Early this morning I picked up my Bible and read from the Psalms. I had finished my "ordinary" devotional time, where today I had read Psalm 91 and then spent time in prayer. Finished with something that is essential to my calling as pastor I picked my Bible back up and began reading on in the Psalms. When I reached Psalm 94 these words from verse 19 gave me pause,
"When the cares of my heart are many,
your consolations cheer my soul."
In the picture is my Bible, opened to Psalm 94, with verse 19 highlighted. Laying on top of my Bible are slips of paper with the confidential requests for prayer that are given to me on Sunday mornings.
I get several of these requests nearly every Sunday. Over time here in Dulce I have learned that for the most part the things that people write down and ask me to pray about are the more complex matters of their lives. They are rarely for things that are quite specific, such as a relative having surgery this week. Often there is just a name, or perhaps several names, names that represent what the psalmist calls "the cares of my heart."
Because the requests on the cards represent deep needs I keep them for a long time. That's why there are so many. I generally keep them for a year, although some have been in my hands a bit longer. I may have already been praying about the person or situation for a year but I know that the need still exists and so, to borrow from something I read by C.S. Lewis, today just doesn’t seem like the day to stop praying for that need.
As seen in the collection of prayer requests, the cares of the hearts of the congregation I serve are many, and I join with them in lifting their cares to God, trusting in Him to provide the consolation, the comfort, that cheers, that brings gladness, to their souls.
While the needs are many and varied in all cases the only source of comfort is the same, and that is the Lord God, to whom His people faithfully turn to day by day.
May you too find comfort from Him for the deep cares of your heart. Amen.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.