Let my prayer arise (Κατευθυνθήτω, Да исправится) as incense before You, the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice. Set, O Lord, a watch before my mouth, and a door of enclosure around my lips. Incline not my heart unto words of evil, to make/allege excuses (προφασίζεσθαι προφάσεις, непщевати вины) for sins...“ (Ps 140: 2-4, Septuagint-translation)

These verses of the evening-psalm 140 (141) are sung in a special, Lenten melody today and Friday, and on all Lenten Wednesdays and Fridays, at a beautiful Vespers-service connected with the Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts. The three Psalm-verses offer me three, basic “tips“ for daily living in a peaceful, God-focused manner: 1. To live each day as a “prayer“ that I carry, like a torch, all the way to the evening; 2. To watch my mouth, with God’s presence and help in mind; and 3. To watch the thoughts in my “heart,“ that it not be burdened and complicated with self-justification and self-pity. This final “tip“ is particularly helpful for following the first two.

Let me carry these three verses with me, on this second Wednesday of Lent, that I may simplify my heart and my day, in whatever interactions and challenges it may bring. “Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own transgressions, and not to judge my brother, for You are blessed unto ages of ages.” Amen!


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