Ash Wednesday Meditation

“Hear my prayer, O LORD; let my cry come to you!” Psalm 102:1

For Lent this year, we will meditate daily upon two of the Penitential Psalms, 102 and 143. We will focus upon one verse each day from these throughout this season.

The 102nd Psalm is described as follows in the title, “A PRAYER OF ONE AFFLICTED, WHEN HE IS FAINT AND POURS OUT HIS COMPLAINT BEFORE THE LORD.”

For verse 1, this background is important. How do we approach the LORD, especially when afflicted and faint?

Do we turn inward or toward other aids? This sinful world tells us when afflicted and faint due to either our own doing or the doing of others to turn to remedies outside Christ.

I can power through this on my own through substance abuse.

I can power through this on my own through lashing out at others and making them suffer more than I feel I am suffering.

I can power through this on my own through giving into temptations, into my addictions.

I can power through this on my own through idolatry, seeking help through other gods.

All of these seek help via modes that fail, which drive us into deeper affliction and fainting. The simplicity of the Gospel is to reject these by starting with prayer to God, to ask Him to hear us. The simplicity of the Gospel is to reject these by “letting” our cry come to the Lord. It is perfectly all right in our prayers to the LORD to cry out to Him. When we need to, cry out to Him. Do not hold back. Let Him hear your cries in your prayers.

Prayer.

Almighty God, help me to reject all the enticements of this world that offer false solutions in my times of affliction and fainting. Help me to get upon my knees, knowing you will hear my prayers. Help me through your grace to cry out to you, knowing you will hear and act; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.