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Psalm 68:4-5

Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds; rejoice before him—his name is the Lord. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.
Psalm 68:4-5

Dear God, yesterday I was so mindful of the pain that some people experience on Father’s Day (or Mother’s Day, for that matter). When I did the greeting at church, I wanted to acknowledge it. Then I remembered something important. The experience of parenting gives us a small insight into your heart as you parent us. It’s something that I never considered until I became a parent, and as my children grow and are now young adults I get to see even more of your character, how much you love us, and what kinds of experiences you have as our father.

David reminds us in this psalm that you are a father to the fatherless. I will confess that I don’t know what it’s like to experience this because I still have my earthly father, and he is a good man. I have never experienced the pain of being fatherless. But I know there are those that have, obviously. I could probably spend a whole prayer journal to you exploring that issue, but I don’t think I would really get it because I haven’t been there.

So, Father in Heaven, I will sing praise to you and extol your name. I will do my best to get to know you better and then represent you in the world. I will give what I am able to others and try to find opportunities when I can be your hands and feet in practical ways for those who need you. What do I need from you? I need your forgiveness for my selfishness and sin, wisdom for how I respond to the people and situations around me, and strength to carry on your work. Please lead me into those things.

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2019 in Psalms

 

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Psalm 8

Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens. Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet: all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
Psalm 8

Dear God, one of the nice things about this passage is that David recognizes the extent of your majesty through your love for humans. It’s one thing for you to be great and powerful. It’s another thing to take time from that and truly love us. You are interested in us. You are interested not only in us as humanity, but you are interested in us as individuals! That’s amazing!

So what do I do with that love? How do I respond to that kind of majesty? Well, sometimes I get it right and sometimes I get it wrong. Sometimes I stop, deny myself, take up my cross, and follow you. I stop to worship. I stop to reach out and love my neighbor. But other times I find you too inconvenient. I lethargically watch TV (and not necessarily good TV) when I could be reading or writing. I spend my money on something self-indulgent instead of giving it to someone in need. I sleep a little later or scroll through Facebook instead of spending my daily time in prayer. I’m sorry for all of that.

Father, help me to embrace this idea of your love for me. Help me to not foolishly see it as something to take advantage of (assuming I can get what I want from you because you love me), but as opportunity for relationship and growth. You have done all of these wondrous things, and yet you love me. Thank you.

In Jesus’s name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2019 in Psalms

 

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Psalm 32

Psalm 32 [NIV]
[1] Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. [2] Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit. [3] When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. [4] For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. [5] Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin. [6] Therefore let all the faithful pray to you while you may be found; surely the rising of the mighty waters will not reach them. [7] You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. [8] I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. [9] Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you. [10] Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him. [11] Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart!

Dear God, I double checked to see who wrote this. It is one of David’s. I love that David knew the value of repentance. I love that he told others through things like these psalms that he is blessed because of his repentance, and his bones waste away when he remains silent (verse 3).

One of the great things that I love about the 12 Steps in AA is that you start off with acknowledging something that has either been a secret addiction or that you have been holding on to for a while. Then as you work through the steps you take a personal inventory and make amends when appropriate. That is great stuff.

I have a friend who went off the rails about 10 years ago, and I am convinced that something happened that either he did, was done to him, or both. I am of the firm belief that he won’t be free until he confesses it to you, and perhaps to someone else. Satan’s power is in the secret. He blackmails us. Shames us. Lies to us. And all it takes to break the power is your blood and repenting to you.

Father, help me to be fully repentant to you and to share my repentance with others when I need to. Help me to not hold onto my own idols and sin, but to let go and embrace the love you have for me. Do it all or your glory, Father.

I pray all of this by the power of Jesus’ blood and in His name,

Amen

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2019 in Psalms

 

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