"Lord, listen to me and answer me. I am poor and helpless….You, Lord, have helped me and comforted me." - Psalm 86
Psalm 86 is the kind of prayer usually reserved for when things go really bad. A prayer for when it has all fallen apart and you're at the end of your rope. If that's where you are today, then pray it, hard.
But it's also the perfect prayer to pray when things are going just fine, a prayer for those who have enough money, health, and power to get them through the day. Praying it when you're feeling broke down and no 'count is a no-brainer. Prayed when you're flush and feeling good, it takes on a different cast. Then, it becomes something like a call to humility, a reminder that all you have is nothing without God.
Only the dead are invulnerable. When all is well in your world, Psalm 86 becomes a proclamation of this fact, an acknowledgement that all life is precarious. It is an affirmation that, ultimately, all your hope lies in God.
So, to you who are in a good place, who are having a pretty good day: praise God and congratulations. The world could use a few more of those. Enjoy it. Enjoy it, and pray this prayer to remind yourself that even if things weren't going so well, still you would have the only thing that will finally matter: the love of the God who made you. It's a belief worth cultivating.
God, things are going pretty well right now. Even so, all my hope is in you. Amen.
Quinn G. Caldwell is the Pastor of Plymouth Congregational Church, Syracuse, New York. His most recent book is a series of daily reflections for Advent and Christmas called All I Really Want: Readings for a Modern Christmas. Learn more about it and find him on Facebook at Quinn G. Caldwell.