Ep.097: Psalm 40: Out of the Pit.

Hello, I’m Daniel Westfall on the channel “Pray with Me”.

Psalm 40 begins with a song of thanksgiving for God’s deliverance. “I was stuck in a muddy pit,” says the poet. “I was mired in the bog.” He waited in hope for the Lord, who lifted him out of the pit and set his feet on a rock. “He gave me a new song,” says the poet, “a song of praise to our God.” 

Let’s pray. 

Lord, we have felt mired in the pit. We have been in that place where everything falls apart, leaving us isolated, depressed, hopeless, fearful. How easily we are sent there by an unkind word, a minor accident, a fleeting argument, a small illness. How easily our world becomes dark and unfriendly and slippery. Thank you for finding us in the pit, thank you for rescuing us, thank you for setting our feet on solid ground, thank you for turning our pity-party into a song of praise.

With the poet we praise you,
    Many, Lord my God,
      are the wonders you have done,
      the things you have planned for us.
    None can compare with you;
      were I to speak of your deeds,
      they would be too many to declare (v. 5)..

Yes, Lord, you have helped us escape from our prison, your have invited us to your God-party. We exchange our darkness for the light of your house, our muddy despair for a glimpse of your plan for us. We exchange our starvation diet for appetizers and wine at your table, we exchange our hopeless silence for the music of your orchestra.  We don’t have enough words to describe your goodness; our spreadsheets don’t have enough numbers to count your blessings; for you are the rock on which we stand, you are the universe in which we live. 

With the poet we say,
    Sacrifice and offering you did not desire —
        but my ears you have opened
        burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require.
      Then I said, “Here I am, I have come. . .
      I desire to do your will, my God;
      your law is within my heart (v. 6-8). 

There is a time for sacrifice, but what your heart desires is not technical obedience to the law, not a work-to-rule campaign by unhappy slaves, not bloody sacrifices for sin. You desire us, and you want us to desire you. Your loving presence in our hearts is all the law we need. A deep desire for your fatherly embrace is the only motivation we require. 

With the proet we pray, 
     May all who seek you
       rejoice and be glad in you;
    may those who long for your saving help always say,
      “The Lord is great!” (v. 16). 

Yes, Lord, may we not be sullen, duty-bound seekers. May we seek you with rejoicing and gladness. Day by day we look for you, sometimes feeling that we find you, sometimes feeling that you hide. Teach us to enjoy the search, teach us to enjoy the journey, teach us to enjoy the quest and the questions. You are bigger than our questions and greater than the answers we find.

Let those who long for you say, “The Lord is great!” Our hearts and motives are a mystery even to ourselves; but your heart and motives are as deep as the sea and kind beyond comparison. Our thoughts are sometimes profound, but yours are unfathomable. We long for you, and we believe you long for us. 


I’m Daniel on the channel “Pray with Me”.

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