Wonderful heavenly Father, you taught us through the third psalm that, when we feel the threat of wickedness, it is to you we should flee for refuge. “Arise, O Lord! Deliver us, O our God!” So you taught us there to pray. But here in the fourth psalm you teach us patience, for your deliverance comes in your own good time. Father, you know that the increasing wickedness of our culture grieves us, and we tremble to think of how it may harm our children. It’s hard enough for us to live in it purely, and even if in some measure we do, we are distressed by the increasing clarity with which we see such wickedness in our own hearts. If we search our own hearts, we realize that we’re part of the problem. Father, have mercy upon us; grant us and our culture relief! Turn this wickedness away from us and from all nations, that we may trust in you alone! Help us, as David does here, first to look to you, and only then, in the light of your glorious countenance, to consider our circumstances. And when your mercy seems to us slow in coming, when we lose heart wondering how long it will be until you answer, grant us that comforting conviction of your sovereign and all-wise providence: our times of waiting are not wasted, but in them you are actively at work—secretly, perhaps—and waiting for the perfect moment to intervene. Cheer us with true and solid joy, even with the overflowing exuberance of harvest time, because of the certainty of your future promises and of your very present protection. For many, indeed, and incalculably rich, are the good things you have yet to show us, Father—the most wonderful of all being the shining light of your face, your glorious Son Jesus Christ, whom you will soon set before our very own eyes. In his name, Amen.