Today’s WORD (Text)               Psalm 4:1-5

1/ Answer me when I call, O God of my right! You gave me room when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer. 2/ How long, you people, shall my honor suffer shame? How long will you love vain words, and seek after lies? Selah

3/ But know that the Lord has set apart the faithful for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him. 4/ When you are disturbed, do not sin; ponder it on your beds, and be silent. Selah

5/ Offer right sacrifices and put your trust in the Lord.


Today’s Witness

What a timely petition from the psalmist for deliverance at a moment in our nation when the open wounds of racial injustice are repeatedly seared by fiery bullets from agents of the state. Whether bullets from armed forces in Myanmar gunning down innocent youths, or bullets from police in Minnesota gunning down a frightened 20-year-old father, when the trial of a terminated policeman is underway in Minneapolis for the murder of George Floyd, we are a nation in distress alongside other nations facing unjustified homicides at the hands of police for whatever reasons.  Moreover, children are still dying in distress at our Southern border.  When they report that nearly 200,000 children have crossed into America since the start of the year, part of me rejoices in view of 576,298 COVID deaths in the USA alone in the past year.  The Lord giveth. Death taketh away. The pain level is heard clearly as the psalmist resists vain words and lies that do not honestly confront our predicament. The words, “how long, and hear our prayers, O Lord,” have been lifted longer than anyone remembers.  We take solace knowing that the Lord hears when we call.  We continue putting our trust in the Lord despite every pain, every dishonor, and every senseless death.


Today’s Invitation

Is there a societal or political tragedy that causes you distress at times? How does Psalm 4 speak to you in your distress?

Today’s Prayer

Dear Lord, your word encourages us to offer sacrifices and to put our trust in the Lord.  We come sacrificing self-centeredness as we lift our prayers for grieving family members who have lost loved ones in the past year due to violence, disease, and trauma of all types.  The pains that are suffered by your children are manifold and widely felt.  We believe that you understand our grief because you suffered a violent death on the cross long ago.  We confess our utter disbelief and disappointment that human beings continue to cause senseless suffering to others.  Forgive our sins, O Lord.  We pray for justice and peace in our world.  Have mercy upon us, O God, and cleanse us from sin. Create within the heart of our nation the will to do what is right and to honor human life.  Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Amen.

The Passionary Intention

Today, I choose to live my life with passion.  Today, I intend to follow Christ more nearly, love more dearly and incarnate God’s grace more clearly by asking myself three questions:

  • Where will I follow Christ today?
  • To whom shall I demonstrate Jesus’ love and justice today?
  • How can I play my part in practicing the presence of Christ, right here, right now?


The Passionary Movement Word and Witness devotion is published weekdays (Monday – Friday).  Dr. Jeffrey Haggray, Executive Director of American Baptist Home Mission Societies is the author of today’s devotion.



Photo by Jay Rembert on Unsplash