The Psalms – Week 14

Psalms are prayers that have been prayed by the people of God for millennia, and as such, we ought to continue in that tradition. One of the most unique aspects of being human is our ability to use tools. And “prayers are tools.” But there’s one important clarification: “Prayers are not tools for doing or getting [as we’re used to in our Western culture], but for being and becoming… At the center of the whole enterprise of being human, prayers are the primary technology. Prayers are tools that that God uses to work his will in our bodies and souls. Prayers are tools that we use to collaborate in his work with us.” (Eugene Peterson — ‘Answering God’).

“There can be an inordinate desire for greatness and accomplishment (verse 1). “Should you then seek great things for yourself? Do not seek them” (Jeremiah 45:5). This self-seeking creates great restlessness and discontent—but the psalmist has left all that behind. A nursing child, held by its mother, is highly aware of the milk she can offer and will squirm and cry if denied. A child who has been “weaned” (verse 2), however, and no longer nurses, is content just to be with its mother, enjoying her closeness and love without wanting anything else. We so often approach God only for what he can give, rather than simply to rest in his presence. Do that now, through the Word and prayer, in Jesus’s name.” — Tim Keller in ‘The Songs of Jesus’

Here’s the Arthur Weisser quote on what David means by a' ‘weaned child:’ “not like an infant crying loudly for his mother’s breast, but like a weaned child that quietly rests by his mother’s side, happy in being with her . . . . No desire now comes between him and his God; for he is sure that God knows what he needs before he asks him. And just as the child gradually breaks off the habit of regarding his mother only as a means of satisfying his own desires and learns to love her for her own sake, so the worshipper after a struggle has reached an attitude of mind in which he desires God for himself and not as a means of fulfillment of his own wishes. His life’s centre of gravity has shifted. He now rests no longer in himself but in God.”

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