1 Help, Lord, for no one is faithful anymore;
those who are loyal have vanished from the human race.
2 Everyone lies to their neighbor;
they flatter with their lips
but harbor deception in their hearts.
3 May the Lord silence all flattering lips
and every boastful tongue—
4 those who say,
“By our tongues we will prevail;
our own lips will defend us—who is lord over us?”
5 “Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan,
I will now arise,” says the Lord.
“I will protect them from those who malign them.”
6 And the words of the Lord are flawless,
like silver purified in a crucible,
like gold refined seven times.
7 You, Lord, will keep the needy safe
and will protect us forever from the wicked,
8 who freely strut about
when what is vile is honored by the human race. (Psalm 12, NIV)
My Lord, my Lord, the groaning of your children scorches the earth. I confess that I have not walked their paths, so give me ears to hear their cries. May I hear the grief in fires. May I hear the fear in smashed windows. May I hear anguish I’ve never felt expressed in ways I must now understand. I repent. Forgive me. Take from me the strut in my walk. Take from me the boasting of my lips. Humble me, Lord — with grace when possible, with the cleansing fire of the Spirit as needed. Renew in me the bold life of Jesus Christ who walked against the empire that would kill him, knowing the birth of God’s Kingdom was worth the death of self. Ever stumbling, give me strength to match his march. In the submission to truth and discomfort, sanctify me. Let it be so — Amen.