Psalm 83 speaks to our faith journey from within this matrix of enemies and calls for us to trust in divine deliverance. Its opening invocation sets the stage, “O God, do not keep silence; do not hold your peace or be still, O God!” Facing enemies is hard enough—facing enemies with a silent God is unbearable. The plea of verse 1 captures the blend of thoughts, feelings, and premonitions we experience when we are fighting for our lives. . . . As long as the scourges of police violence, community violence, and intimate partner violence are injuring our people, we must urge God to speak through sermons, through prayer, through laws and regulations, and through cultural consensus that prioritizes nonviolence and peace.
—Gabby Cudjoe-Wilkes and Andrew Wilkes, Psalms for Black Lives: Reflections for the Work of Liberation (Upper Room Books, 2022)
When have you witnessed God’s deliverance from enemies?
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Deliver me from my enemies, O my God;
protect me from those who rise up against me.
—Psalm 59:1 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
Gracious God of Liberation, free us from our enemies. And when we are the enemies, transform us from oppressing others into removing the yoke from their necks and practicing freedom. In Christ’s name, Amen.
—Prayer from Psalms for Black Lives by Gabby Cudjoe-Wilkes and Andrew Wilkes
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Engage the Psalms as a contemplative resource in the holy, demanding work of pursuing justice, undoing structural racism, and building a society that truly values Black lives. Learn more about the latest release from Upper Room Books, Psalms for Black Lives: Reflections for the Work of Liberation.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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