Psalm 102. 1-0-2 = 9-1-1.


Today’s Lectio Divina: Excerpts from Psalm 102. (MsgB)

A Prayer of One Whose Life is Falling to Pieces, and Who Lets God Know Just How Bad It Is.

God, listen! Listen to my prayer, listen to the pain in my cries.
Don’t turn Your back on me just when I need You so desperately.
Pay attention! This is a cry for help! And hurry—this can’t wait!


Sometimes in life we need to be patient. Holding our tongue. Watching what we say or how we say it, lest we lash out with our emotions unchecked, causing more damage than doing good. Some call it being politically-correct. I beg to differ.

Being politically-correct means that I’m afraid to speak the truth, fearing my opinion might offend or upset someone else’s apple cart. But being patient with our statements, carefully forming our thoughts before we throw them out in public is another thing all together.

But here’s the rub.

Whether you call it being politically-correct or just believe it wise to be careful with your tongue, there are times in life when staying soft and quiet just doesn’t cut it. Seasons of life when the only appropriate response is to blow your stack and let the chips fall where they may.

To me, Psalm 102 is a song-prayer for one of those times.

No political correctness here. No careful evaluation of words, lest I offend the religious people in church or the God I serve. No sir. This Psalm is written specifically for those who are tired of the religious rhetoric found in so many of our churches today. Psalm 102 is for the real people living real lives, facing real problems. Folks on the edge of life and desperadoes who don’t really care what people think.

This, my friends, is gut-honest, in your face, no-holes-barred Christianity.

Life sucks. I’m at my wit’s end. S.O.S. I’ve done all that I can do to fix things…so God, here I am….get down here now and do what only You can do!

As a matter of fact, just the sub-title of the Psalm is a dead give-away that this isn’t going to be one of those flowery, poetry-driven songs that skirts the issues at hand. I mean, what other religious writings do you know of that makes things as obvious as this?

A Prayer of One Whose Life is Falling to Pieces, and Who Lets God Know Just How Bad It Is.

Kinda reminds me of the emergency button located in one of those little steel boxes on the wall. You know the kind I mean? One with the glass front and that little sign in red that yells at you…”Break glass in case of emergency!”

Well, God. This is an emergency. A five-alarm fire. No kidding’. No bluffing’. No B.S.

Now, let me ask you.

The next time you’re caught in one of those fixes and hoping the government will come save your butt…who are you goin’ call? Or maybe you’re really counting on your brother Fred or your Aunt Tootsie to pull your fanny out of the next fire? No wait. My neighbor. He’ll come and rescue me.

Or maybe you’re thinking that it’s your stash of gold coins that will get you through. Or that 401K will save ya. And if all else fails, you’ve got that 22 with plenty of ammo to lean on.

My advice is that you take out your scissors right now and cut out Psalm 102. Paste it right on your wrist so it’ll be there when you need it.

I don’t know about you, but when push comes to shove, I want to be found calling the right and reliable 9-1-1 when all hell is breaking out around me.

Hello, God? HELP!

My prayer: Father, there are so many options down here for preparing for an emergency. Certainly, Lord, I don’t want to be ignorant in doing those things that are wise so that I’m better prepared in case of emergencies beyond my control. But help me, Jesus, to be more like the Psalmist of old, making Psalm 102 my first and foremost 9-1-1 call for help. For Your Name’s sake. Amen.

My questions to ponder: So what lessor precautions am I caught up in right now, preparing myself for coming hardships and hard times? While taking precautions and shoring up my resources are good and wise things to be doing, what would it look like for me to become better prepared when it comes to my 9-1-1 ready-ness with God? Am I in touch with the emergency service only the Holy Spirit can provide? Practiced up in my prayer life? Ready to roll with Jesus in case of emergency?

So what is God speaking to you today as you ponder the Psalms?


Over a 50-week period, you and I will take a deeper look at The Psalms: God’s Songbook of Prayers. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Contemplating the Psalms home page for ease of use. Keep in mind that one of the best ways to explore the on-going applications of this blog series is to walk alongside a biblically-based, Christ-centered spiritual director who is familiar with how to make material like this part of your overall spiritual formation in God. Many of our directors in our Contemplative Activist network are available to companion you in your journey with Jesus. Click here for more info.

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