James 1:26, 3:5–8
If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. [...] So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.
How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!
And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind,
but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
SILENT MEDITATION or MUSICAL MEDITATION: listen to this meditation from Psalm 120
John 17:6, 11b [ESV]
I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. [...] Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.
SING: Gloria Patri
Glory be to the Father
And to the Son and to the Holy Ghost
As it was in the beginning
Is now and ever shall be world without end
Read Psalm 3
2nd Reading: Psalm 4
“In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”
Psalms 3 and 4 are psalms that have many references to sleeping. As such they have been used by the church as prayers that can be offered first thing in the morning and last thing at night. This is a way of showing that all of life is meant to be a platform for prayer. As the Apostle Paul wrote, we should "pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17)." That does not mean that the best Christian life is spent doing nothing but praying on your knees. Rather, it means that all times and locations are good locations for prayer.
These two psalms also offer direct prayers to God. The voice of the psalms is one in which the speaker is addressing God. This is quite common in the psalms and one of the reasons that it is so easy to use them in our prayers and songs of praise. But, that is not on the only perspective found in the psalms. Sometimes, the psalmist seems to shift his focus and address other humans. For example, “O men, how long shall my honor be turned to shame? (v.4:2)”
The change of reference can at times feel jarring in the psalms, but if we think about it, it is quite relatable. If we are to be people who pray at all times, we will find ourselves alternating between addressing God and addressing the people around us. (I’m not suggesting that you pray out loud in the midst of a conversation and without warning – that would be disorienting for people around us.) We should be people who live in communion with God and recognize that all of our life situations are opportunities for prayer.
SING | Psalm 120
CONTEXTUALIZE | Psalm 120
Consider ways that you can let the Psalm form your imagination, that you might share it with others. Perhaps you can journal about it, write poetry or prose, learn a song, create visual art, or reexpress it in ways that speak to your context. If you are planning to fellowship with other people this weekend, consider how you might share these imaginations with your community.
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever,
As you go into your calling and vocation, take special care to observe the ways you are tempted to join in words of war from those you live with.
City Reformed Presbyterian Church
The 90 Days project is a collaborative effort of many church leaders. Matt Koerber and Daniel Snoke have taken lead roles, with others helping to write daily devotionals.