I hope someone is listening to these, other than myself. I've listened to all of them many times myself on my iPod, as a sort of technologically-enabled praying-while-doing-other-things, but I'd love it if they helped the prayer lives of others as well. People to whom I send the link usually like them, but I don't know how many people, if anyone, is downloading them. This psalm conveys the beautiful feeling of worship, perhaps, as well as anything ever written. "One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life." Written hundreds of years before the beginnings of Christian monasticism.
The Lord is my light and my salvation
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life
of whom shall I be afraid?
When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh,
when my enemies and my foes attack me,
they will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me
even then will I be confident,
One thing I ask of the Lord,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of the tabernacle
and set me high upon a rock.
Then my head will be exalted
above the enemies who surround me;
at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make music to the Lord.
Hear my voice when I call, O Lord;
be merciful to me and answer me.
My heart says of you, "Seek his face!"
Your face, Lord, will I seek.
Do not hide your face from me,
do not turn your servant away in anger;
you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,
O God my Savior.
Though my father and mother forsake me,
the Lord will receive me.
Teach me your way, O Lord;
lead me in a straight path
because of my oppressors.
Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
for false witnesses rise up against me,
breathing out violence.
I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.
Music theory buffs might be interested to know that I do something a bit unusual with this one: I start in the key of A major, and end in the key of G major. I had my reasons-- the most sublime part of the psalm seems to be near the beginning, and so I wanted it in a higher key for a feeling of exaltation-- but perhaps it was a mistake. But I'm rarely a good judge of my own work when I've just finished it.