But, sometimes we pray because we really, really need God's help, and we really, really know it.
Psalm 107 is a reminder of how God has cared for a wayward people before--and often.
When our ancestors were wandering, literally wandering, lost and hungry, God showed them the way to go. When they were in trouble, God rescued them.
In our own wildernesses--actual and metaphoric, we can continue to ask God for comfort and direction.
In this week's passage from Hosea, God reflects on all the people have received and how they behaved anyway. "I did everything for them, and now they turn away from me," God said. Yet, God did not give up on the ungrateful people.
The psalm chosen by the lectionary as a response is the prayer they should have said from the beginning and is a prayer that we can continue to use as a model for our own gratitude to gifts and lessons from God.
Give thanks to the Lord.The psalm uses as an example the exodus--Some wandered in desert wastes, hungry and thirsty. They cried to the Lord and the Lord delivered them from their distress. The later people suffering from the effects of the exile could remember this deliverance and anticipate and then be grateful for their own.
God is good.
God's steadfast love endures forever.
We can continue to use this psalm as a reminder and a model as we suffer through whatever is our kind of exile and suffering, for when hunger and thirst are real or metaphorical, when we need to be shown the straight path throughout the journey we are on.
Let those who are wise give heed to these things,
and consider the steadfast love of the Lord.