Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence; and remove not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation: establish me with the governing/directing Spirit (πνεύματι ἡγεμονικῷ).” (Ps 50: 10-12, Septuagint-translation)

Psalm 50 (51) is chanted several times each day, in our daily cycle of church-services. In it we ask for “renewal,” several times each day, – because we can be “renewed” in God’s ever-new, ever-“governing” or “directing” us forward, Spirit, whenever we choose to open up to Him. Whenever I notice that I’ve slipped into going around in circles, according to “old” patterns or some “wrong” spirit or voice in my head, like idleness or despondency, I can call out and be restored in “GOD,” Who brings me “Good Orderly Direction.”

As a new week begins today, the fourth week of Lent, and a new day, I ask for renewal “within me” of the “joy of salvation” with which I began Lent, and toward which Lent is leading me. Let me take pause this morning, and plan out my little schedule of spiritual and physical fitness, in God’s “governing Spirit” of patience and humility. Let me walk through another cross-carrying day not in self-isolation or self-centered fear, but in God’s presence. “O Lord and Master of my life, grant me not a spirit of idleness, despondency, love of power, and idle talk.”


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