Praying the Psalms ~ Psalm 119:81-88

These verses in Psalm 119 really struck home for me. The psalmist is pleading for help to remain true to God’s law and not be seduced away. There are many people twisting scripture to their own advantage. There are many pressuring the Church to become more “relevant” and thus the temptation to seek peace with the world. May I stand firm on the Truth of scripture as challenges come from all sides. God help me.

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It’s You that I long for, oh God.
It’s in You that I place my life.
But the world persecutes me, God,
And thus I have nothing but strife.

When will You come to my defense?
When will Your Spirit comfort me?
How long must I endure attacks?
Oh God, it’s You I long to see.

False teachers teach their own message,
And in Your Word they do not stay.
They preach a word that’s not from You,
So keep me true that I won’t stray.

They fight and shout and long to stop,
Your Word of hope – Your Word that saves.
But it’s Your love that gives me life,
So may I stand and be so brave.

When the world fights hard against me,
You’re my salvation and my shield.
It matters not what they can do.
My life is Your’s so I won’t yield.

Praying the Psalms ~ Psalm 121

Psalm 121 is favorite for many. It is a great reminder to me that God is the only true Helper in this life. Yet, we all too often look to other things and people of this world for help, but they will all let us down. God, though, never rests. He never tires. He never takes time off. God will always stand guard over you. God will never fail. Let us give Him thanks and praise for being our Helper…

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My Helper, oh my Helper,
the defender and Keeper of my life,
my eyes often scan the horizon of this life,
Looking,
Searching,
Seeking,
Trying to find anything and anyone to make things right.
But You, oh my Helper, my Lord and my God, I give You thanks for,
You are always here.
You are never distant.
You are never oblivious to my needs.
So why, oh why would I look elsewhere?
After all, You are the maker of everything.
You are the giver of life.
You are the great I Am.
You, oh my God and Helper,
You never get tired.
You are never distracted.
You never take time off to recuperate,
for You are the sovereign God,
and I am Yours,
thus nothing will ever strike me.
Evil,
Death,
Satan,
Nothing! Nothing, will ever strike me with You by my side,
for my life is hidden with Jesus Christ in You.
As my eyes rise to see the horizon of my life,
may they see You as my Helper, Lord and God.
In all that I do,
In everywhere I go,
Now and forevermore,
You are my God.
Amen.

Praying the Psalms ~ Psalm 88

It is okay to be honest with God. It is okay to open the flood gates and pour out your heart to God. God can handle it. God can handle your feelings. You are not going to hurt God’s feelings with your laments and crying out to Him. Yes, there will be dark times in your life and yes, it is okay to run to God with your fears and despair. Too many people have been taught to be careful what you say to God, but one of the things the Psalms teach us is to raise our voices to God, but to do so in faith; for God is faithful.

Notice at the beginning of the Psalm, the psalmist refers to God as my salvation. It is in that light that I offer this prayer for you…

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O Lord, God of my salvation, I cry out day and night before you. Let my prayer come before you; incline your ear to my cry!
[Psalms 88:1‭-‬2 ESV]

Oh Lord, my God, I am in utter despair.
I am lost.
I feel embattled on all sides.
My hope is waning, especially when I look to this world; seeing the hatred and violence, oppression and division, walls and weapons, loveless words and hate-filled rhetoric.
Oh God, I cry out to You but it appears a hopeless endeavor at times.
People close to me are hurting.
People that I love are in pain.
People dear to my heart are without hope and I am at a loss for words.
I don’t know what to say to You. I don’t know how to pray.
Turn Your ear to my prayer.
Look upon my sorrow.
Gaze upon me with Your love.
Though I feel You are distant, I know that You are not.
Though it feels like You are not listening, I know that You do.
Though is feels like I am abandoned, I know that I am not.

But I, O Lord, cry to you; in the morning my prayer comes before you.
[Psalms 88:13 ESV]

Enemies attack.
The Evil One is having a party in my midst.
Darkness surrounds me.
Oh Lord, my God, show me Your glory.
Touch me with Your mighty hand.
Speak to me with Your still, quiet voice.
Hold me in Your loving arms.
I cry out to You in hope, for You are ever present.
I cry out to You in hope, for thy will be done.
I cry out to You in hope, for I am Your beloved child.
Oh Lord, my God, You and You alone are my salvation.

Amen.

Praying the Psalms ~ Psalm 33:18-22

This prayer is titled, “Beautiful Eyes” and is from the Psalm that will be read in worship on Sunday, August 11. These closing verses captured my heart and I hope they lead you to deeper appreciation and worship of our awesome God. Let us pray…

Oh Lord my God,
what beautiful eyes You have,
to look upon me with grace and love,
to keep my soul and to give me peace.
Your eyes look off the advances of the Evil One;
keeping him at bay as a pitcher staring down a runner at first base.
With Your eyes lovingly gazing at me, I have nothing to fear.
Oh Lord my God,
Father and Creator, I give You thanks.
And now I wait on You, for I know that Your beautiful eyes are on me.
I know I am not forgotten.
I know I am not lost in the shuffle.
Your eyes are on me and thus my heart is glad.
My trust is in You for Your eyes will never depart from me.
You will never be distracted thus I can rest secure.
Your eyes won’t grow weary or tired.
Your eyes will not fail.
Because You are God almighty,
Sovereign,
Lord,
and Creator,
I will continue to place my hope in You, from this day forth and forevermore.
Amen.

Praying the Psalms ~ The King of Glory

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 24:7‭-‬10 ESV]

Oh, who is not guilty of glory-stealing? We all are. We all seek to satisfy good ole number 1 — ourselves. That is why I am always convicted when I read these verses from Psalm 24. But God, the King of Glory is worthy; Him and Him alone. Just reflect and meditate on what God has done through Jesus Christ and you will soon be reminded of why He is called, the King of Glory. Let us pray…

Oh to praise You, oh Lord.
Oh to sing of Your mighty name.
For Your name is glorious,
Your name is Life.
You have lifted me up from the miry bog of sin and have rescued me from the clutches of the Deceiver.
You have sealed me with Your Spirit and marked me for Life.
You have claimed for me an inheritance through Christ Jesus my Savior.
You have shielded me from my enemies; placing a guard over my soul.
You reign victorious and thus Your title, “the King of Glory”
But I confess that at times I have sought my own glory. I confess that at times I have tried to make it about me.
Oh God, King of Glory, I confess and repent. Forgive me.
I open the gates of my heart that You may enter in.
You are my King.
You are the Creator.
You are the Mighty One.
You are the Lord of hosts.
There are none that can compare with You; none that can stand against You.
There are none beside You who is worthy of worship.
You are the King of Glory.
Oh Lord, my God, the Lord of hosts,
To You I lift up my head and praise You.
In Jesus name I pray,
Amen.

Praying the Psalms ~ Psalm 27:1-6

Psalm 27 is the Psalm reading for worship this Sunday (July 21). As I read and meditated on it, I wrote this prayer for the first 6 verses. Adversaries will always oppose you if you follow God through Christ Jesus our Lord, but let them oppose, for God is your defender. Let us pray…

Oh God,
the Light of my life;
You are my salvation and my hope.
You are my strong fortress – a shield about me.
You are my hedge of protection – a guard for my life.
You are a mighty warrior – none can overcome.
You are victorious and You are for me.
Therefore, oh God, whom shall I fear? Why shall I be afraid?
What can overcome me?
Who can bring me down?
Adversaries oppose me; they oppose Your Church, but they shall not prevail.
They strike me on the left and the right; in front and behind,
but when they fight against me, it is You they oppose; for You are my God and my Defender.
They will be spin their wheels and gain no ground against You.
I am at peace as adversaries make war against me and Your Church;
for You have overcome them all.
Oh God, I hide in You.
I long to gaze at Your beauty and to know You better.
I long to dwell in Your temple; my home, to worship You without end.
I long to sing Your praises with the hosts of heaven as You lift me above my adversaries.
You are my salvation – my hope, and thus I do not fear.
Victory is Yours.
I am Yours.
And thus I will sing my praises to You,
here on earth and in Your courts forever.
Alleluia and Amen!

Praying the Psalms ~ Psalm 8

READ: Psalm 8 (and again)
Oh LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
A great Psalm of praise; one to meditate on as you worship God our Father through Christ Jesus our Lord…

Oh LORD, my Lord, how majestic is Your name.
Oh Lord, how great is Your name above all names.
You reign victorious from heaven above,
And to You is the glory and all acclaim.

Your glory is the highest than anyone.
Your strength is greater and unsurpassed oh Lord.
Your victory over this world is certain,
And thus You are forever to be adored.

But who am I that You should even notice.
For I am small and a betrayer of You.
I have turned from Your ways and thus I’m condemned.
I’m a sinner and thus Your wrath has accrued.

But You have redeemed me through Jesus my Lord.
You have raised me up from the power of sin.
Oh LORD, my Lord, how majestic is Your name.
For through Your grace, in Your courts I’ll live therein.