Prayer for Guidance and for Deliverance
To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in you I trust;
do not let me be put to shame;
do not let my enemies exult over me.
Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame;
let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
The psalmist commits his soul to God and declares his trust. In light of the personal losses and social conditions that fall far short of what we would associate with the reign of God, it may be difficult for us to truly do the same! Every religious life that opens itself to the conditions of the world must confront the question: how can I put my trust in God? As long as trust in God means relying on God for our own particular, desired outcomes, we will be disappointed.
Lifting our souls to God and trusting in God leads us into an ever-deepening relationship in which the mysteries of life unfold. As we trust, we let go, look expectantly to the future, without setting requirements for what that future must hold. Instead, we trust the unfolding of the Creator’s gift of life. We trust that our own small portion of human experience is already known by the immanent God, the God who has experienced all that humanity experiences as God incarnate, God in human flesh. We are humbled to life our souls to the transcendent God, the mysterious, all-embracing, creative God whose purposes are wider and broader than we can see.
Placing our trust in this God allows us to face squarely the personal losses and social injustices that are often the source of our doubts. Yes, we continue to have our personal hopes and our particular way of fulfilling our vocation for love and justice. But these are tempered by the larger vision, the mysterious leading of God.
Advent is a time for an examination of those things that hold us back from fully trusting God; letting go and living in the comfort that comes from lifting our whole being into God’s arms.
Holy God, reassure us by making yourself known in ways broader and wider than we can hope and dream. Amen.