Archives for category: Prayer

As I read various readings this morning, my mind was so confused.  I read Psalms 25 and was struck by the words in verses 4 and 5.  “Shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me they paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.”  Beautiful words which we like to hear.

But then, I was led to Psalms 137 which starts out with “By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.”  Most of us would remember hearing these words and would even break out in song, upon hearing them, but how many of us really think about them or about the rest of this Psalm – a song of sadness and a song of hate…..yes, hate!  And yes, why not hate, when we remember what happened to the peoples of Israel, what happened to the people of Africa, what happened to the peoples of many of the Caribbean Islands.  I recently read two books – “The Covenant” by James A. Michener and “The Book of Negroes” by Lawrence Hill and also read “Roots” by Alex Haley some time ago and believe me, they are not easy books to read; and reading through the Old Testament alone gives us lots of examples of what Israel went through.

Eugene H. Peterson calls Psalms 137 the Scandal Psalm and says many people would like to remove it from the Psalms because it does express hate, but as I contemplate what would have been in the hearts of people who were torn from their land, their families, their loved ones, their people and who also had their children, their precious babies torn from them, would I not feel hate. Yes, when we are hurt, when we are violated, when we are in great pain, when we don’t understand why things are happening, God wants to hear how we feel.  God is a big God – He can handle how we feel and He can help to turn us around and help us work through our hate and our great sorrow.  God does not want us to suppress our feelings.  He wants us to express them and the Psalms illustrate this over and over again.  Peterson used this sentence which really struck me – “A ship that is dead in the water can’t be steered”.

Yes, sometimes we will feel actual hate – admit it, but then pray it out to God and let Him guide you in His ways. Many, many things we don’t understand, but all will be revealed to us one day.  Psalm 136:1 ” O Give thanks unto the Lord; for He is good: for His mercy endures for ever.”  He will understand us even when we don’t understand ourselves.

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A Psalm of David.

The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein,  for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully.  He will receive  blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation.  Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob.

Lift up your heads, O gates!

And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.

 Who is this King of glory?   The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle!

Lift up your heads, O gates!   And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.

Who is this King of glory?   The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory!  Psalms 24

As I read Psalms 24 this morning, my mind was on the US election and how passionate the voters were, even standing in line-ups for up to six hours to place their vote.  I also thought about how close the overall results were.  I prayed for the results of the election before, not for any particular candidate, as I did not have a clear and definite opinion on which man would do a better job.

Reading over this Psalm, I am now praying that Barack Obama will keep a “clean heart and clean hands” and that God will use him to lead America in the paths that it should go.  There are many things that don’t look right to me at the moment, but God can change things in His own way and in His own time.  Pray for America!

Again, reading from the book titled “Answering God”  – The Psalms As Tools For Prayer – by Eugene H. Peterson, I came upon this paragraph.

“A lot of people reject the word of God; they not only reject it, they turn their rejection into a world power. These people command most of the armies of the world, direct the advances of science, run school systems, preside over governments, and rule in the marketplaces. If these people are in active conspiracy against the rule of God, what difference can prayer make?”

Jesus told us in His teachings that we should pray for our leaders.  We should pray for them that God will direct them in decisions for our country and for our families, and that the policies and procedures that they put into place will be policies that will be in accordance with God’s will.  As we pray, we should also make a personal commitment that we will learn everything that we can learn about our politicians who are running for office, and vote for those that we feel best exemplify the morality and doctrines that are represented in God’s word.  We also need to be willing to write to our government representatives and leaders about issues that we know need to be changed, and become active wherever and whenever we can in implementing these changes.

The US election is currently a big issue in the news, and even though I personally cannot vote to influence the results, I can pray that God will direct the leaders and guide the representatives who do get elected to the positions in power.

Prayer does make a difference!  Don’t forget to pray for our government leaders, our church leaders and our educational institution leaders.  Pray that God will make our countries better for our children and grandchildren, and all those who follow after us.