Praying the Psalms -Psalm 61-



Psalm 61
To the Choirmaster: With stringed instruments. 
Of David
Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer;
from the end of the earth I call to you
when my heart is faint.
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I,
for you have been my refuge,
a strong tower against the enemy.
Let me dwell in your tent forever!
Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings!
                                                          Selah
For you, O God, have heard my vows;
you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.
Prolong the life of the king;
may his years endure to all generations!
May he be enthroned forever before God;
appoint steadfast love and faithfulness to watch over him!
So will I ever sing praises to your name,
as I perform my vows day after day.

Father, sometimes you bring us to situations in our lives in which we feel like we are at the very end of the earth, in a desolate land, where not only our body feels weary, but also where our heart faints. But right there, in the middle of our sadness and our confusion, your Spirit within us draws us to call to you, and You hear us.

God, our God, where shall we go when our little ones are fighting cancer, when we bury our spouses and our children? Where do we go when our daughters are in a hospital bed asking questions? Where do we go when there are tears we want to wipe off but they keep coming back? Where do we go when the marriage vows seem to be crumbling down? Where do we go when our songs are not anymore? Where do we go when we see injustice in this world?

We go to You.
We run to You.
We go to you:
our Rock,
our refuge,
our strong tower.

Oh God! That we may dwell in your tent forever! Safe from our thoughts, our own doubts, our fears, our own foolishness. Safe from the enemy of our souls that wants to devour our trust in You.

Oh God! Let us take refuge under the shelter of your wings! There and only there can we be safe. No enemy will be able to find us when our lives are hidden with Christ in You.

Thank you, that you hear our voice, Father.
Thank you because you have put in my heart a fear for your Name.
Thank you, Lord, for the wonderful promises that you have given us.
Thank you, because you look down to the ends of the earth
and see everything under the heavens.
Thank you because your dominion knows no limits.
Thank you, Father because even from the end of the earth,
You bring us to you,
and you wipe our tears,
and heal our diseases,
and mend our broken hearts

Father, let my praises to you reach to the end of the earth!

Amen

“Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.” Isaiah 45:22

Becky

Praying the Psalms -Psalm 20-

A prayer of intercession.

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble!
May the name of the God of Jacob protect you!
May he send you help from the sanctuary
and give you support from Zion!
May he remember all your offerings
and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices!
Selah

May he grant you your heart’s desire
and fulfill all your plans!
May we shout for joy over your salvation,
and in the name of our God set up our banners!
May the Lord fulfill all your petitions!

Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed;
he will answer him from his holy
heaven
with the saving might of his right
hand.

Some trust in chariots and some in
horses,
but we trust in the name of the Lord
our God.
They collapse and fall,
but we rise and stand upright.

O Lord, save the king! May he answer us when we call.

Father, I come boldly before you in the name of Jesus. It is because of Him and through Him that I can come before you and be assured that you hear the voice of my prayer.

Your steadfast love, O Lord, is forever sure and your mercies new every morning. This morning, therefore,  I come before you to pray for my neighbor. That she might see your steadfast love and mercy anew in her life this day.

Answer to my friend’s prayer.  In the time of trouble she has seek your face and has not hidden from you. Her heart, her thoughts, her fears are before you. Oh Father, hear the voice of her prayer today.

She is troubled, her soul is heavy, she cries herself to sleep, and her troubles surround her day and night. Be her comforter. Be her protection, her support, her strength, her hiding place. Please, O God, answer her prayers according to your good will; she is your daughter, the apple of your eye, your child. Be with her today.

Lord you are full of mercy, and I pray that in your mercy you will remember her, remember all her prayers, her tears, her service to others, her love for your Word. Lord, let her know that you have not forsaken her. That you know the number of the hairs on her head.

Father, my friend has poured her heart before you many times. Her heart’s desires and plans are before you. Show her the way she should go. Bless her steps, and give her wisdom to decide the best in every circumstance. Lord, answer her. Please, Father, grant her the petitions of her heart, help her to wait patiently on you. May she shout for joy over your salvation and your glorious name.  May her rejoice in the God who hears!

Lord, I pray today for my friend. Some trust in so many things that are vain, but we know You. We know who is our only hope. We know that you hear the prayers of your children. We know that you will never leave us or forsake us. We know in whom we have trusted. We trust in You. We trust in your name, Mighty God, Prince of Peace, Strong Tower, Jesus, Wonderful, Counselor.  We trust in every aspect of your name. We trust in You, in all of You, Oh Lord.

Rise my friend from the ground, Father,  help her stand upright. Be her victory. Be her song.

Blessed be your name, O Lord of Hosts.
Blessed be the King of kings who hears the plea of his servants.

Amen

 

Praying the Psalms -Psalm 103-

 

©Shiloh Photography

 

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
his acts to the people of Israel.
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in
steadfast love.
He will not always chide,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.

As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more.
But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children’s children,
to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments.
The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.

Bless the Lord, O you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word!
Bless the Lord, all his hosts,
his ministers, who do his will!
Bless the Lord, all his works,
in all places of his dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul!

Father in Heaven, Lord of all, what an amazing thing that you incline your ear to hear me when I come before you in prayer. Thank you, Father.

Father, my Father, many times I am more prone to listen and to pay attention to all the voices inside my heart, inside my head, to all the doubts, the confusion, the plans, the joys, the sorrows, the worries, the lists, the longings, the times. Help me, help me, to quiet those voices, to speak to my soul and say,

“Bless the Lord, O my soul….”

Father, what if…

Instead of worrying, I would not forget all your benefits…
Instead of the guilt of my sin, I would remember how you have forgiven all my iniquities…
Instead of lamenting of all my weakness, physical and spiritual, I would remember that you heal the brokenhearted…
Instead of crying in the pit as if there were no hope, I would lift my eyes to my Redeemer who lives…
Instead of wearing a cloak of self-pity, I would remember how you crown me with steadfast love and mercy…
Instead of being satisfied with what the world offers, I would be satisfied in you…
Instead of worrying about the times, the seasons, I would remember that you renew my strength like the eagle’s…

Help me, Lord. Help me to preach the gospel to myself, every day, every hour.  To see your righteousness, to remember the way you have dealt with your people. How you have always shown yourself merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

Oh, Lord, when the enemy comes and tries to place the heavy burden of guilt on my shoulders, help me speak to my soul and say, “Remember, remember, your God, O my soul, He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities…”

Father, let me lift my eyes to the heavens above the earth and be reminded of your steadfast love toward those who fear you. That I may never forget how far you have removed my transgressions from me. How you deal with me full of compassion, always remembering my frame, that I am but dust.

Lord, one day I will not be here, but You always remain. I pray for my children and my children’s children. Lord, make yourself known to them. Know their names and call them unto you. I pray that in your steadfast love will draw them unto you. That they will fear your name and be established.O Father, that they will fear you, keep your covenant and remember your commandments.

My King, my Lord, let me rest today in the fact that you reign sovereignly. How amazing it is to now that your kingdom rules over all. Over all. Over all.

How can I not bless you, Oh Father? Let my voice join today the one of the angels and the saints in praises to you.

Bless the Lord, O my soul!

Amen.

Becky

Praying the Psalms

Praying the Psalms -Psalm 77-

 

©Katie Lloyd Photography -used with permission-

 

I cry aloud to God,
aloud to God, and he will hear me.
In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord;
in the night my hand is stretched out
without wearying;
my soul refuses to be comforted.
When I remember God, I moan;
when I meditate, my spirit faints.
Selah

You hold my eyelids open;
I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
I consider the days of old,
the years long ago.
I said, “Let me remember my song
in the night;
let me meditate in my heart.”
Then my spirit made a diligent search:
“Will the Lord spurn forever,
and never again be favorable?
Has his steadfast love forever ceased?
Are his promises at an end for all time?
Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has he in anger shut up his compassion?”
Selah

Then I said, “I will appeal to this,
to the years of the right hand of the Most High.”
I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your wonders of old.
I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds.
Your way, O God, is holy.
What god is great like our God?
You are the God who works wonders;
you have made known your might among the peoples.
You with your arm redeemed your people,
the children of Jacob and Joseph.
Selah

When the waters saw you, O God,
when the waters saw you, they were
afraid;
indeed, the deep trembled.
The clouds poured out water;
the skies gave forth thunder;
your arrows flashed on every side.
The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind;
your lightnings lighted up the world;
the earth trembled and shook.
Your way was through the sea,
your path through the great waters;
yet your footprints were unseen.
You led your people like a flock
by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Father in Heaven, there are times when some memories hunt me at night, times in which my soul grows weary to the point of refusing to be comforted. Some days as I lie on my bed, I remember and the pain pierces me still. I cannot speak, Father, in times like those I don’t know what to say, how to pray. I just ask questions in my heart, my face hidden in the pillow.

But you O God, always Merciful to your own, visit me at night. You remind me of all your goodness and steadfast love. You comfort me in the middle of those hard nights, and when the sobs are quieted, and I start to see more clearly, I only have eyes to see your mercies.

And as I open my eyes, I say,

I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your wonders of old.
I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds.
Your way, O God, is holy.
What god is great like our God?
You are the God who works wonders;
you have made known your might among the peoples.
You with your arm redeemed your people,
the children of Jacob and Joseph.

Yes, Lord, yes. I want to remember this. Help me not to forget! How you have worked wonders in my life even through the hardest providences. How the sins of my youth broke me in pieces and then you pulled all those pieces together and made me whole again. Who else could do something like that? There is no other one like You!

I will remember how it pleased you to made your ways known to me. O how you stretched your arms on the cross to redeem me!

When the waters that were trying to drawn me saw you, they feared you and retreated. In the midst of the hardest trials, You were there. I could not see your arrows going against my enemies because I was hidden under your wings. I couldn’t see beyond my pain and fears but you never left me. O God, my Shepherd, you have led me through all those hard trials to a place of quiet, a place of green pastures. I am grateful, so grateful, God.

Let me drink and eat from you now that the waters are low and the sky is clear blue, so that I will be prepared for the next storm. Let my heart be strengthen in you. Let me be established in your Word. Let me never forget that You alone are the God who works wonders.

Father, I love  you. I love you, Oh God of my Salvation.

Amen

Becky

Praying the Psalms -Psalm 23: 4- A Prayer for Moms in Pain-

 

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
Lord, my Good Shepherd,
Help me remember that all those
Terrible and fearsome shadows
That hunt us in our Christian walk,
Are only shadows.
Help me remember that
Even death is a shadow,
Death has been conquered
Through Jesus’ death and
Resurrection.
Death doesn’t have the last word.
You do.
And you have promised Life,
eternal Life and the resurrection of the death.
Father, I pray you comfort today,
With your rod and staff,
All those moms who have
Lost a dearest child,
Or are barren.
Father help your daughters
Walk in light,
And not fear the shadows of this world.
Let them be comforted in the shadows,
Let your Word strengthen their hope,
Let your Word be a lamp to their feet.
May your Spirit comfort them today.
Thank you for your promise,
The promise that He will come to
be with us and not leave us.
We believe it.
Let your light, O God,
Shine through the darkness,
Through the shadows.
Help us fix our eyes on
What is to come.
Strengthen our faith,
our knees, our heart.
That we won’t lose hope.
 Amen

 

Becky

The Greatest Temptation in the Wilderness

Jan Havicksz c.1660

These are some reflections I gleaned this morning while reading Psalm 78 (especially verses 18-24 ).

We are just like Israel, whose greatest temptation in the desert land was to test God. We are like them when we are led by the Spirit to the wilderness and found ourselves starting to demand from Him food,  pleasures, and the same kind of satisfactions that the world, in which we were once enslaved, offers us. It is that longing in our heart, deep within, that rebels in the quiet, and speaks against God saying, “Can God spread a table in the wilderness?” that reveals our sin.

See what is there? We doubt God’s goodness, His sovereignty, His promises. We start craving for the world because the satisfaction it offers is immediate. We forget that even in the wilderness He sustains his own. We forget that He has said that we are engraved in the palm of His hand, and that we are the apple of His eye.

How can we forget  that He has already provided Jesus, the Living Water, so that we won’t thirst anymore? Our Lord Jesus was struck on the cross just as the rock in the desert and life, living water,  gushed out and streams overflowed. Why do we long to drink water from broken cisterns, from poisoned rivers?

How can we forget that Jesus himself said that He is the Bread of Life? How can we long for something else? Only He has words of eternal life. Only when we come to Him and eat at his table is that we will be truly satisfied. Only and only then.

How easily it is for us to stop believing in God and in His saving power. He will never, never, never let His people die in the wilderness. Never.

The Lord is our Shepherd,
we shall not want.

The Lord is our Father,
we shall never be abandoned.

The Lord is our Life,
we shall not die.

The Lord is our Hope,
we shall not despair.

The Lord is our Refuge,
we shall not fear.

Come to the table, grab your bible, read it, mediate on it, pray over it. It is food to your soul, medicine to your bones. Goodness and life. It is Living Water, come drink, my friend, and thirst no more.

 

Becky