When I was asked to be one of the writers for Asian Reflections Year 2 by Scripture Union. I felt very honored to be given this chance to contribute. It was a lot of hard work … writing the reflections I mean. But I found the whole process very helpful for me to connect the context where I am in with the content of the Scripture passages assigned to me which was a good chunk of Psalms from 51 -72. Somehow, this “space” set aside for the act of thinking, praying and writing open up myself to encounter the Triune God!
I learnt a lot about myself too for example, I need a good editor. I know my English is mediocre and I don’t have a flair for fancy writing. I feel what I write is very ordinary but I try to keep things as honest as I can with some hope from a Gospel centred approach. I confess the Lutheran “Law and Gospel” Grid is very much alive in me ๐
Here’s what I wrote as a short over view for the meditations I wrote (it’s pretty much kind of my second thoughts on prayer too in between the lines):
“Overview of Psalms 51–72
Psalms 51–72 give us a window into how ones faith wrestles with the realities confronted by a variety of life experiences, especially in ‘seasons of disorientation’. In fact, many ‘cursing’ or ‘imprecatory psalms’ (Psalms 58, 69) confront us throughout these devotional readings. There are also prayers where one deals with the inner and outer conflicts of sin (Psalm 51), feelings of betrayal (Psalm 55), insecurity in the midst of danger (Psalm 56) and deep abandonment (Psalm 62). And in spite of the more apparent individual focus of these psalms, there are also themes which place the individual in the wider context of God’s work corporately in a nation (Psalm 72) and even, further globally, amongst many nations (Psalm 67). Many of these psalms give us the language of prayer in times when we have lost the words to pray. Even when we are at the lowest point of our faith journey, these ancient prayers direct our hearts to be open to God’s surprises and to hope beyond our limited horizons.
The Christian martyr, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, calls the psalms the prayerbook for Christians. He says, ‘Not the poverty of our heart, but the richness of God’s word, ought to determine our prayer.’ As followers of Christ, not only do we have these rich psalms (including all their rawness) to guide our prayers, but more importantly, we are able, through them, to pray them with Jesus because, as Bonhoeffer encourages us, only in and with Jesus Christ can we truly pray.'”
If you are interested to get copies of the Asian Reflections (which has a host of many other Malaysian Christians, Pastors and Leaders who have contributed) please go here.