Rachel Fitch
Sid & Cathy Batts Pastoral Resident

Reading Neil’s reflections on prayer the other week, he offers beautiful imagery of the connective and healing power of prayer. He writes of his envisioning Jesus coming and kneeling before the person, laying his hands on their head.

As he writes, we don’t really know what happens in prayer. But, we know and we trust that God is there, that, through Christ, the Spirit is with us.

For me, I think of prayer and I think of the psalms. They provide rich imagery of God’s presence. They detail deep praise and gratitude and the depths of pain and wanting.

Reading the first few verses of Psalm 145 in worship last week and again with the Peacehaven small group, we sat in the beauty of the words.

Every day will I bless you and praise your Name for ever and ever … One generation shall praise your works to another and shall declare your power.  I will ponder the glorious splendor of your majesty and all your marvelous works …T he LORD is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and of great kindness …

The imagery goes on. As we reflected as a group, we named different verses that stood out to us. God is good. God is Lord. The descriptions of God’s character are beautiful. Our time will pass, yet the love of God is to be shared, so that all generations may know God’s name. In fact, today we know God’s name because of the generations that have come before us, those who have passed down the faith. It is awe-inducing.

Sometimes when I read a Psalm, I like to think of the image that it evokes. For this one, the praises that are lifted up flood the first verses. I imagine the swaying of trees, chirping of birds, of all of creation lifting praises to God. In verse 9, I imagine compassion enveloping the earth just as a parent might wrap their child in a warm blanket. I’m curious, what images bubble up for you? Or, what sounds or verses of hymns or songs are evoked by the words of this psalm or others?

As this psalm details deep praise and trust, others detail deep desire or grief, and some detail a mix of all sorts of things. Yet, in each, we are given words of trust, words of prayer. Just as we don’t really know what happens in prayer, yet we know and trust that God is with us, as we read the psalms and other scripture, we know and trust that God is with us through the Spirit, giving us words even when we have none.