Praying Through God's Word: Psalms
Lord, we thank You that Your way is the best way. It’s ‘make up your mind’ time. Every day, we must make up our mind – Will it be the way of the world? Will it be the way of the Word? It cannot be both. It must be one or the other.
Lord, help us to choose Your way. Help us to keep on choosing Your way. May we always know, in our hearts, that Your way is the best way.
We thank You, Lord, for Jesus Christ – Your Son, our Saviour. What a great Saviour He is! When we think of Jesus, may our hearts be filled with true and lasting joy. We search for happiness – but we don’t find it. Why? – Because we look in the wrong place. We look within ourselves. What do we find? – An emptiness which keeps on gnawing away at us, ‘There must be more than this.’ There is. There’s Jesus. He changes our focus. We start looking less at ourselves and more at Him. We see that real happiness – true and lasting joy – doesn’t come from within ourselves. It comes from Jesus – “Hallelujah! I have found Him … Through His blood I now am saved.”
Lord, we are surrounded by so many enemies. They are Your enemies, enemies of Your Gospel, enemies of Your truth, What are we to do? What can we do? Left to ourselves, we are helpless. Our situation is hopeless – until You come to us with Your love and Your power. You assure us that You love us. You are with us and You lead us in the pathway of holiness and victory. You lead us on the pathway that brings glory to You.
Lord, we thank You that You answer the sinner’s prayer. Jesus is Your Answer. He is our Saviour. He is the Gospel Answer. He is the Good News that we need to hear. He is the Good News of Your amazing love. He is the Good News of Your saving power. Lord, we thank You for Jesus – our wonderful Saviour.
Lord, without Your help, we are nothing and we can do nothing. We need You, Lord. We can never be what You call us to be if we don’t come to You and receive strength from You. We come to You in our weakness. It is the weakness of our sin. We come to receive Your strength. It is the strength of Your salvation.
Lord, help us not to get bogged down in what’s happening to us right now. Help us to lift up our eyes and see Jesus. Help us not only to see Him as a figure from the past – a man who lived a long time ago. Help us to see Him as the Lord who is coming to us from the future, coming to us from the glory coming to us from heaven. coming with His salvation, coming to establish Your eternal Kingdom.
Sometimes, Lord, we feel like we’re in a deep, dark hole. We don’t want to be in this place – but we are! Help us to know that You’re there with us. You’re not there to blame us for getting into this mess. You’re there to assure us that there is hope.
Lord, we thank You that You don’t keep Your distance from us. You come near to us. You show us Your love. You give us Your peace. You fill our hearts with Your joy. You lead us forward with hope. Thank You, Lord.
“I will give thanks to You, Lord, with all my heart …My enemies turn back; they stumble and perish before you .… The Lord reigns forever … The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble” (Psalm 9:1,3,7,9).
We give thanks to You, Lord. Where does our thanksgiving begin? It begins with thinking. We think – and we thank. We think about what You have done for us. We thank You for what You have done for us.
We thank You, Lord, that we have the victory in Christ. When Satan attacks us, help us to remind him that Jesus is Lord. Help us to tell him, “Jesus is my Saviour – and He’s a lot stronger than you are!” We thank You, Lord, that Satan – our determined enemy – is also our defeated enemy. He’s been defeated by Jesus – and Jesus gives His victory to us! When Satan to us, “I’m stronger than you are”, help us to answer him with Your Word: “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).
Lord, when it feels like You’ve forgotten us, help us to see the truth as it really is. We have forgotten You. We’ve taken our eyes off You – and now everything’s out of focus. There’s a blurring of our vision. Lord, take us to the Cross of Jesus. Show us that we’re not forgotten. We’re remembered.
We thank You, Lord, that You have opened up for us a great future. What glory awaits us in Your eternal Kingdom. What encouragement this gives to us when we’re going through a hard time! Help us, Lord, to lift up our eyes, to catch a glimpse of Your glory, to be changed by Your glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). Help us to “turn our eyes upon Jesus”, to “look full in His wonderful face.” As we look upon Jesus, may “the things of earth grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”
When our faith is being sorely tested, help us, Lord, to turn to You. Help us to know that, through it all, You are there with us – suffering with us, leading us into Your joy. Teach us, in our suffering, to wait for the day when You will “restore our fortunes”, when You will answer our prayer: “O that salvation … would come”, when we will, again, “rejoice” and be “glad” in You (Psalm 14:7).
True and lasting joy comes from You, Lord. This joy doesn’t depend on good things happening to us. Even when bad things are happening to us, this joy, Your joy, is still there – because You are still there. You’re with us – and You’re for us. The world cannot give this joy to us. Joy is Your gift. The world cannot take this joy away from us. Whatever happens to us, there’s one thing that never changes – You are our God. This is where our joy comes from. It comes from Your faithfulness. Help us to remember this – especially when everything seems to be pulling us away from You.
Lord, we long for a closer walk with You. Sometimes, Lord, we take our eyes off Jesus, our Saviour – and we wander far away from You. Always, You are calling us back to Yourself. In love, You wait for us to return to You. You call us to make a new beginning with You.
Lord, You are “our strength, our rock, our fortress, our deliverer, our shield and the horn of our salvation, our stronghold (Psalm 18:1-2). What more can we ask for? You are all that we need – and more! Help us, Lord, not to stagger along in our own strength when You’re calling us to stand in Your strength and march on with You to victory (Ephesians 6:13). Our own strength isn’t strength. It’s weakness. Your strength is the only true strength. We are strong when we stand upon Your gracious promise – “My grace is sufficient for you. My strength is mad e perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
We thank You, Lord, for Your salvation and Your victory. Help us to walk with You in salvation and victory, obeying Your command – “Clothe yourselves in humility”, heeding Your warning – “God opposes the proud”, and trusting Your promise – He “gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5).
Lord, You’re always speaking to us. Every day and every night,You speak to us through Your created world. You prepare us for hearing the voice of Jesus, Your living Word. He speaks to us through the Scriptures, Your written Word. Help us, Lord, to become aware of Your presence, to listen to the voice of Jesus – calling us to come to You, and to receive new life, as we put our trust in Jesus, our Saviour.
“We trust in the Name of the Lord our God…Through the unfailing love of the Most High’ we ‘shall not be moved” (Psalms 20:7; 21:7). Lord, we thank You that You are a solid rock for our faith. You are the only solid rock for our faith. Without You, Lord, the foundations are shaking. We’re about to collapse. You pick us up. we’re broken in pieces. You put us together again. Our life is going nowhere. You give us a new sense of direction. Without this input from You, our lives are empty. Everything we do is futile. When You are there with us, everything changes. It’s Your love that makes the difference. It’s Your love that changes us. Thank You, Lord, for Your love.
When our future seems so uncertain, help us, Lord, to put our trust in You. Help us to remember Your Son, Jesus. Help us to remember that He is our Saviour. When we fear the worst, may we always remember that our Saviour is absolutely trustworthy and completely dependable. When our love for Him seems so weak, may we remember that His love is never weak. It’s always strong. When we fail Him, may we remember that He will never fail us. His love is an unfailing love. When we’re feeling down, may the love of Jesus lift us up. When we don’t feel like singing, may we look to You to fill our hearts with praise to You.
“My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” (Psalm 22:1). This was the Psalmist’s prayer. Often, it’s our prayer - it’s the way we feel, even if we don’t actually speak the words! More than that, it was our Saviour’s prayer (Matthew 27:46|). On the Cross, “our sin was laid on Him” (Isaiah 53:6). When we’re suffering, help us to see Jesus – suffering for us. Help us to see Him – risen, exalted and returning for us. Help us to say, “Thank You, Lord. I am not forsaken. I am forgiven.”
We thank You, Lord, for Jesus Christ, our great Saviour. He died for us. He was raised from the dead for us. He is coming again for us. We think of all that He has done for us, and we say, “Hallelujah! What a Saviour!”
Sometimes, we nibble at our food. We don’t feel like eating. We’re off-colour. Often, Lord, we’re like that with Your Word. We could be enjoying a feast – but we’re not! We’re too easily satisfied. There’s no real hungering and thirsting for Your life-giving Word. Lord, give us more hunger for You. Fill us with a deeper desire for Your presence and Your blessing. Help us to feast on Your Word – the Word of life, the Word which we need so much, the Word which leads us into all the blessing that You want so much to give to us.
Lord, we thank You that You are preparing a wonderful future for us. It’s glory with You. It’s eternal life: “I shall dwell in the House of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:6). Fill our hearts, O Lord, with resurrection hope – the true and living hope, the sure and steadfast hope that comes from knowing You, the God who has raised Your Son, the God who raises us up, with Jesus, to everlasting life.
Knowing You, Lord, is more important than knowing a lot about this, that and the other subject. Where does the best education from? It comes from You. You teach us about the things that really matter. you teach us about eternal things. You teach us what life is really all about. You are “the God of our salvation.” You “lead us in Your truth” – the truth that changes us, the truth which inspires us to become all that You want us to be (Psalm 25:5).
“Your love is ever before me, and I will walk continually in Your truth” (Psalm 26:3). Lord, it’s Your love for us that inspires our loyalty to You. You love us. This is what makes us want to walk with You. In Your love, You lead us in the way of Your salvation. We don’t begin with walking with You. We begin with worshipping You. We celebrate Your love for us, and we receive Your strength – strength for living the new life, the life that brings glory to You.
Lord, You are “the strength of Your people.” May each of us say, “You are my strength” (Psalm 28:7-8). Your strength comes to us through fellowship. We receive strength from others, and we give strength to them. Your strength is more than human strength – the strength that comes to us through fellowship. It is the strength which comes to us through faith – faith in You, our Lord and our God.
“I will exalt You, O Lord” (Psalm 30;1). Lord, You are not exalted because we exalt You. We exalt You because You are exalted. How do we come to the point where we exalt You? We realize our need of You – “when You hid Your face, I was dismayed” (Psalm 30:7). We look to You for mercy – “To You, O Lord, I called; to the Lord, I cried for mercy” (Psalm 30:8). You hear and answer our prayer – “You turned my wailing into dancing. You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy” (Psalm 30:11). You call us to worship You – “Sing praises to the Lord, O you His saints, and give thanks to His holy Name” (Psalm 30:4). Help us, Lord, to worship You: “O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever” (Psalm 30:12).
“Into Thy hand, I commit my spirit” (Psalm 31:5). As we read these words, Lord, our thoughts turn to Jesus Christ, crucified for us. In death, He gave Himself for our sins (Luke 23:46). Beyond His “affliction and the anguish of His soul”, there was the “spacious place” of His resurrection – and there was, for us, “eternal salvation” (Psalm 31:7-8; Hebrews 5:7-9). Lord, we look to Jesus, our crucified Saviour, and we say, “Praise be to the Lord, for He showed His wonderful love to us” (Psalm 31:21). We thank You for Jesus, our risen Lord. In Him, we are “strong and our hearts take courage” (Psalm 31:24).
We come to You, Lord, with our sin. You come to us with Your forgiveness. What a tremendous blessing this is – the forgiveness of our sins (Psalm 32:1-2). You give Your promise to us: “If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). We bring our prayer to You: “I make my sins known to You, and I did not cover up my guilt. I decided to confess them to You, O Lord. Then You forgave all my sins” (Psalm 32:5).
“Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous” (Psalm 33:1). Lord, we have so many reasons for rejoicing in You. You have opened Your heart to us (Psalm 33:11). You have shown Your love to us (Psalm 33:5). Help us to trust in Your Word, and rest in Your faithfulness (Psalm 33:4). We rejoice in “Your unfailing love” (Psalm 33:20,22).
Lord, we rejoice in Your salvation (Psalm 34:4-6). We say, “I will bless the Lord at all times” (Psalm 34:1). Help us to bring others with us, calling on them to worship You, with joy (Psalm 34:3,8). Help us to share Your Word with them (Psalm 34:11), and to lead them on to spiritual maturity (Psalm 34:14; Hebrews 5:14).
“Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me!” (Psalm 35:1). When, Lord, we feel that we are under pressure from the unbelieving world, help us to remember the words of Jesus: “In the world, you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Help us to rejoice in Your victory (Romans 8:31; 1 Corinthians 15:57). Help us to say, from our hearts, “I will thank Thee … I will praise Thee … all day long” (Psalm 35:18,2,8).
We thank You, Lord, for “Your steadfast love” (Psalm 36:5,7,10). Your love is the best love. It’s the greatest love of all. Your love is very wonderful. We rejoice in Your love. We are amazed at Your love. We look at Jesus, Your Son, crucified for us, and we say, “Amazing love, how can it be that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?” Jesus died for us. Now, He lives in us. In love, You are leading us on into Your future – on to “fullness of joy in Your presence” (Psalm 16:11).
Lord, You tell us that “those who trust in You … will dwell in the land”, and those who turn from You will “£perish” (Psalm 37:3,20). You’re calling us on to “a heavenly country” (Hebrews 1:16). It will be better than anything we’ve ever known here on earth. You’ve shown us the way to this heavenly country. Jesus is the Way. He opens the door for us – and He will welcome us. Help us, Lord, to trust in Jesus, our Saviour, now – and to look forward to being welcomed by Him into Your eternal Kingdom.
“My guilt has overwhelmed me. Like a heavy load, it is more than I can bear” (Psalm 38:4). What, Lord, are we to do when things seem to be going from bad to worse? What are we to do when everything seems to be falling apart? When, Lord, we are “completely devastated” and our “heart is in turmoil” (Psalm 38:8), help us to join with the Psalmist in saying, “I wait with hope for You, O Lord” (Psalm 38:15).
Some live to a ripe old age. Others die young. What are we to make of this? What, Lord, are You saying to us about this? We read what the Psalmist says, “My life span is nothing compared with Yours” (Psalm 39:5). Help us, Lord, to think about the quality of our living – “How am I living?” as well as the quantity of our years. “How long have I lived?” Teach us that life is not only about survival – living for a long time. It’s also about revival – living in the light of eternity. Help us to put “our hope in You” (Psalm 39:7), and to live as “citizens of heaven,” who are looking forward to the return of our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20).
Lord, we thank You for Your gifts – salvation, security, singing and sharing. You have saved us – “He drew me up from the desolate pit … ” (Psalm 40:1). You give us security – You “set my feet on a rock, making my feet secure” (Psalm 40:1). You give to us “a new song … a song of praise to our God” (Psalm 40:3). You give us something wonderful to share with other people – “I have not hidden Thy saving help within my heart, I have spoken of Thy faithfulness and Thy salvation … ” (Psalm 40:10). Thank You, Lord.
When everything seems to be going wrong, help us, Lord, not to forget about You. Things will only get worse, if we turn away from You. Help us to turn to You, and receive help from You. Give us the strength that we need to say, with confident faith, “My enemy has not triumphed over me” (Psalm 41:1). Help us to rejoice in You, Lord, and to say, from our hearts, “Blessed is the Lord .. ” (Psalm 41:13).
Lord, help us to move beyond the shallow waters – to move, with You, into the deeper waters of Your love and Your blessing. We think of deep water – and we think of danger. Yes! There is danger – but there is also something else. You are with us – and You assure us that, though the dangers are great, You are greater than they are! Lord, lead us into the deeper waters – not with fear of the dangers, but with expectation of Your blessing!
We ask the question – “Why are you downcast, O my soul?” You give us Your answer: “Put your hope in God” (Psalm 42:5,11; Psalm 43:5). Often, Lord, our minds are so full of our questions that we fail to hear Your answers. Help us to stop talking and start listening – “Speak, for Your servant is listening” (1 Samuel 3:8-10). It’s Your Word that brings us out of our darkness, and into Your light. – “Send forth Your light and Your truth, let them guide me … ” (Psalm 43:5).
Victory comes from You, Lord. In ourselves, we are defeated. In You, there is victory. It’s so easy to forget this. We take our eyes off You, and we get despondent – “You have rejected and humbled us …You have made us retreat before the enemy … You gave us up to be devoured like sheep … My disgrace is before me all day long … ” (Psalm 44:9-16). What are we to do when such negative thoughts fill our minds? Lord, help us to pray, “Awake, O Lord! … Rise up and help us; redeem us because of Your unfailing love” (Psalm 44:23,26).
We thank You, Lord, that Jesus is “the most excellent of men” (Psalm 45:2). He is much more than that. We look at Jesus Christ, the risen Lord (Acts 2:24, 36), and we say, “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever” (Psalm 45:6; Hebrews 1:8). Help us to approach our Lord Jesus Christ with “reverence”, “honouring” Him, “bowing down” before Him, “worshipping” Him, and “obeying” Him (Psalm 45:11).
You call us, Lord, to “be still and know that You are God” (Psalm 46:10). You call us to “shout to You with songs of joy” (Psalm 47:2). Your Word brings peace to our hearts – “In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength” (Isaiah 30:15). Your blessing is not to be kept to ourselves – “Sing to the Lord … Let them shout from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory to the Lord, and declare His praise in the coastlands” (Isaiah 42:10-12). Help us, Lord, to rejoice in Your love for us, and to share Your love with others.
Lord, we worship You in the place of worship – “Within Your Temple, we meditate on Your unfailing love.” Help us to go out from there, and play our part in seeing that Your praise “reaches to the ends of the earth” (Psalm 48:: 9-11). How will other people know of Your love, if we don’t tell them? How will they find their way to Your House, if we don’t invite them? When we share Your Word with others, help us to remember Your promise: “My Word … will not return to Me empty, but will … achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).
How can I be saved? Is there a more important question than this? In Your Word, Lord, You speak to us about our need of salvation and Your provision of salvation. You call us to receive Your salvation. We cannot save ourselves – “No man can ransom himself, or give to God the price of his life. The price to be paid for his soul is too costly” (Psalm 49:7-8). We thank You that Your Son,Jesus, came to earth “to give His life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). Help us, Lord, to believe Your promise – “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31), and to enter into the blessing that is promised – “He who believes in the Son has eternal life” (John 3:36).
“Our God comes, He does not keep silence … God the Lord speaks” (Psalm 50:3,1). We thank You, Lord, that You do not keep Your distance from us. You come near to us. We thank You that You do not keep Your silence. You speak to us. How do You come near to us? How do You speak to us? You come near to us in Jesus. He is “the Word made flesh” (John 1:14). You speak to us through Jesus, Your living “Word” (John 1:1).
“Create in me, a clean heart, O God … Cast me not away from Thy presence … Restore to me the joy of Thy salvation” (Psalm 51:10-12). Lord, these words come to us from thew ancient past. They can become words that change our future – words for making a new beginning with You> We have sinned. We need to be forgiven. May Your love reach us. May Your power change us. May we know the truth and power of Jesus’ gracious and precious promise: “I will never turn away anyone who comes to Me” (John 6:37).
“I am like a green olive tree in the House of God” (Psalm 52:9). Here, Lord, we have a picture of growth and fruitfulness. In Your House, we can grow spiritually. In Your House, we can become spiritually fruitful. When, Lord, we pray for Your blessing, help us not only to think of ourselves. Help us to pray for all of Your people – “Oh, that salvation for Israel would come from Zion.” “Restore the fortunes of Your people.” May all of Your people “rejoice and be glad” (Psalm 53:6).
Sometimes, Lord, we face opposition from people who are outside of Your Church: “Strangers are attacking me; ruthless men seek my life – men with no regard for God” (Psalm 54:3). Sometimes, the opposition comes from people we know very well: “my close friend, with whom I enjoyed sweet fellowship, as we worshipped together at the House of God” (Psalm 55:13-14). What are we to do? Are we to run away from it all – “I would flee far away … far from the tempest and storm” (Psalm 55:6-8)? Would it not be better to remember this: “God is my Helper” (Psalm 54:4). Help us, Lord, to remember Your promise: “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you.” Help us to say, “I will call upon God, and the Lord will save me” (Psalm 55:16,22).
“Be gracious to me, O God … Be merciful to us, O God” (Psalm 56:1; Psalm 57:1). In mercy, Lord, You don’t send to us the judgment we deserve. In grace, You give to us the salvation we don’t deserve.
How do You do this for us? You make Your grace and mercy available to us through Your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. How do we receive Your grace and mercy? We look to the Cross of Christ. There, we see Your “steadfast love and faithfulness” (Psalm 57:3,10). Your love is eternal love. It’s love unchanged, unchanging and unchangeable – “I will give thanks to You, O Lord … I will sing praises to You … Be exalted, O God” (Psalm 57:9-11).
“Surely there is a God who judges the earth … Deliver me from my enemies, O my God” (Psalm 58:11; Psalm 59:1). May these words send us to the Cross of Christ. We come in our need. Lord, we need Your forgiveness and Your victory. What do we find at the Cross of our Saviour? – “My God in His steadfast love will meet me … My God will let me look in triumph over my enemies” (Psalm 59:10). What a great Saviour we have! We think of His love and His power, and our hearts are filled with praise to You – “I will sing of Your strength … I will sing of Your love … O my Strength, I sing praises to You; You, O God, are my Fortress, my loving God” (Psalm 59:16-17).
“With God we shall gain the victory, and He will trample down our enemies” (Psalm 60:12). When, Lord, we’re feeling defeated, Your Word gives us great encouragement. The battle isn’t ours. It’s Yours. The victory isn’t ours. It’s Yours. In the heat of the battle, You are our “strong tower against the enemy” (Psalm 61:3). When we’re feeling the ferocity of Satan’s hostility towards the truth of Your Word and the Gospel of Your grace, help us to remember that You, Lord, are “enthroned for ever” (Psalm 61:7).
You, Lord, are “our rock and our salvation” (Psalm 62:2,6). We think of Your Son, Jesus Christ – the “Rock of our salvation” (1 Corinthians 10:1-4,16), and we say, “Your steadfast love is better than life … I will praise You as long as I live” (Psalm 63:3-4). We look at Jesus, our great Saviour, and we say, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15).
“Let the righteous rejoice in the Lord” (Psalm 64:10). Lord, You give us joy – true joy, lasting joy. This is Your joy. It’s not just a passing emotion. It’s more than a feeling that doesn’t last very long. Your joy changes us. It gives us the strength to live as “a new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
“Come and see what God has done …Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what He has done for me” (Psalm 66:5,16). Lord, You invite us to read the story of all that You have done for us. You invite us to let the story of Your salvation become real in our lives. Help us, Lord, to come to You with this prayer – “May God be gracious to us and bless us … ” Help us to receive Your answer – “God has blessed us”, to “be glad and sing for joy,” and to call “all the ends of the earth” to “worship You” (Psalm 67:1,4,6-7).
Lord, You are “the God of salvation.” You are “our salvation” (Psalm 68:19-20). Your salvation covers our past, present and future. You have saved us – You have forgiven our sins (Romans 5:1). You are saving us – You are making us the kind of people that You want us to be (Romans 5:3-5). You will save us – You’re leading us on to Your eternal glory (Romans 5:9-10). From beginning to end, salvation is Your work. It is such a great salvation. Help us to rejoice in You – and to give all the glory to You (Psalm 68:13,35).
When, Lord, we are going through “the deep waters” of suffering, help us to pray to You for deliverance (Psalm 69:16). we have sinned against You. We do not try to hide this – the wrongs that I have done are not hidden from You, my guilt is not hidden from You” (Psalm 69:5). You are the God of “steadfast love” and “abundant mercy” (Psalm 69:16). We remember that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” You don’t send the judgment we deserve – This is Your mercy. You send the blessing we don;t deserve – This is Your grace. Help us to come to You and receive Your “mercy” and Your “grace” (1 Timothy 1:13-16; Hebrews 4:14-16).
“May all, who seek You, rejoice and be glad in You! May those who love your salvation continually say, ‘God is great!’” (Psalm 70:4). When, Lord, we’re going through “many terrible troubles”, help us to look beyond our problems, to look to You, to know that You are our “rock of refuge” and our “strong fortress” (Psalm 71:3, and to say, from our hearts, “You have done great things, O God … You will revive us again” (Psalm 71:19-20).
Lord, we read the words – “His Name shall endures for ever” (Psalm 72:17), and we think of Your Son, Jesus. His Name is “the Name above all other names.” He is “the King of kings and Lord of lords” (Philippians 2:9-11; Revelation 19:16). We read the words – “all nations shall call Him blessed” (Psalm 72:17), and, again, our thoughts turn to Jesus, our Saviour. “From every tribe and language and people and nation, “Your people have been redeemed by His precious blood” (Revelation 5:9). We read the words – “May His glory fill the whole earth!” (Psalm 72:19), and we rejoice in Jesus Christ, “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Thank You, Lord, for Jesus. What a wonderful Saviour He is!
Lord, it’s so easy for us to lose our way – “my feet had almost stumbled.” We look at “the prosperity of the wicked”, and we become “envious of the arrogant” (Psalm 73:2-3). When others are forgetting about You, help us to keep on saying, “For me, it is good to be near God! – in “the sanctuary of God” (Psalm 73:28). When we leave the place of worship, help us to tell others what You “have done” for us. Help us to say to others, “O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His Name together” (Psalm 34:3).
Lord, You have “redeemed” us. You have brought “salvation” to us (Psalm 74:2,12). We rejoice in the Old Testament story of redemption (Deuteronomy 7:8). We have much greater joy when we think of Jesus: “In Him we have redemption through His blood.” This is “the Gospel of our salvation.” It is “good news of a great joy.” Through faith in Him, we “rejoice with unutterable and exalted joy.” We look forward to “the salvation of our souls.” We say “Hallelujah! Salvation ans glory and power belong to our God” (Ephesians 1:7,13; Luke 2:10; 1 Peter 1:5,8-9; Revelation 19:1).
“We give thanks to You, O God … I will rejoice for ever, I will sing praises to the God of Jacob. Make your vows to the Lord your God, and perform them” (Psalm 785:1,9; Psalm 76:11). Teach us, Lord, that true rejoicing in You is more than singing praise to You. Teach us to live what we sing. “Fill Thou our life, O Lord our God, in every part with praise.” “Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee.” Such words are not to be forgotten as soon as we leave the place of worship. They’re more than words for singing. They’re words for living. How, Lord, can we live a life of praise and consecration? – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
Psalm 77:1-20Sometimes, Lord, we have more questions than answers (Psalm 77:7-9). The questions keep flooding into our minds. We wonder where the answers are going to come from. What, Lord, are we to do when this happens? We remember what You have done for us (Psalm 77:11-12). Help us, Lord, to look back over the “years” – and remember that Your “hand” has been upon us (Psalm 77:5,10). May the memories of Your many blessings fill us with strength – to face the future with confidence in You. Help us, Lord. to trust in You – and be truly happy.
When, Lord, we’re asking the question, “Can God spread a table in the wilderness?” (Psalm 78:19), help us to hear Your answer: “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” At Your “table”, You bless us – “You anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows” (Psalm 23:5). Help us to come to Jesus, Your Son. He is our Saviour. Help us to come to His “table”, to drink from “the cup of salvation” and to be “anointed with the oil of gladness” (Psalm 116:7; Psalm 45:7).
Lord, You led Your people out of Egypt, through the desert and into Your “holy land” (Psalm 78:52, 42-43,51,54-55). You did great things for Israel. You do great things for us – “You restore our soul. You lead us in the paths of righteousness for Your Name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3). We thank You, Lord, for Your many blessings – “peace with God”, standing in Your “grace”, “our hope of sharing the glory of God”, “Your love poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit” (Romans 5:1-5).
So many people are turning away from You, Lord. They no longer worship You. We wonder, “Can things be turned around?” It would be so easy to give up and go the way of the world. “Help us, O God of our salvation” (Psalm 79:9) – to keep on praising You: “W, Your people, the flock which You shepherd, will give thanks to You forever. We will praise You throughout every generation” (Psalm 79:13).
“Restore us, O God, make Your face shine upon us, that we may be saved” (Psalm 80:3). When, Lord, we come to You with the question of salvation – “What must I do to be saved?”, You come to us with answer – “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:30-31). In Christ, You have “blessed us with every spiritual blessing” (Ephesians 1:3). Thank You, Lord.
Psalm 81:1-16“Sing aloud to God; shout for joy to the God of Jacob” (Psalm 81:1). Teach us, Lord, to worship You with joy. You have blessed us in the past: “I am the Lord your God, who brings you out of the land of Egypt.” You will bless us in the future: “Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it” (Psalm 81:10). Help us, Lord, to thank You for Your past blessings, and to trust You for Your future blessings.
“A friend loves at all times” (Proverbs 17:17). Help us, Lord, to look beyond human love and human friendship. Help us to see Jesus. His love is the greatest love. He is our greatest Friend. Thank You, Lord, for Jesus. Thank You for His love. He’s our Forever Friend. May we know, in our hearts, that His love is ‘always and forever’ love.
‘How I love Your Temple, Almighty Lord! How I want to be there! I long to be in the Lord’s Temple. With my whole being I sing for joy to the living God’(Psalm 84:1-2). Lord, we read this words, and we know that this is much more than paying lip-service to You. This is real. ‘I long for You, O God. I thirst for You, the living God; when can I go and worship in Your presence’(Psalm 42:1-2). ‘Let Your light and Your truth guide me… to the place where You dwell. Then will I go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight…’(Psalm 43:4). Here, Lord, we meet a man who found great joy in worshipping You.‘O God, You are my God, and I long for You. My whole being desires You… my soul is thirsty for You’(Psalm 63:1). Here, Lord, we meet a man who worshipped You with his whole heart. This is real worship, joyful worship, heartfetlt worship. Lord, help us to worship Him like that!
Help us, Lord, to pray for revival – ‘Restore us again, O God our Saviour… Will You not revive us again that Your people may rejoice in You?’(Psalm 85:4,6). Help us to pray that You will ‘grant us Your salvation.’ Help us to pray that ‘Your saving presence will remain in our land’, that ‘Your glory may dwell in our land’(Psalm 85:7,9). Help us to pray for real listening – ‘I will listen to what God the Lord will say’- , a real turning to You – ‘turning to You in our hearts’- , and a real sense of Your blessing – ‘You will speak peace to Your people’(Psalm 85:8). Teach us, Lord, that prayer for revival does not begin as a prayer for others. It begins with ourselves: ‘O Holy Ghost, revival comes from Thee; send a revival – start the work in me’. It begins with this prayer: “Lord, take my life, and make it wholly Thine; fill my poor heart with Thy great love divine.’
‘You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you… Teach me Your way, O Lord, and I will walk in Your truth… I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart… For great is Your love towards me’(Psalm 86:5,11-13). Lord, You love us. You forgive our sins. We receive Your love. We want to love You more. Your love inspires our praise – ‘I will praise You…’. Your love inspires our prayer – ‘Teach me Your way…’. Our whole life is to be a celebration of Your love – ‘Great is Your love towards me’. We are to celebrate His love with ‘joy’(Psalm 86:4). We rejoice in You because of who You are- ‘You, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness’- and what You have done for us – ‘You, O Lord, have helped me and comforted me’(Psalm 86:15,17).
‘Glorious things are said of you, O city of God… The Lord will write in the register of the peoples: “This one was born in Zion”. As they make music they will sing, “All my fountains are in You”’(Psalm 87:3,6-7). We thank You, Lord, that the ‘city of God’ is our glorious destination – ‘we are looking for the city that is to come’, ‘the Holy City’(Hebrews 13:14; Revelation 21:2). It is also the place of our heavenly birth – ‘This one was born in Zion’. The heavenly birth – This is where our journey to the ‘city of God’ begins: ‘No one can see the Kingdom of God without being born from above’(John 3:3). Between our heavenly birth and our glorious destination, there is life in the Spirit: As we journey with You, in this life in the Spirit, may we thank You for the words of the Psalmist - ‘All my fountains are in You’ – and the promise of Jesus: ‘Rivers of living water shall flow from the heart of anyone who believes in Me’(John 7:38).
Lord, we see the Psalmist ‘down in the dumps.’ He feels like he is ‘in the depths of the Pit.” He feels like he is ‘in the darkest depths’(Psalm 88:6). This is the way he feels, but he has not stopped praying – ‘O Lord, the God who saves me, day and night I cry out before You… I call to You, O Lord, every day… I cry to You for help, O Lord; in the morning my prayer comes before You’(Psalm 88:1,9,13). Lord, we read his prayer – and it doesn’t make pleasant reading: ‘My soul is full of trouble… I am like a man without strength… Your wrath lies heavily upon me… the darkness is my closest friend’(Psalm 88:3-4,7,18). How can we be helped when we feel like this? We thank You, Lord, that we can be helped by Jesus. He knows what it feels like. For us, He has entered the ‘darkness’- ‘My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?’. For us, He has triumphed – ‘risen from the dead’(Matthew 27:45-46; 28:5-7). Thank You, Lord, for Jesus, our great Saviour.
‘I will sing of the Lord’s great love for ever; with my mouth I will make known Your faithfulness through all generations’(Psalm 89:1). Lord, we read these words from so long ago. Many generations have come and gone since these words were written. The years come and go. The centuries run their course. One generation gives way to another generation. Time moves on relentlessly. None of us can halt the march of time. Many changes have taken place over the course of time. We thank You, Lord, that there is something that has never changed – Your great love for us. As we think of Your great love, may we say, in our hearts – The Lord is to be praised ‘for ever.’ He is to be praised ‘through all generations.’ Help us to look back and remember that Jesus Christ was crucified for us, that He has risen for us. We thank You, Lord, for the Good News which inspires our praise: ‘I will sing of the Lord’s great love for ever…’
‘Lord, You have been our dwelling place throughout all generations… From everlasting to everlasting, You are God’(Psalm 90:1-2). Lord, we read the words, ‘In the beginning, God…’, and we know, in our hearts, that You are ‘the eternal God’. You are ‘the high and exalted One’. You are the God ‘who inhabits eternity’. You are the God ‘who lives for ever’. You have no beginning. You have no end. You are ‘the beginning and the end’. Our life on earth has a beginning. It has an end. We trust in You, ‘the eternal God.’ We rejoice in Your precious promises – ‘The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms’; ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love’; ‘The free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord’(Genesis 1:1; Deuteronomy 33:27; Isaiah 57:15; Revelation 21:6; Jeremiah 31:3; Romans 6:23).
‘Surely He will save you from the traps of the hunter’(Psalm 91:3). Lord, You have given us Your warning. We must ‘be alert’- ‘Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour’. You have also given us Your promise – ‘Resist the devil, and he will flee from you’. How are we to resist the devil? – We are to ‘resist him, standing firm in the faith’(1 Peter 5:8-9; James 4:7). Help us not to try to resist the devil in our own strength. We will be defeated. He is much more powerful than we are. Help us to resist him in the strength of our Lord Jesus Christ. In Christ, we have the victory – ‘Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ’(1 Corinthians 15:57). Help us never to forget that Satan is out to get us. He’s trying to trap us. Help us never to forget this: Jesus is able to ‘deliver us from the evil one’(Matthew 6:13).
‘You, O Lord, are exalted for ever… The Lord reigns, He is robed in majesty…’(Psalm 92:8; Psalm 93:1-2). You, Lord, are ‘exalted’. Help us to exalt You in our worship. You are not exalted because we exalt You. We exalt You because You are exalted. You are ‘exalted far above all gods’. That is why we sing, ‘I exalt Thee, O Lord’. ‘He is exalted, the King is exalted on high’- This is the truth concerning You, Lord. ‘I will praise Him’- This is our response to Your truth. We sing, ‘Jesus, we enthrone You, we proclaim You our King’. This is our response to the eternal truth concerning our Saviour: ‘The Lord is enthroned as King for ever’. ‘From all eternity’ the Lord is ‘robed in majesty’. Help us, Lord, to respond to His majesty. Help us to ‘magnify’ You, Lord – ‘O Lord our God, how majestic is Thy Name’(Psalm 97:9; Psalm 29:10; Mission Praise, 158,217,388,507).
‘When I said, “My foot is slipping”, Your love, O Lord, supported me’(Psalm 94:18). You, Lord, are ‘able to keep us from falling’. We are ‘kept by Your power’. Help us to put our trust in You. May we be confident of this: ‘God, who began His good work in us, will carry it through to completion on the Day of Christ Jesus’. Help us to ‘press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called us heavenwards in Christ Jesus’. As we ‘press on’, may we never forget this: ‘It is God who works in us to will and to work according to His good purpose’. Help us to ‘fix our eyes on Jesus’, trusting in His promise: ‘My sheep listen to My voice… I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no-one can snatch them out of My hand…’(Jude 24-25; 1 Peter 1:3-5; Philippians 1:6; 3:14; 2:13; Hebrews 12:2; John 10:27-30).
‘Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord… Let us come before Him with thanksgiving… Come, let us bow down in worship…’(Psalm 95:1-2,6). Lord, You’re calling us to worship You with joyful thanksgiving. We rejoice in You. We give thanks for Your love. You are ‘the great God’. You are ‘our God’. You are the God of creation – ‘In His hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to Him. The sea is His, for He made it, and His hands formed the dry land’. You are the God of salvation – ‘We are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care’(Psalm 95:3-5,7). When, Lord, we hear You calling us to worship You with joyful thanksgiving, help us to open our hearts to You: ‘Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts’(7-8). When we hear Your call to worship, may we open our hearts to the Spirit of worship.
‘The Lord reigns’(Psalm 96:10; Psalm 97:1). Lord, You are the King. You are not only ‘the King all-glorious above’. You are ‘the King of love’. You are ‘our Maker, Defender, Redeemer and Friend!’ You are not only ‘the King of heaven’. You are ‘the God of grace’. You are ‘the King of mercy.’ Your reign is not to be restricted to some faraway heaven. It is not to be a reign that is far removed from the practicalities of our everyday life. You want to reign in our hearts. You want to reign in every part of our life. May Your reign of love begin. May Your grace and mercy control all that we do.
‘Exalt the Lord our God... Make a joyful noise to the Lord’(Psalm 99:5,9; Psalm 98:4,6; Psalm 100:1). Lord, You're calling us to worship You with joy. You're calling us to glorify You. You want us to enjoy You. In our worship, may we never forget Your holiness: ‘He is holy!... The Lord our God is holy!’(99:5,9). In our worship, may we rejoice in Your love: ‘His steadfast love endures for ever... He has done marvellous things!’(Psalm 100:5; Psalm 98:1). You are the God of ‘awesome purity’ - and You love us with the most perfect love of all: ‘No earthly father loves like Thee...’. Help us to worship You with holy fear and heartfelt love.
‘I will sing of Your love... I will walk with integrity of heart...’(Psalm 101:1-2). Lord, we read these words, from many centuries ago, and, too quickly, we say, ‘Things are very different now.’ Are they really so different? Are worshipping You and walking with You out-of-date now? Are they to be forgotten? So many people have no time for You, Lord. They feel that they can do without You. They refuse to worship You. They do not walk with You. In our ever-changing world, You keep on speaking to us about something we must never forget: You, Lord, are ‘enthroned for ever’. Your ‘Name endures to all generations’. In all the changes of life, You, Lord, ‘remain the same’. Your ‘years go on through all generations’. Your ‘years will never end’(Psalm 102:12,24,27). Lord, we read Your Word, and we say, "These words were ‘written for a future generation’". They were written for us. Help us never to forget to ‘praise You’(Psalm 102:18)!
‘Praise the Lord’(Psalm 103:1-2,20-22). Lord, You're calling us to praise You for His ‘steadfast love’. You are ‘abounding in steadfast love’(Psalm 103:8). How are we to respond to Your ‘steadfast love’? Are we to say, ‘God loves me. I can do what I like’? No! We must not think like this. We’re not to say, ‘I’ll keep on sinning. God will keep on forgiving’(Romans 6:1-2). Your Word tells us something very different. You love us. Teach us to love You. When Your ‘steadfast love’ has really touched our hearts, it changes our lives: ‘As the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him... The steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon those who fear Him’(Psalm 103:11,17). We thank You, Lord, for Your love. Help us to live to please You!
Psalm 104:1-35- ‘I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live’(Psalm 104:33). Sometimes, Lord, we feel like giving up. Other things become more important to us. Worshipping You gets pushed out to the edge of your life. Wrong attitudes creep in. It starts with the idea, ‘Worship’s just an hour on a Sunday’. Then, it becomes, ‘I’ll worship the Lord when I feel like it’. It soon becomes, ‘I’ll worship the Lord when I’ve nothing better to do’. Before long, all desire for worshipping You Lord has gone! Little-by-little, we drift away from the Lord. It’s time, for us, to start thinking about what’s happening. It’s time for a new beginning. It’s time for an ‘all my life’ commitment to worshipping You, Lord - not just on a Sunday, not only when I feel like it, not only ‘when there’s nothing better to do’!
‘Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always. Remember the wonderful works that He has done...’(Psalm 105:4-5). Lord, You give strength to those who put their trust in You. Trusting in Christ, we have this great testimony: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’(Philippians 4:13). How, Lord, do we receive Your strength? We must '‘seek Your face always'. We must not think we can face difficult circumstances in our strength. Without Your strength, we will be defeated. You have helped us in the past. Help us never to forget this. Help us to give thanks to You for every victory won. As we face temptation, help us to remember Your promise of victory: ‘God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your strength. With the temptation, He will also provide the way of escape...’(1 Corinthians 10:13).
‘He brought His people out with joy’(Psalm 105:43). When things are going badly and we feel like giving up, help us, Lord, to remember Your Word: ‘The joy of the Lord is your strength’(Nehemiah 8:10). You're calling us to ‘rejoice in You always’. You do not leave us on our own when our time of testing comes. You are there for us in our time of need: ‘My God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus’(Philippians 4:4,19). When we are deeply conscious of our own weakness, You come to us with Your Word of strength: ‘My grace is sufficient for you. My power is made perfect in weakness’(2 Corinthians 12:9). Through Your Word, we receive strength. Your Word brings joy to us. May we sing ‘glad songs of victory’: ‘The Lord is my Strength, my Song, my Saviour’(Psalm 118:14-15).
Lord, we read about Israel’s sin - ‘They soon forgot what He had done and did not wait for His counsel... They despised the pleasant land; they did not believe His promise... They grumbled in their tents and did not obey the Lord... They rebelled against the Spirit of God’(Psalm 106:13,24-25,33). This is not only ancient history. It’s the story of our life! We read this, and we must join in Israel’s confession of sin: ‘We have sinned, even as our fathers did; we have done wrong and acted wickedly’(Psalm 106:6). We thank You, Lord, that the history of Israel is not only a history of sin. It's also a history of salvation: ‘He saved them...’(Psalm 106:8,10). When, Lord, we read of Your salvation, may we echo the prayer of Your people - ‘Save us, O Lord our God...’ May we join with them in praising You - ‘Praise be to the Lord...’(Psalm 106:47-48).
Lord, there are some things that are worth repeating! The story of Your amazing grace is worth repeating over and over again - ‘Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them from their distress’(Psalm 107:6,13,19,28). The call to praise You is also something we need to hear again and again - ‘Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for men’(Psalm 107:8,15,21,31). Help us, Lord, 'consider Your great love.' Help us to ‘give thanks to You’(Psalm 107:43,1).
‘With God we shall gain the victory. He will trample down our enemies’(Psalm 108:13). In ourselves, Lord, there is only defeat. We are no match for ‘our enemies’- the world, the flesh and the devil. We are surrounded by the world - ‘The world is ever near. I see the sights that dazzle. The tempting sounds I hear’. We live with the constant problem of the flesh - ‘the storms of passion, the murmurs of self-will.’ Behind the world and the flesh, there is an even stronger enemy - the devil: ‘Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against... the spiritual forces of evil...’(Ephesians 6:12). Lord, our situation seems to be utterly hopeless. How can we possibly win the victory? The simple truth is: We cannot. There is, however, a deeper truth: You, Lord, are with us - and ‘with God we shall win the victory’!
Lord, we come to You, recognizing that, without You, our situation is hopeless - ‘I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me. I fade away like an evening shadow’(Psalm 109:22). When our enemies are on the attack, we are no match for them. What are we to do when the world, the flesh and the devil are threatening to overwhelm us? We must come to You, Lord, praying for Your help, asking You to save us - ‘Help me, O Lord my God; save me in accordance with Your love’(Psalm 109:26). Help us, Lord, to look away from ourselves and our own weakness. Help us to put our trust in You and Your strength. You will not fail us. You ‘stand beside’ us in our time of testing. You ‘save’ us from our enemies. Help us to keep on praising You: ‘I will greatly praise the Lord with my mouth. I will praise Him among many people...’(Psalm 109:30-31).
‘The Lord says to my Lord: ‘Sit at My right hand...’(Psalm 110:1). Lord, we read these words, and we think of our Lord Jesus Christ: When ‘He was taken up into heaven, He sat at the right hand of God’(Mark 16:19). When Jesus ascended to Your Father’s right hand, the Holy Spirit was sent down from heaven to fill our lives with Your blessing (John 7:37-39). Through the power of the Holy Spirit, our lives are changed: ‘In the Day of Your power, Your people will come to You willingly...’. We come to You, Lord, in our weakness, and You ‘renew our strength’. We come to You in our weariness, and we are ‘refreshed’ by Your ‘streams of living water’(Psalm 110,7). ‘Come, Thou Fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing Thy grace. Streams of mercy never ceasing call for songs of loudest praise.’
'Praise the Lord... To Him belong eternal praise... Blessed is the man who fears the Lord... His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes...'(Psalm 111:1,10; Psalm 112:1,8). Those who 'fear' You, Lord, have no need to live in fear of man. Those who know that ‘eternal praise’ belongs to You, Lord, can face their enemies with confidence. Our confidence is not in ourselves. Our confidence is You. We know how good You have been to us - ‘He provided redemption for His people’. We thank You that we have heard and believed the Good News of Christ. We need not ‘fear’ any ‘bad news’ which the devil sends our way. We 'trust' in You, Lord, confident that the ‘light ‘will triumph over the ‘darkness’. We thank You that the Good News of Christ will triumph over the devil’s bad news (Psalm 111:9; Psalm 112:4,7).
‘The Lord is high above all nations... Who is like the Lord our God, who is seated on high?... Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, who turns the hard rock into springs of water’(Psalm 113:4-5; Psalm 114:7-8). Lord, You are greater than we could ever imagine. There is no greatness like Your greatness. All human greatness cannot even begin to compare with Your greatness. Your greatness is not only the greatness of Your power. It is also the greatness of Your love. When we sing, ‘How great Thou art’, we sing not only of Your power - ‘Thy power throughout the universe displayed’. We sing also of Your love - ‘And when I think that God His Son not sparing, sent Him to die - I scarce can take it in, that on the Cross my burden gladly bearing, He bled and died to take away my sin...’
‘Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to Your Name be the glory because of Your love and faithfulness’(Psalm 115:1). We thank You, Lord, that You love us. You love us with a faithful love, ‘an everlasting love’, a ‘love that will not let us go’. Your love ‘never comes to an end’. Nothing can separate us from Your love (Jeremiah 31:3; Lamentations 3:22-23; Romans 8:38-39). What have we done to deserve such love? Absolutely nothing! We are ‘sinners’. We do not deserve to be loved by You. We have done nothing to earn Your love. Love begins with You, Lord. It comes from You. How do we know that You love us? Have we proved ourselves worthy of Your love? No! - ‘God shows His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us’(Romans 5:8). ‘To God be the glory!’
‘I love the Lord... I will call on Him as long as I live’(Psam 116:1-2). Our love for God is to be a lifelong life. It is to be the love of our life. What are we to do when our love for God grows weak? We must remember His love for us - ‘Great is His love towards us. The faithfulness of the Lord endures forever’(117:2). When we find it difficult to keep on loving God, we must remember how much He loves us. When we feel like giving up on loving God, we must remember that He never gives up on loving us. He loves us when our love for Him is strong. He loves us when our love for Him is weak. In love, He reaches out to us. He brings us out of our weakness and into His strength. Let His strong love reach you in your weakness and give you His strength: ‘Loving Him who first loved me.’
‘The Lord is my Strength and my Song. He is my Saviour’(Psalm 118:14). We thank You, Lord, that Jesus Christ is our Saviour. We thank You that He gives us a song to sing: ‘Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine... This is my story, this is my song, praising my Saviour all the day long’. Help us, Lord, to grow in our knowledge of Jesus Christ, our Saviour. May we sing His song with strength, committing ourselves to His service, earnestly seeking to win others for Him.
Lord, You show us the way of blessing. It is the way of obedience (Psalm 119:1,9,11,17). Many will choose the way of disobedience - ‘influential people sit together and slander me’. Help us to choose the way of obedience - ‘Your servant will meditate on Your teachings’ (Psalm 119:23). We know, Lord, that following Jesus Christ will not be easy. We see many people turning back from following Him. We are tempted to join them. We feel the pull of the world. We must not return to the world’s way of living. Help us to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. Help us to remember all that Jesus has done for us - ‘He loved us and gave Himself for us’ (Galatians 2:20) - and recommit ourselves to following Him: ‘I have decided to follow Jesus... The world behind me, the Cross before me... Though none go with me, I still will follow... No turning back, no turning back’ (Mission Praise, 272).
‘Revive me according to Your Word’ (Psalm 119:25). How, Lord, do You revive us according to Your Word? You give us Your salvation: ‘Let Your unfailing love come to me, O Lord - Your salvation according to Your Word’ (Psalm 119:41). You give us Your strength: ‘My soul is weary with sorrow. Strengthen me according to Your Word’ (28). He gives us a change of heart: ‘I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on Your laws... I run in the path of Your commands, for You have set my heart free... Give me understanding, and I will keep Your law and obey it with my whole heart... Turn my heart to Your testimonies...’ (Psalm 119:30,32,34,36). You give us ‘new life’: ‘When someone becomes a Christian he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same anymore. A new life has begun!’ (Psalm 119:40; 2 Corinthians 5:17).
Lord, Your Word makes such a difference! When everything seems so hopeless, we turn to Your Word, and we find that there is ‘hope’ (Psalm 119:49). When we are going through a time of terrible ‘suffering’, we turn to Your Word, and we find ‘comfort’ (Psalm 119:50,52). When everything seems to be going so badly, help us, Lord, to keep on reading Your Word: ‘The wicked have laid a trap for me, but I do not forget Your law’ (Psalm 119:61). Through Your Word, You are teaching us to see Your purpose in our sufferings: ‘The punishment You gave me was the best thing that could have happened to me, for it taught me to pay attention to Your laws’ (Psalm 119:71). You, Lord, are showing us what is really important: ‘The law that You gave means more to me than all the money in the world’ (Psalm 119:72). Teach us to see Your ‘love’ in every part of our life (Psalm 119:64).
Lord, we rejoice in Your ‘constant love’. This is our ‘comfort’ - You keep on loving us no matter what’s going on in our lives. We may be going through really hard times - ‘Men persecute me with lies... They have almost succeeded in killing me’. There’s one thing that never changes - Your ‘constant love’. You love us in the hard times as well as in the happy times. Your love inspires us to keep on loving You when we feel like giving up in despair (Psalm 11976,86-88). We see many changes taking place in our world. Sometimes, we wonder, ‘Where are You, Lord, in all of this? Have You abandoned us? Can we keep on trusting You and rejoicing in Your Word?’. When our minds are full of negative thoughts, help us, Lord, to remember Your Word - ‘Your Word, O Lord, will last for ever... Your faithfulness endures through all the ages’ (Psalm 119:89-90).
Lord, You have so much to teach us – and we have so much to learn. How do we learn from You? – You open up Your Word to us. You speak to us words of life. You shine Your light upon us. You show us how much You love us. Every day You have something to say to us. Every day, You have something to share with us. Every day, You show us more of Your love for us. Help us, each and every day, to take time to learn from You.
Throughout life, Lord, we have to make choices. Some choices are relatively straightforward. Others are very much more difficult. Some choices don’t affect the rest of our life very much. There are, however, choices which affect the whole of our life. Help us, Lord, to make the one choice which is more important than any other – Choosing the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour. Those who refuse to choose are ‘double-minded’(Psalm 119:113). They can’t make up their mind. They know that they should be following Christ – but they are still ‘in love with the world’. They are ‘lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God’ (I John 2:15; 2 Timothy 3:4). Lord, give us the strength to keep on choosing Christ. Help us to say to the world, ‘Away from me, you evildoers, that I may keep the commands of my God’. Help us to say to You, ‘I have decided to obey Your laws until the day I die’ (Psalm 119:115,112).
‘The entrance of Your words gives light’ (Psalm 119:130). Lord, Your Word brings light into our lives. Sadly, many people ‘love darkness rather than light’. They refuse to ‘come to the light’. They prefer to remain in the darkness. They refuse to listen to what You are saying to them through Your Word. Then, when things are not going so well for them, they blame You. They say, ‘It’s all Your fault’! Things could have been so different. They could have learned to spend time with God. They could have learned the lessons of faith which are found in Your Word. They could have learned to cope with life’s difficulties. They could have been filled with Your strength. They would not be complaining against Him. They would be rejoicing in You. What about us, Lord? How much are we moulded by the world’s way of thinking? Have we pushed You out to the edges of our life? Lord. Lord, You have “called us out of darkness into Your marvellous light” (1 Peter 2:10). Help us to walk with You in the light of Your Word.
‘With my whole heart I cry; answer me, O Lord!’ (Psalm 119:145). Lord, You’re calling us to pray. There is nothing more important than this. If other things have become more important in our lives, we need to think about the way we are living. You want to send Your blessing into our lives: ‘Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you’ (Matthew 7:7). Your blessing will come to those who seek him with their whole heart: ‘You will seek Me and find Me when you seek me with all your heart’ (Jeremiah 29:13). If we do not ask, we will not receive: ‘You do not have, because you do not ask’ (James 4:2). Your blessing is not given to those who are half-hearted. You’re calling us to love You with our whole heart: ‘I long for Your salvation, O Lord, and Your law is my delight’ (Psalm 119:174).
‘Deliver me, O Lord, from lying lips’ (Psalm 120:2). Lord, You’re calling us to ‘believe the truth’, ‘love the truth’ and ‘follow the truth’. We are to be people who ‘do what is true’ (2 Thessalonians 2:10-11; 3 John 3-4; John 3:21). How can we be such people? Help us to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. He is ‘the Truth’ (Hebrews 12:2; John 14:6). When we’re tempted to turn away from the pathway of truth, help us to remember this: ‘My help comes from the Lord’. Help us to remember Your promise: ‘The Lord is your Keeper…The Lord will keep you from all evil’. Your promise is not only for ‘this time’. It’s ‘for evermore’ (Psalm 121:2,5,7-8). Give to us the glorious hope that fills our hearts as we keep on looking to Christ,‘eagerly awaiting’ His Return ( Hebrews 9:28).
‘I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go into the House of the Lord”’ (Psalm 122:2). Why, Lord, do we go to Your House? We go ‘to give thanks to the Name of the Lord’ (Psalm 122:4). We seek Your mercy for our past sins: ‘Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us!’ (Psalm 123:3). We seek Your help for our future temptations: ‘Our help is in the Name of the Lord…’ (Psalm 124:8). We receive mercy and help from You, Lord. Help us to worship You: ‘Blessed be the Lord’ (Psalm 124:6). In our worship, we ‘look to You, the Lord our God. We draw encouragement from Your Word: ‘The Lord is on our side’ – In Him we have the victory (Psalm 123:2; Psalm 124:1-5). Help us, Lord, to rejoice in Your blessing and to pray for others: ‘May they prosper who love You’ (Psalm 122:6).
‘Those who trust in the Lord… cannot be moved…’. When, Lord, we put our trust in You, we are like the ‘wise man who built his house on the rock’. His house ‘did not fall because it had its foundation on the rock’. When we don’t put our trust in You, we are like the’foolish man who built his house on sand’. His house ‘fell with a great crash’. Help us never to forget that ‘Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labour in vain’ (Psalm 125:1; Psalm 127:1; Matthew 7:24-27). Help us to remember that ‘Jesus Christ’ is the ‘sure Foundation’ upon which our faith is built. He is ‘the solid Rock’, our ‘mighty Rock of spiritual refreshment’ (1 Corinthians 3:11; 10:3-4). We thank You, Lord, that ‘Christ died for our sins… He was raised on the third day’. Help us to keep on rejoicing in Him: ‘The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy’(Psalm 126:3; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
‘Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in His ways’ (Psalm 128:1). If, Lord, we are to enjoy Your blessing, we must fear You and walk in Your ways. Many people despise the place of worship. They ‘pass by’. They have no desire to know ‘the blessing of the Lord’. Lord, You’re warning us that we must not allow this attitude to grow in us: ‘May all who hate Zion be put to shame’. We must take care that our love for You doesn’t ‘wither’ away. Help us to keep on praying that our love for You will ‘grow’. If we place no value on Your blessing, our lives will be empty. May we come to You, our Lord, with this prayer: ‘The greatest thing in all my life is knowing You, loving You, serving You. I want to know You more, love You more, serve You more’. He will ‘fill’ your life with His blessing (Psalm 129:5-8; Mission Praise, 646).
Lord, we’re not to pray to You with superficial words that don’t mean very much to us. Our prayer is to be a real cry from the heart: ‘Out of the depths I cry to You, O Lord’ (Psalm 130:1). We are to ‘cry for mercy’ with a deep awareness of how sinful we really are: ‘If You, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand?’ (Psalm 130:3). Help us to come to You with deep humility – ‘My heart is not proud, O Lord’ (Psalm 131:1). When we truly confess our sin, we receive Your ‘unfailing love’ and ‘forgiveness’ Psalm 130:(4). ‘In You, Lord’ we have ‘full redemption’ (Psalm 130:7). It is for ‘now’ – ‘The vilest offender who truly believes, that moment from Jesus a pardon receives’. It is ‘for evermore’ – ‘But purer and higher and greater will be our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see!’. ‘Praise the Lord!… Give Him the glory!’ (Psalm 131:3).
‘Let us go to the Lord’s House; let us worship before His throne’ (Psalm 132:7). Lord, You're calling us to worship You. We are to gather together as Your worshipping people. As we gather for worship, may we remember that You, Lord, are ‘King’. May we give You more than the praise of our lips. May we give You the praise of our lives. We do not only sing to You. We live for You. We come ‘before Your throne’ with this prayer, ‘Take my heart - it is Thine own; It shall be Thy royal throne’. You hear and answer our prayer. You give us Your strength. We rise to Your challenge: ‘Rise up, O Church of God! Have done with lesser things; Give heart and soul and mind and strength to serve the King of kings.’ Lord, when the service of worship comes to an end, may our service of living begin - and never end!
Lord, You send ‘Your blessing’ when Your people gather together for worship: ‘How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!’ (Psalm 133:1,3). Many people like to think of themselves as ‘believers’, yet they show no interest in worshipping together with Your people. What does Your Word say about this? - ‘Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another...’ (Hebrews 10:25). ‘Praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord who minister by night in the House of the Lord’ (Psalm 133:1; Psalm134:1). Lord, there are some people never miss a Sunday morning service - but they always miss the Sunday evening services! They are missing out on so much of Your blessing. Lord, help us to seek Your blessing on Sunday evenings as well as Sunday mornings (Psalm 134:2)!
‘Praise the Lord’ (Psalm 1-3,19-21). ‘The Lord is good... The Lord is great’ (Psalm 135:3,5). In our worship, Lord, we focus on both Your greatness and Your goodness. You are great in power: ‘Great is our Lord and mighty in power’ (Psalm 147:5). You are also great in love: ‘How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!’ (1 John 3:1). When we praise You, Lord, may we sing of Your greatness and Your goodness. May we think of the greatness of Your power - ‘I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed’ - and the greatness of His love - ‘And when I think that God His Son not sparing, sent Him to die - I scarce can take it in, that on the Cross my burden gladly bearing, He bled and died to take away my sin’ (Mission Praise, 506).
We thank You, Lord, that ‘Your love endures for ever’. What a great message this is! It's a message worth repeating - over and over again! Your love is an everlasting love - ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love’ (Jeremiah 31:3). Your love is an unfailing love - ‘My unfailing love for you will not be shaken’ (Isaiah 54:10). We ‘give thanks’ to You for Your love (Psalm 136:1-3,26). In Your love, You have provided for us ‘an everlasting salvation’. Your ‘salvation will last for ever’ (Isaiah 45:17; 51:6). Lord, Your Word tells us about those who refuse to love You - ‘Pharaoh... great kings... mighty kings ...’ (Psalm 136:15,17-20). Your Word tells us that those who reject Your love will not receive ‘eternal life’. Their future will be very different - the ‘raging fire that will consume the enemies of God’ (John 3:16-18; Hebrews 10:26-27). Why, Lord, do You speak to us about Your righteous judgment? You're speaking to us Your strong Word of warning. You're leading us away from the way of unbelief and into the way of faith. You're leading us to embrace Your precious promises, the promises which speak to us of Your eternal salvation. Help us, Lord, to listen and learn - as we hear Your Word, with its stern warnings and its wonderful promises. Help us to see our sin. Help us to bring it to our Saviour. Help us to receive His forgiveness.