Here are some follow up practices based on the message that Rhesa Storms shared with us in Manhattan yesterday. You may want to use them in your devotional time or with your small group.



Psalm 118

1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his love endures forever.

2 Let Israel say:
    “His love endures forever.”
3 Let the house of Aaron say:
    “His love endures forever.”
4 Let those who fear the Lord say:
    “His love endures forever.”

5 When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord;
    he brought me into a spacious place.
6 The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid.
    What can mere mortals do to me?
7 The Lord is with me; he is my helper.
    I look in triumph on my enemies.

8 It is better to take refuge in the Lord
    than to trust in humans.
9 It is better to take refuge in the Lord
    than to trust in princes.
10 All the nations surrounded me,
    but in the name of the Lord I cut them down.
11 They surrounded me on every side,
    but in the name of the Lord I cut them down.
12 They swarmed around me like bees,
    but they were consumed as quickly as burning thorns;
    in the name of the Lord I cut them down.
13 I was pushed back and about to fall,
    but the Lord helped me.
14 The Lord is my strength and my defense[a];
    he has become my salvation.

15 Shouts of joy and victory
    resound in the tents of the righteous:
“The Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!
16     The Lord’s right hand is lifted high;
    the Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!”
17 I will not die but live,
    and will proclaim what the Lord has done.
18 The Lord has chastened me severely,
    but he has not given me over to death.
19 Open for me the gates of the righteous;
    I will enter and give thanks to the Lord.
20 This is the gate of the Lord
    through which the righteous may enter.
21 I will give you thanks, for you answered me;
    you have become my salvation.

22 The stone the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone;
23 the Lord has done this,
    and it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 The Lord has done it this very day;
    let us rejoice today and be glad.

25 Lord, save us!
    Lord, grant us success!

26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
    From the house of the Lord we bless you.[b]
27 The Lord is God,
    and he has made his light shine on us.
With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession
    up[c] to the horns of the altar.

28 You are my God, and I will praise you;
    you are my God, and I will exalt you.

29 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his love endures forever.



“No, really! That dress looks nice on you…”

“I’d be happy to help you move…again….”

“How are you?”

“What you said didn’t bother me….”

“Yes, I can stay late tonight.”


It’s surprising how much of adult life is comprised of saying things we don’t really mean.  Maybe we partially mean them, but not entirely.  There are good reasons for this behavior- namely, so we can have friends.  Blunt honesty would probably compromise most relationships.  But we grow adept at a façade, which makes it hard to drop the “don’t worry, I’ve got this” act.  

The language of the Psalms runs directly counter to any attempts to pretend.  The words are searingly honest- sometimes painfully so! But how refreshing to know that when we speak to God, it is absolutely OK to be ‘really real’.


Writer Anne Lamott says in her book Help, Thanks, Wow:

“My belief is that when you’re telling the truth, you’re close to God.  If you say to God, “I am exhausted and depressed beyond words, and I don’t like you at all right now, and I recoil from most people who believe in You,” that might be the most honest thing you’ve ever said.  If you told me you had said to God, “It is all hopeless, and I don’t have a clue if You exist, but I could use a hand,’ it would almost bring tears to my eyes, tears of pride in you, for the courage it takes to get real- really real.  It would make me want to sit next to you at the dinner table.”


Do you have the courage to be honest with God? 

  • Choose one Psalm this week (we have featured several through the summer: Psalm 23, 51, 94 & 145) and let its words shape your prayers for the week.  
  • Write your own Psalm
  • Memorize a Psalm that is YOUR Psalm, that speaks to where you are today.
  • Listen regularly to a song that is based on a Psalm.