June 8, 2017 Eric Blauer

A Prayer book for Barbarians & Brutes 

‭‭”We need to learn to cuss without cussing and the Psalms do that for us. The Psalms give full vent to life.” -Eugene Peterson 

The Pslams, the bible’s prayer book, help me find words to utter when the world’s chaos and madness overwhelm me. These words “give full vent” to the molten fire of anger, wrath and vengeance that injustice ignites in my own heart. Without prayer and without these sacred words, I’d feel my faith was disconnected from the realities of human experience. 
The Psalms are the anvil upon which I can hammer out my emotional steel. They provide the furnace to purify and produce prayerful words that have meaning, power and kick. They allow room for those of us who are less nice than others and need to find release for the volcanic pressure that life builds. The psalms are like the prayer book from the other side of the tracks…prayers for barbarians, brutes and battlers doing good, fueled with righteous and loving rage. 

Below is my slightly reworded version of Psalm 140, crafted to be a prayer for those I know who are serving in dangerous places and doing daring deeds for the good of others, the love of God and as a faithful witness to the future. Please feel free to use this psalm to pray as well. The times demand our action, no matter where we are, we all can and should ignite the bonfires of prayer. 

Psalm‬ ‭140:1-13‬ ‭

“Rescue them, Lord, from evildoers; 

protect them from the violent, 

who devise evil plans in their hearts 

and stir up war every day. 
They make their tongues as sharp as a serpent’s; 

the poison of vipers is on their lips. 
Keep them safe, Lord, 

from the hands of the wicked; 

protect them from the violent, 

who devise ways to trip their feet. 
The arrogant have hidden a snare for them; 

they have spread out the cords of their net 

and have set traps for them along their path. 
We say to the Lord, “You are our God.” 

Hear, Lord, our cry for mercy. 
Sovereign Lord, 

our strong deliverer, 

you shield our head in the day of battle. 

Do not grant the wicked their desires, 

Lord; do not let their plans succeed. 
Those who surround them proudly rear their heads; 

may the mischief of their lips engulf them. 

May burning coals fall on them; 

may they be thrown into the fire, 

into miry pits, never to rise. 
May slanderers not be established in the land; 

may disaster hunt down the violent. 
I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor 

and upholds the cause of the needy. 

Surely the righteous will praise your name, 

and the upright will live in your presence.”

(Art: Frank Frazetta)

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About the Author

Eric Blauer I am barbarian, sage, saint, bard, husband and father. Bow my knee to only One, serve all, ruled by none.

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