In my journal the other day I wrote, “runners run” It was October 9. I hadn’t run for a couple days. I was a little achy. I was hesitant. But I knew that what runners do is run. More than talking about it, more than reading about it, more than worrying about it. They run.
A couple lines later in my journal, I wrote the words from a song: “In the morning, O Lord, you will hear my voice.”
The writer has the same kind of resolve that I did about running. “Prayers pray,” is what it says.
The writer goes on: “In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.”
These words are from psalm 5, a song about lament and cries for justice. It is not a pleasant song to listen to, with its calls for divine punishment. Unless, I suppose, you are in ancient Israel being lied to ad betrayed, or ancient Babylon watching family members being attacked. Or not so ancient.
But what captures me? The writer addresses those cries and laments and calls to God. In the morning first thing, like me sitting in my chair with my coffee and Bible and journal. Like a runner lays out clothes and shoes the night before so that there are no excuses in the morning. Like a parent prepares the cereal and the bowl and the toaster the night before. Like a planner writes out the six things for the next day the night before. Like a praying person plans to pray.
I do want to make confession. A couple days later I said, “God, I don’t even know what to say. So what do you want me to ask about.”
But I think that’s the point. Regardless of our competence or speed, prayers pray.