Archive for the ‘Psalm 86’ Category

h1

I’ll End Up Asking For This Again

September 4, 2009

Mercy. How often do you ask God for that one? Long-life? Health? Provision? Protection? Success? Those are more typical. But David repeats this request a couple more times in this Psalm.

Psalm 86:3 have mercy on me, Lord, 
for I call to you all day long.

To ask for mercy is to know you deserve something other than what you are getting. It’s to acknowledge in your heart that you deserve judgment. You deserve punishment. David seems to try to keep that thought on the forefront of his mind at all times. To ask for mercy is to be humble before God. It’s another way to keep your view of yourself in the right perspective.

I remember speaking one time on the subject of the Flood in Genesis 6. The first thought most of us have of the flood is that it is one of the most wrath-filled stories in scripture, and it is. Yet there’s the boat, bobbing like a cork on the water. Its inhabitants were spared, and they had done nothing to deserve that. There it is floating like Moses in the Nile with no idea where it might stop. For me that ark is a Basket of Mercy, floating over top of the judgment it deserved. That’s really true of me. As I ‘call to God all day long’ I put my faith and trust in him to find mercy…and perspective.

Everyone Belongs,

Paul

Advertisements
h1

Trust In You

September 3, 2009

One of the things that happens as I pray scripture is that God uses his word to transform me.

Psalm 86:2 says this,

“Guard my life, for I am faithful to you;
save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God;”

As David pens the words, “Guard my life” he does so with great boldness. When I sit down to pray the words, “I am faithful to you”, or “I trust you” I have this check inside of my spirit that seems to say, “Really?” It becomes a time of evaluation. Am I really faithful to the God who has been more than faithful to me? Do I really trust him with everything? Would other people look at me and describe me as being faithful and trusting to God?

As I pray I ask God to increase my faith and increase my level of trust. As that happens, I am transformed.

Let me hold nothing back, “You are my God.”

Everyone Belongs,

Paul

h1

Praying Scripture

September 2, 2009

Somewhere around 10 years ago Brian Bloye took the West Ridge staff to Birmingham, AL to listen to John Maxwell talk about Spiritual Leadership. During that talk Maxwell talked about a spiritual activity that forever changed my prayer life. It was the idea of reading scripture, personalizing it, and then praying it back to God. Over a week ago I revisited a Psalm where David seems to pray everything I ever want to say to God. I have tried to pray it every day for over a week now. It is Psalm 86.

It begins this way: Psalm 86:1, Hear me, Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.

It gives me such great perspective to pray that back to God from my heart to his. There are moments in life where we really feel we need God. Unfortunately, there are a lot of moments where we are on cruise control, or feel like we are fine on our own for today, thank you very much. This prayer reminds me, whether I feel it or not, that every day I need  God. It’s not pitiful or self-loathing, it’s the right perspective. Jesus said it in Matthew 5, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” In John 15:5 Jesus also says, “Apart from me you can do nothing.” That makes me a needy person.

One other thought from my perspective, “What is the greatest way to really feel needy every day?” Pray God-sized prayers. It’s easy to pray for things we intend to try and take care of on our own. What are you praying for the Kingdom of God that you know beyond any doubt that if God doesn’t intervene you will fail? This is not a question for church staff or vocational ministers. This is not just for those who are praying through personal difficulty right now. This is a question for every disciple of Jesus. What are you praying  for the Kingdom of God that you know beyond any doubt that if God doesn’t intervene you will fail?

I hope you will have the courage to pray ‘needy’ prayers today.

Everyone Belongs,

Paul