Last night my subway wasn't working right, and we were stuck between every stop. I took the opportunity to say evening prayer. At one point a woman looked over my shoulder at my breviary and exclaimed,
"Psalm 64, that's the only prayer I need for life in this world! Look it up and pray it!"
So here it is:
Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint; preserve my life from dread of the enemy,
hide me from the secret plots of the wicked, from the scheming of evildoers,
who whet their tongues like swords, who aim bitter words like arrows,
shooting from ambush at the blameless, shooting at him suddenly and without fear.
They hold fast to their evil purpose; they talk of laying snares secretly, thinking, "Who can see us? Who can search out our crimes? We have thought out a cunningly conceived plot."
For the inward mind and heart of a man are deep!
But God will shoot his arrow at them; they will be wounded suddenly.
Because of their tongue he will bring them to ruin; all who see them will wag their heads.
Then all men will fear; they will tell what God has wrought, and ponder what he has done.
Let the righteous rejoice in the LORD, and take refuge in him! Let all the upright in heart glory! (RSV)
Now I'm all for having our adversarial relationship with the world be a part of our prayer life, but if this is the only prayer you need, it worries me. If we do not also find some joy in the great miracle of the Spirit of God praying within us, what seems to be our spirituality will probably only succeed in making us more morose.
So today I want to pray for the joy and peace of my friends from the broken subway.