A Psalm for a Hard Summer

There are certain sections of my two-year Bible reading plan that make me extremely grateful for the book of Psalms.

I believe all scripture is inspired by God and there for a reason. But at 6 o’clock on most any summer morning, Leviticus can get a bit tedious.

Each day, my reading plan includes a passage from the Old or New Testament, along with a chapter from either Psalms or Proverbs. And lately, it’s been the Psalms that are keeping me going.

Yes, they’ve given me something to look forward to as I plow through the more monotonous parts of my daily readings. More importantly, though, they’ve been my spiritual anchor as my family walks through an intense season of caring for my mom.

I’ve starred and underlined and bracketed verses in almost every chapter. Again and again, I have come across exactly the right bit of encouragement for the day ahead—just when I needed it most.

Truly, God’s Word is living and active and powerful, just as Hebrews 4:12 describes it.

I hope your summer has been full of fun vacations and lazy days by the pool. But if your recent history has been more like mine—full of unexpected challenges, uncertainty and even sadness—I have some words that might offer comfort.

They’re some of the same words that have been keeping me going this summer, arranged in the form of this prayer.

Lord, You have been our refuge in every generation. Before the mountains were born, before You gave birth to the earth and the world, from eternity to eternity, You are God. (Psalm 90:1-2)

Whom do I have in heaven but You? And I desire nothing on earth but You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart, my portion forever. (Psalm 73:25-26)

If the Lord had not been my helper, I would soon rest in the silence of death. If I say, “My foot is slipping,” Your faithful love will support me, Lord. When I am filled with cares, Your comfort brings me joy. (Psalm 94:17-19)

Lord, hear my prayer; listen to my plea for mercy. I call on You in the day of my distress, for You will answer me. (Psalm 86:6)

Save me, God, for the water has risen to my neck. I have sunk in deep mud, and there is no footing; I have come into deep waters, and a flood sweeps over me. (Psalm 69:1-2)

God, hear my cry; pay attention to my prayer. I call to You from the ends of the earth when my heart is without strength. Lead me to a rock that is high above me, for You have been a refuge for me, a strong tower in the face of the enemy. (Psalm 61:1-3)

When I think of You as I lie on my bed, I meditate on You during the night watches because You are my helper; I will rejoice in the shadow of Your wings. I follow close to You; Your right hand holds on to me. (Psalm 63:6-8)

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. (Psalm 143:8, NIV)

My heart is confident, God, my heart is confident. I will sing; I will sing praises. (Psalm 57:7)

I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God while I live. (Psalm 104:33)

The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation. (Psalm 118:14)

Amen.

♥ Lois

Again and again, I have come across exactly the right bit of encouragement for the day ahead. Click To Tweet

Note: Unless otherwise noted, all verses are from the Holman Christian Standard Version of the Bible.

Also: I’m linking up this week with Purposeful Faith, #TellHisStory, Coffee for Your Heart, Chasing Community and Grace & Truth.



25 Responses to A Psalm for a Hard Summer

  1. Lisa notes says:

    I hear you, Lois! I’ve been in 2 Chronicles in my daily Bible reading, but tomorrow it schedules me in Proverbs so I welcome that reprieve. 🙂 Psalms are the best, yes? I love them too!

  2. Just this morning, I read the Psalm 73 verse and copied it into my journal. He IS the strength of our hearts and our portion forever. I read a Psalm almost every day. It’s my favorite book. 🙂

  3. I love the Psalms; they are one of the most encouraging books in Scripture. You may enjoy Timothy Keller’s devotional the Songs of Jesus.

  4. Hi Lois,
    Your Bible reading plan is interesting to me since this summer I decided to read through Bible from beginning to end (I never have before) to see how God weaves the story of humanity. I’m in Joshua at the moment and I’m finding it all a different sort of enlightenment that my soul needs right now. Hoping your load of cares get a little lighter and you will have some breathing space. xoxo

    • You may enjoy a Chronological Bible. It puts everything in chronological order, so as you read Exodus, you’ll read the Psalm Moses wrote. As you read Acts, you’ll read Ephesians (if that’s where Paul was), etc.

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Joshua is one of my favorite biblical personalities, Valerie … I’m glad his story is feeding your soul right now! Isn’t it fun and interesting how different parts of the Bible speak to us at different times of our lives? Hugs, friend!

  5. Yes, my summer has been wrought with unexpected challenges and uncertainty. Thank you for sharing these words of inspiration! “My heart is confident, God, my heart is confident. I will sing; I will sing praises.” (Psalm 57:7)

  6. Thanks for sharing your heart, and also for sharing the words from God that are helping your heart this summer. I like to study a psalm with my Sunday School folks in the summer time, and we’re working on 103 right now, which is one of my favorites.

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Michele, Psalm 103:11-18 actually framed and hanging in a prominent place in my house, if that tells you anything about how much I love that chapter too! Wish I could sit in on that study with your class. 🙂

  7. Yes, yes to the Psalms. I especially love reading them sometimes in The Message. I love the verse that says that the lines have been drawn for me in pleasant places. That’s hard to believe, but feels comforting.

  8. Lesley says:

    The Psalms always encourage me too. I love that we can come to God and be honest however we’re feeling, or whatever pain and uncertainty we may be facing, and know that he cares. They’re also great reminders of the truth of who God is. I love how you’ve combined all these verses together into a prayer.

  9. Linda Stoll says:

    you’re right, this hasn’t been a carefree, easy season has it, Lois. but those Psalms are a lifeline of prayer … and a simple Proverb or two can recalibrate a morning.

    thanks for sharing God’s Word with us front and center. He’s the only One who doesn’t change like shifting shadows.

    blessings, friend …

    • Lois Flowers says:

      “A lifeline of prayer” … exactly that, Linda! And those Proverbs? As I’ve read them in recent years, I’ve been amazed at how relevant they are to my current seasons of parenting. Timely and timeless at the same time! Hugs, friend. 🙂

  10. Lois thank you for stringing these Psalm verses together. What an encouraging thing to pray through. Continuing to pray for you and thank the Lord for His comfort, strength, and consistency. I read the other day that the Psalms as a whole include an expression of every single “root” human emotion. What a gift from God that we can find echoes of what stirs in us expressed in His Word and orienting us to Him.

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Bethany, I had to smile when I read this comment last week because you found the word that had been eluding me as I wrote this post … “stringing” the Psalms together! I tried “cobbled,” “assembled” and who knows what else, and finally settled on “arranged.” But stringing is better, I think. 🙂 I love the idea that the Psalms includes every “root” human emotion too … that is a gift from God, just as you say. 🙂

  11. Joanne Viola says:

    Lois, while our hard seasons are different, it is so true that the Psalms can bring a word for every season! And I am so very grateful for that. Prayed for you, your mom, and your family before leaving this comment. Blessings to you all!

  12. Kristi Woods says:

    Oh, I’m so glad for today’s visit. What a BEAUTIFUL way to connect His word in Psalms! Lois, I love Psalms as well, and this, well, this prayer is absolutely beautiful. And girl – you are so creative to think of this! I hope your summer reading ends as well as your beginning seems to have. #raralinkup

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