URC Daily Devotion 5 November 2023

5 November 2023
Psalm 9

I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart;
I will recount all your wonders.
I will rejoice in you and be glad,
and sing psalms to your name, O Most High.

See how my enemies turn back,
how they stumble and perish before you.
You upheld the justice of my cause;
you sat enthroned, judging with justice.

You have checked the nations, destroyed the wicked;
you have wiped out their name for ever and ever.
The foe is destroyed, eternally ruined.
You uprooted their cities; their memory has perished.

But the Lord sits enthroned for ever.
He has set up his throne for judgement;
he will judge the world with justice,
he will judge the peoples with his truth.

For the oppressed let the Lord be a stronghold,
a stronghold in times of distress.
Those who know your name will trust you;
you will never forsake those who seek you.

Sing psalms to the Lord who dwells in Zion.
Proclaim his mighty works among the peoples,
for the Avenger of blood has remembered them,
has not forgotten the cry of the poor.

Have pity on me, Lord, see my sufferings,
you who save me from the gates of death;
that I may recount all your praise
at the gates of the city of Zion
and rejoice in your saving help.

The nations have fallen in the pit which they made,
their feet caught in the snare they laid.
The Lord has revealed himself, and given judgement.
The wicked are snared in the work of their own hands.

Let the wicked go down among the dead,
all the nations forgetful of God;
for the needy shall not always be forgotten
nor the hopes of the poor be in vain.

Arise, Lord, let mortals not prevail!
Let the nations be judged before you.
Lord, strike them with terror,
let the nations know they are but mortals.

The Psalms: An Inclusive Language Version based on the Grail translation from the Hebrew
© 1963, 1986 The Grail (England) GIA Publications


O to be great, be entire:
Of what is yours nothing
exaggerate or exclude.
Be whole in each thing.
Put all that you are into the least you do….

So begins a poem by Fernando Pessoa. 

Twenty-first century westerners are not great at being fully in the moment.  We find ourselves chatting to those not present, barely noticing others in the room, or perhaps we hurry to record the NOW in pictures, failing to see fully before capturing….Hourly repetition of the Psalmist’s first stanza could be an excellent counter-balance to such habits:

I will praise you, Lord, with my whole heart….

Healthy fear and true awe are uncommon qualities in our own age.

Coming to our senses, let’s recognise the amazing reality of inhabiting a God-given human body, with its particular flexibility and intelligence, its frailty and fine balance.

Coming to our senses, let’s start making our prayers more inclusive, informed by the interconnection of everyone and everything. 

Coming to our senses let’s acknowledge God as the righteous judge of the whole universe, holy, supremely fair and utterly dependable, One who values human life.  The Lord sees, knows and heals in ways which shake mere mortals to the core.

On this autumnal day let’s see if we can’t begin afresh, whole-hearted and entire, with a little more self-knowledge.   Our task is to kindle ever deeper love for God, unhampered by fear, but with due awe.

I have used fewer words and included spaces, leaving room for personal responses.  We close now with words to bring all our fragments of individual prayer into one:


Teach us, Holy One,
to see your glory in all places
and at all times,
whether the path be rough or smooth.
May we always be whole hearted,
our integrity intact,
as we set a new intention:
to place all that we are and have
into the channels of your everlasting love.




Today’s writer

The Rev’d Roberta Ritson, Minister, North Tyne Ecumenical Partnership and Horsley Village Church



New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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