Praying Psalm 95

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Below is a prayer that follows Psalm 95 verse by verse.

God, when you invite me to “Come” you order an injunction against my passivity and procrastination. You call me out of my excuses and you call me into the raucous, stadium-rocking joy that celebrates you as the solid foundation of our salvation. Forgive me, Lord. For I have not celebrated you as I ought. I have not treasured the intransigent nature of your character nor the insoluble gift of salvation that flows out of your person as I ought. I have pursued small pleasures instead, trading permanence for things that can rust or wither or die.

Give me a heart, O God, to come into your presence with a thanksgiving and a song of praise that equals the glorious nature of yourself. For you are not only a great God. You are a great King above all gods. You hold the depths of the earth in your hand so that in the pressured darkness where the monsters swim we may rest within the surrounding walls of your strength. The heights of the mountains are also yours, giving us new challenges to climb, peaks to stand upon, and a pure vision of the roads that lay before us. You have made the sea, O God so that we can satisfy the desire to explore, and you have formed the dry land to teach us the value of work and the mystery of life.

Oh come, let us all worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! For none of these gifts are given to help us understand ourselves better. Rather, they point back to the nature and character of His being. God is deep, and sometimes He stands in thick darkness calling us to come forward and meet with Him (Ex. 20:21). God places our feet on high places (Ps. 18:33) but He also calls us to cast away from the shore of security and explore the whole expanse of Himself (Dt. 4:29; Mt. 4:19). To move towards a kingdom not built with human hands. To become citizens in a better country than the one we have abandoned where God is not ashamed to be called our God and has prepared it for us (Heb 11:16). He has shown us that work is necessary both in the doing and the persisting, so that in our successes we may celebrate that He does not passively wait for time to tick down. He, too, is a perennial worker, shaping all mysteries after His will and giving life where a desert once lived.

He is our God. But we are stubborn, stupid, wandering sheep. We need a shepherd to guide us with his hand.

Therefore, help us to hear Your voice today, and to not harden our hearts. People have done this many times in the past and have put You to the test. They have demanded miracles and proof of Your love, despite having seen You work in their lives. We know that such behavior angers You, Lord, not because of our limitations to understand Your greatness. But rather because we have evaluated the landscape of our lives and have chosen something small to replace the God of infinite worth. Keep us from being that person who goes astray in their heart. May we know God’s ways. And enter into His rest. In Christ’s name, Amen.

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Psalms for the Election – Day 7

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As we conclude this 7-day journey for praying for the election, I hope you hold on to God’s call to recalibrate our lives around Him and not our political parties or dogmas. May we live with strength and courage; without fear or discouragement, because we know that the Lord will be us wherever we go.

Have the courage to stand up among the assembly, to be that one person who refuses to bow to the pressures of tyranny, regardless of the threat to your life, wealth, or family. Rest in the truth that your victory does not come in the votes of an electoral college but in God. It is He who pushes back your enemies and gives you victory. Put your faith in Him. He is our only hope.


Read Psalm 46

Identify what God is saying about Himself in this passage. Boil it down into a one or two-word summary (e.g., God is ____ ) and confess that truth back to God, asking Him to reveal Himself in this way through your day and this election cycle.

v. 1 Look at the election. If it has not taken place yet, pray this verse as a declaration of trust that God will protect His people and will not abandon us when trouble occurs. If it has ended, pray this verse as a declaration of faith for the future, regardless of who has been elected President.

v.2-3 State how your security does not depend on the circumstances that have played out in this election. Rather, your security is in God alone. Therefore, you will not fear.

Even if you feel like this election has produced results in which “the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters foam and the mountains quake with their surging,” declare your faith and your trust in God.

v.4-6 Confess that you were not created for this nation that we call America. Rather, you were created for the holy city of God where the Most High dwells. Your residence is within a kingdom that will not fall and where God will always help her survive and thrive. Other nations will come and go. Other kingdoms will fall, because God rules not with a scepter or a sword, but with the power of His spoken word. He is the One who spoke and the earth was created. He is the One who wrapped Himself in flesh to pay the penalty for our sins. He is the One who lifts his voice and the earth melts; who reigns forever and ever and invites the one who wishes to take the free gift of the water of life.

v.7-9 Declare the wonders and the works of the LORD Almighty. Ask God to reveal to you what He has done. In this passage, the Psalmist writes that God has “made wars cease … He breaks the bow and shatters the spears; He burns the shields with fire.”  Take a moment and ask yourself: What

Take a moment and consider the symbolism for our country: What are the “wars” that God has stopped in our country? What “bows and spears” has He broken? What “shields” of the enemy has He “burned with fire?”

v.10 Take a minute. Be still before God and know that He is the Lord. Confess the mighty works of His hands. Declare His greatness among the nations. Exalt Him in all the earth.

v. 11 Reaffirm this truth, regardless of who won the election: “The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

Thank each of you who have prayed with me over these last 7 days for the condition and future of our country. May our hearts be continually turned towards God as we seek His face and declare that our trust rests not in man, but in Him.

Blessings on you all.

Psalms for the Election – Day 6

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This year has brought us one of the most divisive elective cycles in recent memory. Many people that I speak to, regardless of political affiliation, are not excited about the choices they have for President. Both candidates have characteristics that could be defined as “unfit,” whether it is in temperament, decision making, morality, unpredictability, criminal behavior, experience, judgment, health, or political vision.  It is in this season that we need to pray for our country more than we do for our political parties. We are a nation off-course and the choice of our leader will make irrevocable changes to the intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and moral direction we take as Americans.

Therefore, I would like to invite you to pray with me for our country. Over the next 7 days, I will be making a new post each day. Each post will include a link to a reading from the Psalms and a brief instruction on how to use this reading as a guide for prayer. Let us put aside our desire to see a specific person win the election and have the courage to pray boldly for God to stay his judgment and place in office the man or woman who will lead us to be the country that God desires (and designed) us to be. 

Will you please pray with me?


Read Psalm 43

Identify what God is saying about Himself in this passage. Boil it down into a one or two-word summary (e.g., God is ____ ) and confess that truth back to God, asking Him to reveal Himself in this way through your day and this election cycle.

v.1 Confess how our nation has been unfaithful. What have we called gods that are not gods at all? How have we exchanged our glorious God for worthless cultural, political, and social idols? (Jer. 2:11-12) Who or what are they? Ask the Holy Spirit to show you how we use the Name of God to excuse the sins of man? Name them by name. If it helps, revisit the prayer guide for Day 3.

Ask the Holy Spirit to show you how we use the Name of God to excuse the sins of man? Name them by name. If it helps, revisit the prayer guide for Day 3.

Ask God to raise up the remnant within our country who have not bowed their knees to these false idols. Ask that they stand boldly before the wicked and the oppressors. Ask that God vindicate us and plead our cause against an unfaithful nation. That He rescue us from those who are deceitful and wicked. Ask that God will both hinder and destroy the plans of the wicked. That He will not allow them to flourish. May this be the time for the holy to prosper because God is our stronghold.

v.2  Confess that God alone is our stronghold. Confess that you have felt alone and grieving this week. Confess how you have felt like mourning because you have been oppressed by the enemy. Ask God to intervene on behalf of His Name and not our own. Ask Him to demonstrate through our election how He alone is our stronghold and how He has not rejected us.

v.3 Ask God to send our nation His light and His faithful care. Ask that He open the hearts and minds of all Americans during this election. May we be humbled and as a result pray and seek His face and turn from our wicked ways so that God’s light and faithful care may lead our nation in the paths that we may go.

Ask that God bring us to His holy mountain, to the place where He dwells.

v. 4 Respond to God by going to Him and surrendering at His altar everything that you have used as a substitute  for joy and delight, instead of God.

Sing praise to God. Let His name and His works be proclaimed through the song that pours out from your lips.

v. 5 Do not let your soul harken back to the worries of this world or the fears of what will happen if the “wrong person” is elected. Put your hope in God. Praise Him alone. Make Him alone your Savior and your God.

If you are finding this difficult, pray boldly for a vision of what a life and a country looks like whose hope is not in God. Ask God to reveal to us that our fears come from trusting in unreliable people or things to sustain or save us, not from Him. Ask that God

Wait. Close your eyes if you have to.

Listen.Ask God to reveal to us that our fears come from trusting in unreliable people or things to sustain or save us, not from Him. Ask that God

What is the image He is giving you? Hold that image in your minds eye? Let yourself feel the depth of the pain that comes from such extreme separation from God. Pray that He will keep our country from such ruin.

Ask God to reveal to us that our fears come from trusting in unreliable people or things to sustain or save us, not from Him. Ask that God break us of our tendency to drift away in fear. May we be a people who will yet praise Him, who trusts only in Him.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Psalms for the Election – Day 5

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This year has brought us one of the most divisive elective cycles in recent memory. Many people that I speak to, regardless of political affiliation, are not excited about the choices they have for President. Both candidates have characteristics that could be defined as “unfit,” whether it is in temperament, decision making, morality, unpredictability, criminal behavior, experience, judgment, health, or political vision.  It is in this season that we need to pray for our country more than we do for our political parties. We are a nation off-course and the choice of our leader will make irrevocable changes to the intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and moral direction we take as Americans.

Therefore, I would like to invite you to pray with me for our country. Over the next 7 days, I will be making a new post each day. Each post will include a link to a reading from the Psalms and a brief instruction on how to use this reading as a guide for prayer. Let us put aside our desire to see a specific person win the election and have the courage to pray boldly for God to stay his judgment and place in office the man or woman who will lead us to be the country that God desires (and designed) us to be. 

Will you please pray with me?


Read Psalm 40

Identify what God is saying about Himself in this passage. Boil it down into a one or two-word summary (e.g., God is ____ ) and confess that truth back to God, asking Him to reveal Himself in this way through your day and this election cycle.

Prayer is not always about requests or confession. It often incorporates praise for either what God has done or for what God will do. Today we turn from focusing on our woes as an electorate to do a little preemptive praising. Let us turn towards God today to praise Him for already accomplishing His sovereign purposes on November 8th.

v. 1-3 Praise God the He gave you the ability to wait patiently for Him to act during this election.

Praise Him for turning towards our country and hearing our cry.

Praise Him for lifting us “out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire” and for putting our feet on a rock, for giving us a firm place to stand. Praise Him that this firm place does not reside in anything temporary, such as a man, woman, or political party. Rather, our rock is Christ alone.

Praise God for putting “a new song in our mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.” Ask that many (both domestically and abroad) will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in Him as well.

v. 4-5 Praise the LORD for the trust that He has given you as you turned your heart towards His desires and not your own in this election. Thank Him for teaching you to not look towards the proud or those who turn aside to false gods/lies.

Enumerate the wonders God has done during this election. Praise Him for accomplishing the things He planned for us. Acknowledge God’s supremacy over man in both deed and character. Confess that none can compare with God and that His works are too many to declare.

v. 6-8 Praise God that He has opened your ears without requiring anything additional from you. He is a transforming God! Thank Him for orienting you towards Himself as you have poured out your heart for the country towards Him.

In response to His work in your lif offer to do whatever He asks of you. Declare your desire to do His will because His law is within your heart.

v. 9-10 Ask Him to fill you with boldness so that, like Jeremiah, you cannot contain the message of His saving acts. Praise Him for empowering you during this election to make His name known. Praise Him that you did not seal your lips or hide God’s righteousness in your heart. Praise Him that although it may be against your nature, He filled your with power so that you do not conceal God’s love and faithfulness from your friends, family, city, state, nation, or world.

v. 11-15 Ask God to continue to be merciful to us as a country and for His love and faithfulness to always protect us. Confess that our nation continues to sin so much that we cannot see and our heart fails because of the weight of the sin. Ask God to save us and to come quickly to help us.

Ask Him to put to shame and confusion all who want to destroy us and to ruin/turn back in disgrace all of our enemies. Praise Him for His faithfulness! “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every  morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lam. 3:22-23)

v.16-17 Praise God that because He is faithful He does not abandon anyone who seeks Him. Rejoice and be glad in the great work and power of God. “May those who long for [God’s] saving help always say, ‘The LORD is great!’ ”

Confess how infinitesimal you are as a person as well as how small we are as a nation. Confess our needs and our spiritual and moral poverty before God. But praise Him for being our help and our deliverer.

“You are my God, do not delay.”

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

 

Psalms for the Election – Day 1

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This year has brought us one of the most divisive elective cycles in recent memory. Many people that I speak to, regardless of political affiliation, are not excited about the choices they have for President. Both candidates have characteristics that could be defined as “unfit,” whether it is in temperament, decision making, morality, unpredictability, criminal behavior, experience, judgment, health, or political vision.  It is in this season that we need to pray for our country more than we do for our political parties. We are a nation off-course and the choice of our leader will make irrevocable changes to the intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and moral direction we take as Americans.

Therefore, I would like to invite you to pray with me for our country. Over the next 7 days, I will be making a new post each day. Each post will include a link to a reading from the Psalms and a brief instruction on how to use this reading as a guide for prayer. Let us put aside our desire to see a specific person win the election and have the courage to pray boldly for God to stay his judgment and not give us a wicked ruler. Instead, may He place in office the man or woman who will lead us to be the country that God desires (and designed) us to be. 

Will you please pray with me?


Read Psalm 37:1-11

Identify what God is saying about Himself in this passage. Boil it down into a one or two-word summary (e.g., God is ____ ) and confess that truth back to God, asking Him to reveal Himself in this way through your day and this election cycle. For example, “God, Your word says that You are ______. Sometimes it is hard to see you this way, especially with all the distractions of life, so I pray that You will reveal Yourself in this way in my life today and for this country during this election.”

v.1-2: Confess your worry over this election and how you fear it may damage our country. Acknowledge that God is in control more than man and your intent is to place your trust in His will.

Confess that it often seems like evil people prosper. Ask that in this election the wicked will “fade like the grass and wither  like the green herb.”

v.3-4: Dedicate yourself to the LORD. Acknowledge that you are placing your trust in Him. Ask Him to show you how you can demonstrate each day that your faith is in Him, not in a political party or a person representing that party, to heal our country.

Commit yourself to doing good each day. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you where your definition of “good” and God’s definition of “good” separates. Ask Him to produce the change within you that needs to be made so that you may live your life as defined by God’s worldview as revealed in scripture.

Ask God to shield this country from wickedness so that you may dwell in it and feed on faithfulness. Ask God to give you and the people of our nation the desires of His heart so that His purposes may be fulfilled.

v. 5-6: Rejoice that you have an active and an acting God. Ask Him to “bring forth your righteousness as the light and your justice as the noonday.”

v.7-9: Take a moment and be still. Let at least 20 seconds pass by in silence. Confess how hard it can be to be still before the LORD and why. Ask Him to give you the strength and the ability to wait patiently for Him, because you know this is another expression of putting your trust in Him.

Ask Him to give you peace, because you know that God is in control, not “the man who carries out evil devices!”

Ask God to keep you from anger and wrath! To shed your worry about this election because it tends only to evil. Ask that God will keep you and all Americans from becoming “evildoers” so that we are not cut off from Him. But may we all be those who wait for the LORD and inherit the land.

v.10-11: Give thanks that “in just a little while, the wicked will be no more;” that “though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there.” Not because man has triumphed in this election but because God has. Ask for meekness and the delight of abundant peace.

Thank Him for hearing your prayers and for answering them. In Jesus’ name, Amen.