss something by me just summarizing it, I’ll have you read Psalm 55 for yourself below:
1Turn your ear to my prayer, O God.
Do not hide from my plea for mercy.
2Pay attention to me and answer me.
I am troubled in my thoughts and I groan
3 because of talk from the enemy,
because of oppression from the wicked,
because they dump evil on me,
and in anger they hold a grudge against me.
4My heart is in anguish within me.
The terrors of death fall on me.
5Fear and trembling come over me.
Horror covers me.
6So I say, “I wish I had wings like a dove!
I would fly away and find a place to rest.
7Yes, I would flee far away.
I would stay in the wilderness. Interlude
8I would hurry to find shelter,
far from the violent wind, far from the storm.”
9Swallow them up, O Lord.
Confuse their speech,
for I see violence and contention in the city.
10Day and night they sneak around on its walls.
Evil and trouble are in the city.
11Destruction lurks within it.
Treachery and deceit never leave its streets.
12For it is not an enemy who insults me—
I could bear that.
It is not someone who hated me who rises up against me—
I could hide from him.
13But it is you, a man who served with me,
my colleague and my associate,
14 with whom I shared pleasant discussions
as we walked with the excited crowd at God’s house.
Plea for Judgment
15Let deadly destruction come on them.
Let them go down to the grave alive,
because evil is at home in their hearts.
Confidence in Judgment
16As for me, I call to God,
and the Lord saves me.
17Evening, morning, and noon I cry out and I sigh,
and he hears my voice.
18In peace he redeems my life from the assault against me,
even when many are against me.
19God will hear, and he will punish them
-yes, he is seated on his throne from eternity!—
because they never change, and they do not fear God.
The Traitor’s Treachery
20The traitor reaches out his hand against those at peace with him.
He breaks his agreement.
21His flattery is smooth as butter,
yet war is in his heart.
His words are more soothing than oil,
yet they are drawn daggers.
22Place your burden on the Lord,
and he will support you.
He will never allow the righteous to fall.
23But you, O God, will bring them down into the pit of destruction.
Bloody and deceitful men will not live half their days.
But as for me, I will trust in you.
David wrote this psalm, perhaps, when he was betrayed by his own son, Absalom (2 Samuel 15-18). If you have been betrayed by a friend, can’t you see yourself praying this? Asking God to hear you. Putting the pain you feel into words. Asking God to take care of it. Trusting that God will take care of it. Even though the traitor continues in his treachery, you continue to trust in God and allow him to take care of it. This is a godly prayer for the specific circumstance of being betrayed by someone close.
The Psalms have many more prayers that God gave us to use for other specific circumstance. You won’t know what kind of prayers are in the Psalms, unless you read them ahead of time. You already read one psalm. Just 149 more to go.
A Word from your Pastor
Summer is upon us, and people are busy. People like to get out of town over the weekends to go camping, go to sporting events, visit family, go on vacation, etc. Our worship service is also during the weekend. So, what do you do? Do you skip church for that Sunday? Is it only for that Sunday or will it be for the next three months? Do you watch it either live or recorded online? But as everyone found out last summer, watching it online is better than nothing, but it sure doesn’t replace being there in person. Do you find another WELS church near where you are and go worship there? That’s great if you do, but how soon until you miss your home congregation?
There is another option. If you are gone, busy, or just couldn’t attend Sunday morning worship, then you can still attend that service the following Wednesday at 6:30pm. This mid-week service is being offered throughout the summer (June 9th
). So, for instance, if you couldn’t have attended worship on Sunday, June 6th
, you could still attend the same service (same lessons, same sermon, same songs) on Wednesday, June 9th
I would love to see you Sunday morning for our Family Bible Study and worship service, but I pray that if you can’t make it Sunday morning, that we could worship together Wednesday evening at 6:30pm.
Family Bible Study:
There will be no Bible Class or Sunday School starting on May 30th
and throughout the Summer. Instead, we will beginning our Family Bible Class on Sunday at 9am focusing on the Lord’s Prayer. The Tuesday Bible Study will have the same focus.
Summer Sermon Series:
The sermons during the summer will be focusing on the Commandments.
Starting on June 9th
, we will be offering a Wednesday night service at 6:30pm that is the same as the previous Sunday morning worship. We are doing this so if you are unable to come to church Sunday morning, you can still worship later that week on Wednesday.
After worship on Wednesday June 30th
, the Fellowship Committee is hosting some cornhole games. Boards/bags will be provided. You bring the other stuff if you want. This is open to all members.
The Fellowship Committee is also hosting a night-out to a Trappers Baseball Game on August 6th
. More information to follow.
The mission of Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church is to reach out with the saving gospel of Jesus Christ to call those who are lost, comfort those who mourn, rejoice with those who come to know and believe that Christ’s victory is their victory and to grow together in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ until the final victory is ours.