Good Prayer

Psalm 106: 4 – 5              God’s Word

Remember me, O Lord, when you show favor to your people. Come to help me with our salvation so that I may see the prosperity of your chosen ones, find joy in our people’s happiness, and brag with the people who belong to you.

Save me, show me your favor, let me find joy, prosperity, happiness and praise. Not a bad prayer, especially when you consider the psalmist asks the Lord to lead him to praise. All these things; favor, salvation, prosperity, etc. ultimately lead us to praise. Don’t you believe that praise, bragging about the great things God is doing in your life, leads to more praise and, subsequently, to more of those great things? The more I focus my mind and words on praise and thanksgiving, the more praise and thanksgiving well up in my heart.

The petition for salvation reminds me that God brings His saving grace to everything I do. I used to think of salvation only in the eternity context, but Yahweh thinks of it in a day to day perspective. The writer was already a person who knew God and yet he petitioned God to bring him help and he called that help “salvation.” How many times have I prayed, “Lord, save me,” without ever thinking that the noun form of that would be salvation? That is huge!

Within the Lord’s saving help is prosperity in all things; in your finances, sure, but also in your body, mind, health, relationships and every other way you can think of. The end result God wants to bring to life is joy and happiness. Ultimately, that is called Shalom. It is the definitive peace, completeness and wholeness.

I pray favor over you today. In that favor I hope you find complete fulfillment, joy and peace. I pray praise exudes from you from the overflow of joy you experience daily.

I also hope, that despite the coronavirus constraints, you are having a good summer. I have encouraged you to make the most of this time. Use the time you’ve gained to make life better in some way. I am going to take my advice. For the rest of the summer, beginning with this week, I am going to publish the Word of the Day once a week. We will continue our Psalms Monday. The rest of the week I am going to use as a mini sabbatical to devote my time to my studies and projects. It will simplify my life and allow me to focus my attention on a few big goals.

I will continue to be available should you need me. You have my phone number and email address. I will also continue to manage the prayer requests. The prayer team never takes a vacation from prayer so keep those prayer requests coming. Just go to our website prayer request tab and leave your request. Until next Monday . . . Be blessed!

Enthroned

Psalm 102: 12 – 22

But you, Lord, sit enthroned forever; your renown endures through all generations. You will arise and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to show favor to her; the appointed time has come. For her stones are dear to your servants; her very dust moves them to pity. The nations will fear the name of the Lord, all the kings of the earth will revere your glory. For the Lord will rebuild Zion and appear in his glory. He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; he will not despise their plea. Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the Lord: “The Lord looked down from his sanctuary on high, from heaven he viewed the earth, to hear the groans of the prisoners and release those condemned to death.” So the name of the Lord will be declared in Zion and his praise in Jerusalem when the peoples and the kingdoms assemble to worship the Lord.

This is a large selection of text today, but hopefully it reveals a central truth and comfort. You might be interested to know that the title of today’s psalm is, “A prayer of an afflicted person who has grown weak and pours out a lament before the Lord.” What a title! However, this segment of the psalm does not sound like it is written by a person in despair and that is the key lesson. From despair, we lift our heads and see God’s glory.

The author may have wondered, like many other saints, “Where is God?” In times of trouble, it may seem God has abandoned us. However, as the psalmist indicates, our God is still on the throne and He reigns. He will save Zion, and your town, and rain down upon it His compassion and favor. Though the author was afflicted and had grown weak, yet he says of God, “He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; he will not despise their plea.” Then he tells us that this is recorded for a future generation, i.e. for us, that we might have courage and confidence in our time of need.

We are not abandoned, and God is not ignoring our plight. He attends to the prayer of the destitute, the needy. We will not ignore our cry for help. God will save us. He is with us and we will yet praise His name as we assemble to worship His name. His love surrounds and keeps us. He is Lord Protector and Father. Let us leave a testimony for a future generation too, that our Father lifted us and showed us His favor in our time of need.

Glory to God! Let the earth sing. Praises be to Yahweh; Father, Lord and Savior. Come Lord Jesus, show us your grace; shower us in your mercy and favor. Lift our heads that we might praise you with a joyful voice. Let the world see the beauty of your countenance as you touch and bless through your presence, your glorious, shining presence with your people. Amen.

Let Us See

Psalm 90: 16 – 17         TPT

Let us see your miracles again, and let the rising generation see the glorious wonders you’re famous for. O Lord our God, let your sweet beauty rest upon us and give us favor. Come work with us, and then our works will endure, and give us success in all we do.

This is my prayer. How can it not be? Oh, dear Lord, let your glory fall in our presence and show us the wonder of you. Revive our hearts with and by your grace. Let the radiance of your presence fill us and rejuvenate our spirits.

God is known for His glorious works. Let us praise Him for them but let us also pray for them, pray for their return to our everyday existence. Let us be the people, the generation, who lives by His Word and according to His grace. Call His fire upon us through prayer, servitude, generosity, and devotion. Beg, plead if we must, for his sweet beauty to rest upon each one of us daily and yes, dear Lord, give us your favor so that everywhere we go and everything we touch is blessed and anointed.

Let the work of our hands, Lord, be established in you. In all we do, let us first seek you and then proclaim you. We are but the dust of the earth without you Lord. Fill us with your presence so that we may live a justified and worthy life. Let me see your miracles again. Don’t let your servant die without the sweep of your Spirit through the land. Let your glory fill this place Lord. Let your might and graciousness be seen. And Lord, let them be seen in me.

Trust Dividend

Romans 5: 2       NLV

By putting our trust in God, He has given us His loving-favor and has received us. We are happy for the hope we have of sharing the shining-greatness of God.

What good news this is. When we invest our trust in God, we open our own path to happiness and His favor. I want you to see this verse from the Passion Translation as well, “Our faith guarantees us permanent access into this marvelous kindness that has given us a perfect relationship with God. What incredible joy bursts forth within us as we keep on celebrating our hope of experiencing God’s glory!” I like this guarantee, don’t you, a guarantee of His marvelous kindness and a perfect relationship with God. Really, what more could we want or need?

Our faith gives us access to a perfect relationship with God. Our trust in Him yields His favor and we have the promise that He receives us. Knowing that we are received and accepted by God is a huge thing. Many people live their whole lives awaiting their parents’ approval. We have our Father’s acceptance. His acceptance is that He receives us to Himself. We are part of Him, part of His family and we have the joy of sharing the glory of God with Him. I love how this verse states it, “sharing the shining-greatness of God.” Wow!

We aren’t orphaned children who have been let into the feast. We are His own pride and joy. He welcomes us in and makes us part of the celebration. The key to sharing the bright, shining glory of God’s presence is trust. We invest our trust in Him and He receives us, pouring out His “loving-favor” upon us. The favor of God is a great thing but to appreciate that His favor is colored by love makes it even more grand. His light and love are our inheritance. Actually, they are the reward, or the dividend on our investment of trust. I used to talk about “radical trust.” Maybe it is time to think on that again. What does radical trust look like? Pour out your heart to God. Bathe in His bright, shining glory and enjoy being His own beloved.

Lifted Up

Psalm 75: 9 – 10

But as for me, I will declare it forever; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob. And all the horns of the wicked He will cut off, but the horns of the righteous will be lifted up.

It is nice knowing the conclusion of things beforehand. It brings confidence. This verse, we should take to heart and remember God’s determination for our lives. He has pre-ordained that all the righteous shall be lifted up. Your house, your name and all that you hold dear are on Yahweh’s list of glory. And by house, I do not refer to the timber box you live in. I refer to your family, tribe, or the group with whom you associate.

The wicked will receive their due. Don’t you worry about that. On the other hand do not become part of their world because the judgment has already been rendered. They will be cut off and hell is their reward. Hell is eternity separated from God. They will be in a dark place where there is no light. It will be awful and some of them are living bits of it now. You see it in people’s lives. Therefore, live your life to Christ, who is the light. Make decisions today which move you into the light rather than into darkness. Everyone gets the opportunity to make those life altering decisions daily, actually even moment to moment. What are you deciding?

Notice that the author has made a decision to sing praises to God forever. That is a decision of the light, and it is a choice. Even as Christians, we get the opportunity to make “light” decisions or “dark” decisions. God has not made us puppets. He values our freewill, probably more than even we do.

Let your light be lifted up as you reflect the glorious luminescence of our dear Lord. Let his light shine upon you so that your life is bathed in him and all that he is. May your life be glorified in him and a praise offering in itself. Be blessed today!

Outlandish Favor

Exodus 11: 3

And the Lord gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Furthermore, the man Moses himself was greatly esteemed in the land of Egypt, both in the sight of Pharaoh’s servants and in the sight of the people.

If you know the story about Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt, you know that neither Moses nor the Israelites had favor in the sight of the Egyptians in the natural. They were hated and despised. Pharaoh was more than fed up with Moses and Aaron. At one point Pharaoh told Moses that if he saw Moses’ face again, Moses would surely die.

None the less, when it came down to it, God was victorious. Not only did Pharaoh release the captives, but the Israelites carried out of Egypt much gold and silver. They left 400 years of slavery in immense wealth. God gave them such favor that the Egyptians just gave over their wealth to the Israelites. That is God for you.

We know that through Jesus all of the blessings of the Israelites have come upon all people; all who call God their Lord. How much more should His favor operate effectively in this country and in our lives than against such high odds as the Israelites faced in Egypt? After all, the Israelites were slaves when they were in Egypt. None the less, when they left Egypt, they left with the Egyptians’ wealth. The Israelites didn’t earn that bounty. It was the favor of God on their lives that moved the wealth out of the hands of the Egyptians and into the hands of the Israelites. That same kind of profound favor is available in your life too.

God sent His son to the cross for you so that you could enjoy all the blessings of God. We must accept in our hearts that God is a good God and that He has good intentions towards us. Then with our faith we reach out to Him with the expectation that He will be a good partner in our lives. He will lead us by His Spirit into the land of favor and abundant life. That is what Jesus came here to do (John 10: 10).

Throne of Grace

Hebrews 4: 16

Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need.

God is sitting on the throne of grace. Did you know that? He is not sitting on the throne of judgment nor the throne of condemnation. No, His choice of thrones is the one of grace. That should set someone free right there. Glory!!

Additionally, we are invited, no, instructed, to draw unto that throne so that we may receive mercy and grace to help us in our time of need. I used to picture myself entering the throne room of God. But in re-reading this scripture I realize that we are not to draw near to the throne room but rather to the throne itself. I was often satisfied just entering the throne room when God has said, “Come on up to the throne where I am.” Are you getting a revelation of this? God wants us to draw nigh to Him so that He can extend His mercy and grace and so that He can help us with every challenge. That ought to radicalize your thinking. You ought to get a breakthrough just realizing at a greater level how sincerely and longingly He wants you to run into His arms like a little child so that He can help you with everything.

Do you know what the word “grace” actually means? It means “unmerited favor”. So God is saying to you, “Come receive my favor. Let us put my favor on you and on whatever situations you are facing.” He is trying to get you to go to Him with your needs. He wants to be your helper. Look, He could have chosen any throne He wanted but He chose to sit on the throne of unmerited favor so that He could bless you without you having to earn it. So, who will be the first to run into the throne room and up to that throne today? Will it be you?