Listen to the words of the Psalmist (listening really is best so you may have to read aloud):
Listen to my prayer, O God,
do not ignore my plea; hear me and answer me.
My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught (Ps. 55:1–2).
The psalmist is distraught. His situation seems overwhelming. This is how we feel when we are anxious or fearful. We can identify with his prayer. As creative, imaginative creatures, we are capable of envisioning countless, sometimes terrible, scenarios. Our thoughts trouble us. As Henri Nouwen writes: “Our inner life is like a banana tree filled with monkeys constantly jumping up and down”.
The Psalmist unburdens his soul. He gives voice to the angriest ‘chimps’, “Let death take my enemies by surprise”, he rants! But, gradually, the voices, the troubling thoughts, quieten down. And in the stillness, a voice is heard; calm, strong, authoritative:
“Cast your cares on the LORD
and he will sustain you;
he will never let the righteous fall (Ps 55:22).
May our Sunday worship, and our prayers this week, lead all of us who are troubled into that quiet place were we can hear God’s Word: “do not be afraid, I am with you“.
 Nouwen, Henri J. M., and John S. Mogabgab. A Spirituality of Living: The Henri Nouwen Spirituality Series. Upper Room Books, 2012.