A prayer from Psalm 37
I Hope in the Lord and keep his way.
I will be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.
The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord;
He is my stronghold in time of trouble.
I will refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
I do not fret—it leads only to evil.
I trust in the Lord and do good;
I dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom,
and their tongues speak what is just.
The law of their God is in their hearts; their feet do not slip.
I take delight in the Lord, He gives me the desires of my heart.
The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in Him;
though he may stumble, he will not fall,
for the Lord upholds him with His hand.
I commit my way to the Lord; I trust in Him.
He makes my righteous reward shine like the dawn,
my vindication like the noonday sun.
I am humbled from being immersed in this collection of poetic prayers.Today we take on the category of Psalm about ‘Life’… When we use the term ‘life’ when talking to God it covers this life and eternal life
GOD CONTROLS BOTH. Praying the Psalms you will find many petitions for life, health, peace and provision. Model prayers that are about our well being; everything from food to heaven.
Christ has called HIS followers to live a sacrificial life, to lay down their earthly needs… So does that mean we should not ask God for anything that has to do with this life, whether it be physical or spiritual? Bonhoeffer says if we do that, we are trying to be more spiritual than Jesus / God Himself. Our Lord Jesus Christ called HIS followers to in the world but not of the world. The fact that you art here right now means HE has chosen to have you live this day. So how do we live it is the question. When we recognize God for who HE is we then look to him to provide for this life, as Christ prayed; ‘give us this day our daily bread’. Our Lord also taught us we are to pray that Yahweh’s will be done here on earth that means good things for us!
Jesus Christ also taught us to pray about what determines the next life. We are to pray for our spiritual life as well as our physical life. That we would be forgiven, and would become conduits of the grace we have received. We are to ask God to keep us from both the temptation to initiate evil and the effects of evil. Because HE can and He will!
As we pray through Psalms we discover there is a constant use of terms that can have both material meaning and spiritual meaning. Talking about this life and the next at the same time. This life is a shadow of the life to come, and the things that give us physical pleasure are but a taste of what we will find in eternity with Christ
Psalm 23 (14 Scripture references in 6 verses)
1 Yahweh is my shepherd; I lack nothing. 2 He has me lie down in grassy pastures, He leads me by quiet water.
- The declaration is one of humble submission…admitting you are as a sheep
- Yet in the giving up of everything those ‘In Christ’ need nothing but Him.
- This is about how this life can be experienced knowing our Shepherd has us
- A shepherd take the sheep where it is best for them
- This is about peace in this life flowing from peace about eternity
3 He restores my inner person. He guides me in right paths for the sake of his own name.
- Each of us has an eternal soul that has been degraded by sin
- Only the creator of your soul can restore your soul
- He does that by call you and making you HIS for the glory of HIS NAME
- He takes HIS sheep where HE know it is best, not where they want to go
- WE need god to take us HIS way
4 Even if I pass through death-dark ravines, I will fear no disaster; for You are with me; Your rod and staff reassure me.
- ‘The valley of the shadow of death’… not the best rendering of original Hebrew
- It is about darkness and lowness: low places & dark places
- As you walk through these times in life we don’t have to expect the worst
- We can ask God to teach us to trust HIM
- We can Ask God to reassure us with HIS presence
- We can ask God to use HIS people & HIS Word & HIS Spirit to encourage us
5 You prepare a table for me, even as my enemies watch; You anoint my head with oil from an overflowing cup.
- ‘A Table’ speaks to physical needs & to something like the ‘Wedding Feast’
- We can trust that even though we are in the midst of opposition God provides
- Oil has both the understanding of earthly need and spiritual need
6 Goodness and grace will pursue me every day of my life; and I will live in the house of Yahweh for years and years to come.
- The best prayer you can pray, is to pray that God would choose to pursue you
- Grace and goodness emanates from a single source
- This is a pray to be in God’s presence now and into infinity
Psalm 16: (27 scripture references in 11 verses)
1 Keep me safe, my God, for in You I take refuge. 2 I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; apart from You I have no good thing.”
- The need for security: The idea of a ‘Safe Space’ is very appealing to humans
- We need security in this life & to be secure in our eternal life
- Here we are given to key to both kinds of security: ‘Lordship Salvation’
- Biblical salvation is often refereed to as Lordship salvation
- It means absolute & singular loyalty to the one you make your Lord
- It means you live for your Lord, Christ calls HIS followers to make HIM Lord
- It is black and white: All that is about Christ is Good, everything else is bad
3 I say of the holy people who are in the land, “They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.” 4 Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more. I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods or take up their names on my lips.
- This is about the who you associate with and share values with
- Who do you model your life here on earth after?
- What things do followers of CHRIST separate themselves from?
5 Lord, You alone are my portion and my cup; You make my lot secure. 6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.
- When HE is your Lord HE is all you need
- When this becomes your story then the place you have for eternity is the best!
- What you get from your father (inheritance) is eternity with HIM!
- But there is no half way in this… Lord, YOU alone are my identity & provision
7 I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night he instructs my heart. 8 I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
- Humility to praise God for all the right things I think and learn
- This is a commitment to not get complacent as a disciple
- Knowing that you walk daily with Your Lord gives you confidence now & forever
9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, 10 because You will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will You let Your faithful one see decay.
- Because of this confidence…we rejoice!
- The ultimate security of your person for eternity can be know
- This promise applies to Christ and to all who give up their life for Him
- This is a prayer born of relational confidence: Know God & Know Eternity!
11 You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand.
- There is one path, this is singular ‘THE’ path of life
- Jesus said HE is The Way & The Truth & The Light … THE LORD
- The ultimate joy is the presence of God
- This life we can have partial and indirect experiences of God’s presence
- Heaven is the full out, intimate pleasure of His total presence FOREVER
WAYS TO PRAY:
Ask Yahweh to make you a sheep in His flock.
Ask Yahweh to enable you to lay down everything so you can lack nothing.
Ask Christ Jesus to give you peace in this life that flows from the peace He gives you about eternity.
Ask Jesus Christ to restore your soul to relationship with Him.
Ask Yahweh to make you an instrument of HIS glory.
Ask Christ that in low and dark times HE give you the confidence and reassurance of His presence.
Ask Yahweh to provide for you physically and spiritually in the midst of this world’s sin.
Ask Jesus Christ to pursue your soul and make you His.
Ask Yahweh to be your only shelter.
Ask Christ that He would make you undivided in your loyalty to Him.
Ask The Lord to give you the influence of the Body of Christ and it alone. Ask Him to give you total disdain for the worship of all idols.
Ask Christ to be everything for you and to give you contentment with whatever that is today.
Ask Yahweh to teach you HIS ways, to learn to always look to His will. Ask Him to teach you how to rejoice and praise Him.
Ask Christ to give you the assurance of your eternity and confidence of His presence forever.