June 21, 2017

A Story and a Prayer

June 21, 2017

Daily Reading

Nehemiah 9:1-8

Luke 6:12-19

Psalm 126

This week’s sermon text: James 5:13-19

Field Notes
A psalm can be adapted as a way to tell our life experiences and as a way to offer prayer. Psalm 126 tells a story and offers a prayer. Here is the first draft of my adaptation of Psalm 126:

When the Lord restored the life of my child
    I was like those who are breathless and astonished.
Then my mouth was silent,
    and my tongue was speechless;
  Then everybody everywhere said,
    “The Lord has done great things for this son.”
The Lord has done great things for his family,
         and I rejoiced.
Restore our families, O Lord,
    like the gatherings of trees in the meadows by a river.
May people whose families are torn,
    find places of reconciliation.
May mothers who go out weeping,
    bearing tears for fear and sorrow,
Come home with children who have been restored,
    gathering them in their arms

Questions for the Field

Try to rewrite Psalm 126 based on an experience your life.
When the Lord restored the ________ [fortunes] of __________[Zion]
I was  like those who ____________ [dream].
Then my mouth was filled with _____________[laughter],
and my tongue with ______________[shouts of joy];
then everybody everywhere [among the nations]said,
“The Lord has done great things for  __________ [them].”
The Lord has done great things for _____________[us],
and ________[we] rejoiced.
Restore _______   ____________[our fortunes], O Lord,
like the ___________________[watercourses] in the _____________[Negeb – pastures lands].
May _____________[those] who sow in tears
reap with shouts of joy.
____________[Those] who go out weeping,
bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with _____________[shouts of joy],
carrying ____________[their sheaves].

Family Field Talk
Remember a time when God restored something within the family or within your group of friends. What happens when you share the memories and find words for prayer within the frame of this psalm?

Prayer Guide
Holy God, I hope to find my story within your story. I hope to expand my story toward an understanding of the stories of other people. I hope when I pray in remembrance of your rescue and reconciliation in my life that I ask your power and presence into the lives of those who also suffer. Turn our stories into prayers. Amen.