Josh continued our discussion of our prayers of the season, further developing the conversation about "looking outward." In Psalm 146, we read the psalmist's pep talk he's giving himself as he chooses to praise God despite his circumstances. The psalmist prays about how God steps into situations faithfully and continually because of who God is. We see the reminder that what we worship forms us.
Josh shared a couple of quotes from Debie Thomas this morning:
1) "We are confident that God will heal us in body, mind, and spirit. We are assured that God will be there to lift us up when we fall, steady us when we stumble, and care for those among us who cannot care for themselves (the stranger, the orphan, and the lonely). We are not told specifically how God will meet these needs for us, and there is no guarantee that the answers to our prayers will be what we expect -- another of the 'surprises' of divine providence. God does not hesitate to use us ourselves to answer our own prayers, for not all the wonders of God will 'break in blessing on [our] head' (from the hymn by William Cowper, 'God Moves in a Mysterious Way'), God does not promise in every instance to change things for us; sometimes, we are changed for things. And a large part of our faithfulness is the wisdom to perceive the difference!"
2) "The righteous one works tirelessly for justice, giving food to those who are hungry, setting free those who are bound, healing the blind, watching over strangers, and upholding those who are most vulnerable in the world -- the orphan and the widow! The wicked are those who do not cooperate in 'mending the world.' They always prioritize their own self-interest. The psalmist asserts that God brings ruin to these. The reader of the Old Testament often turns to the books of the prophets to find compelling words calling communities to justice and righteousness. An unrecognized but consistent strain in the Psalms, however, is the same insistence and call to be a justice-seeking people."