I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord. Happy are those who make the Lord their trust, who do not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after false gods. You have multiplied, O Lord my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts towards us; none can compare with you. Were I to proclaim and tell of them, they would be more than can be counted. Sacrifice and offering you do not desire, but you have given me an open ear. Burnt-offering and sin-offering you have not required. Then I said, ‘Here I am; in the scroll of the book it is written of me. I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.’ I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation; see, I have not restrained my lips, as you know, O Lord. I have not hidden your saving help within my heart, I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation.
Today is Thursday, 22 August, in the Twentieth Week of Ordinary Time.
Tommy Blaize sings a setting of Psalm 40 by Steven Faux. ‘I waited patiently… for the Lord, He turned to me…’ As you begin this time of prayer, can you become still for a moment and wait patiently for the Lord?
Today’s reading is from Psalm 39 of the Grail version and can be found as Psalm 40 in other versions of the Bible.
This reading is a song of confidence and thanksgiving to God. The great thing about psalms is that we no longer know the circumstances in which they were composed, but they give us language in which we can express our own emotions to God. What are the emotions that you heard in that reading?
‘I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.’ All of the emotions in this Psalm come down to this desire. How does this phrase make you feel? Do you take delight in doing the will of God, or do you find it too difficult?
Now listen again to the reading, and listen out for the ways in which the unknown poet responds to what God has done for him. Which of them do you feel drawn to at this moment?
Finally, try to sum up in a prayer the feelings that this psalm arouses in you. What do you feel drawn to say to God at this moment?