Step #1: Lectio / Read
Click the link below or open your Bible to the passage and read through the reading at least once, paying attention to what is happening in the text.
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Use the following meditation to help you reflect more deeply on the Scripture (you may want to read the passage again).
“How are you?"
When most people ask how I’m doing, I respond simply that I’m good, and then try to turn the conversation back to them. Sometimes it’s because there’s not much time to talk, other times it’s because I might doubt the person actually wants to know. But there’s a third reason. Sometimes I’m actually not good. Sometimes the busyness of life is overwhelming, or I’m struggling in a variety of ways.
Why am I afraid to share when I’m hurting? Usually it’s because I’m afraid the other person won’t care, and I’ll be left emptier than when I began. I have to admit, I’m even tempted to believe the lie that God won’t listen to my struggles. ‘He has more important things to worry about.’ ‘I’ll be fine, I don’t want to bother Him.’ Even when I build up the courage to speak to Him, I’m still left sitting in the apparent silence wondering if He’s heard—wondering if He’s going to do something about it.
"By day I cry out; at night I clamor in your presence. Let my prayer come before you; incline your ear to my call for help."
First, in our struggle we should verbalize to God that we feel far from Him, and that we want Him to be with us. The problem is though, our struggles can snowball and snowball until we feel crushed by the pressure of that individual struggle, our isolation, and a God who is allowing that pain.
"You have plunged me into the bottom of the pit, into the dark abyss. Upon me your wrath lies heavy…"
How are you?
I’m giving you permission to think about the answer to that question right now. Really, how are you? Have you shared where you are feeling sad, pressured, alone? If things are on the up and up, have you shared gratitude for life with anyone—with God?
When it feels like our cry isn’t heard by others, and especially God, the biggest temptation is to stop crying out. But the author of the psalm today reminds us of the simple prayer. “Let my prayer come before you, Lord.” The anguish is there. The pressure hasn’t abated. The Lord remains listening and caring for you in your need. He has for countless generations before us, including for our psalm writer.
Today I pray that we allow our desires, our needs, to rise to the surface of our hearts that we might have the clarity and confidence to cry out knowing that the Lord is there receiving each utterance in constant love.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
These questions are to be used to talk to God; have a conversation with the Lord about these questions and what is going on in your heart as you pray today.
How am I really doing right now? In what ways am I suffering?
How much confidence do I have in the Lord to hear my cries? How can I grow in this?
In what ways can I learn to be more vocal about my struggles to others? To God?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
In this step, you listen. Stop talking, let God speak to your heart. You may repeat one of these short phrases to focus your mind on the Lord.
"Lord, I know you hear my cries."
"Jesus, I trust in you."
"Help me know you are here."
Step #5: Actio / Act
In light of today's reading and your time spent in prayer with the Lord, what concrete action or actions will you take to let this encounter with the Lord bear fruit in you today?
If you are currently struggling, with anything, find someone you know, love, and trust, to be open with and share with them. Ask for prayers and for support!
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"Today's prayer was prepared by Deacon Robert Blood, seminarian of the Diocese of Rockford.
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