"The human condition teeters on the edge of disaster. Human beings are in trouble most of the time. Those who don't know they are in trouble are in the worst trouble. Prayer is the language of the people who are in trouble and know it, and who believe or hope that God can get them out."

(Eugene Peterson, Answering God: The Psalms as Tools for Prayer)

Psalm 25*

Your roads, God, let me know them.

Your pathways, help me recognize them from the rest.

Lead me down the way of your truth; teach me its nature.

You are gentle and straightforward, guiding those who stray on the path --

leading the humble to walk in justice, teaching the willing the holy road.

All your paths are kindness and truth to those who uphold the covenant and bear witness to your word.

Prayer: God, guide me on your good road. Help me to be able to distinguish your pathways from all the others that promise a shiny destination, but only lead to a dead end.

Teach me about who you are, so that I will recognize your truth when I see it, when I hear it. Lead me down that way; the footpath of your truth. And in your gentle clarity and wisdom, guide me back onto your path when I stumble, when I stray, when I lose my way.

Keep me close to the earth, humble in spirit, seeking justice for all your creatures large and small. Make the trail I walk holy, make me holy on the trail. Lead me to streams of justice and let me drink deeply.

Help me to be faithful to you amidst all my unfaithfulness. Be kind to me, for I am weak and weary and wander too far and too often.

As I walk the road you lay out for me, make me a witness to your goodness, your faithfulness, your justice, kindness, truth and mercy.

When I cannot see past the next step, I trust you to guide my feet. For you - O God of the good road - have always been faithful to me.


*Excerpts are from The Complete Psalms: The Book of Prayer Songs in a New Translation, by Pamela Greenberg.