Critical Care Prayer
God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah. Psalm 67:1
Watching life seep from my mother’s frail 88-year-old body was the most painful process I’ve ever experienced. Yet God poured out His mercy and grace on Mom and our family repeatedly during the last ten days of her life.
God’s mercy was manifested in the tenderness of the emergency room and critical care staff. His peace soothed my sister and I as we sang and read Scriptures to Mom. His wisdom sliced through the fog of our sleep-deprived minds and enabled us to make difficult decisions. His sovereignty directed us to a compassionate hospice agency and selected a capable, Christian nurse to minister to Mom the last weekend of her life.
I’ve clung to the immovable safety bar of God’s character on many of life’s roller coaster rides of adversity. And I grasp it now, confident that the God of all Mercy, Grace, and Love is competently and compassionately controlling the dips and peaks of this head-spinning ride, too.
Sitting in a recliner the nurses dragged into Mom’s room for me last week, I opened my Bible to the Book of Psalms, and read them one by one. The sky was dark with predawn gloom. I could hear the chatter at the nurse’s station and Mom’s labored breathing.
But as I ingested God’s words, I felt their life-sustaining power flow through me. “In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation” (Psalm 5:3). In my journal I wrote, “Your presence is a palace of mercy. I ask You for mercy. Be merciful to mom. Give Mom the joy of Your presence both now and when she sees You face to face.”
The more psalms I read, the more peace I experienced, and the more confident I became that God and His angels were working overtime on Mom’s behalf.
Has life become a dizzying roller coaster ride? Grab the bar of God’s character. Meditate on His Word. Experience the warmth of Sonshine on your face.
Read Psalm 5. What is David’s state of mind at the beginning of the psalm? What is his attitude at the end of the psalm? What made the difference?
Read Psalm 67. What is the psalmist’s request in verse 1? What reason does he give in verses 2 and 7 for asking God to answer his prayer?
David states many benefits of meditating on God’s Word in Psalm 19:7-11. To meditate is to read and reflect on specific words and phrases, to study how they work together to communicate God’s truth. Choose a favorite passage this week and meditate on it. Record your reflections in a journal.
The Hebrew word selah “seems to have been used to mark a short pause in the singing of the words of the psalm, so that the singer would be silent, while the instrumental music continued” (Gesenius Lexicon). Why do you think the psalmist instructed the musicians to pause and reflect on the words of Psalm 67:1 and 67:4?
Denise K. Loock