Psalms – Prayers of Honesty and Praise
We are getting closer to departure for four months serving in Santa Cruz, Bolivia! Thursday/Friday are fly days. Yes, overnight flights get us to the land on the other side of the equator. When you decide to stay longer than the planned one month and extend your stay to four months, only a few weeks before departure, you realize all the details that have to be addressed before leaving your home country. It is easy for human stress to overwhelm your being in the process. I allowed that to happen to me yesterday.
The last big hurdle is to complete our tax preparation because the refund we will obtain will help finance the mission greatly. But we wait on one more W2 form. Ugh. Mine came but Randy’s did not. You can ask how that can happen in this computer world until the cows come home but that does not solve the issue. You can fret about it but that only gives you a headache with other physical issues. So, we pray for solutions.
Yesterday, we met with a part of our church family who provide all the worship arts where we attend. After a great fellowship, they all gathered around Randy and I to pray God’s blessing on what He is inviting us to be and do in Bolivia. Then we sang songs and hymns in praise and thanks to God. “Oh, what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry, everything to God in prayer.” It was a very “by the Book” setting of praise and fellowship to the God we adore.
“Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your hearts to the Lord.” (Ephesians 5:19)
This morning as the details press in again, I read the next passage of honest prayer by the Psalmist who knows where to go quickly in trouble. I am at peace again with his trusting testimony of the attributes of Our Father:
“Your mercies, God, run into the billions; following your guidelines revive me.”
Psalm 119, The Message
Part 20 153-160
Take a good look at my trouble, and help me—
I haven’t forgotten your revelation.
Take my side and get me out of this;
give me back my life, just as you promised.
“Salvation” is only gibberish to the wicked
because they’ve never looked it up in your dictionary.
Your mercies, God, run into the billions;
following your guidelines, revive me.
My antagonists are too many to count,
but I don’t swerve from the directions you gave.
I took one look at the quitters and was filled with loathing;
they walked away from your promises so casually!
Take note of how I love what you tell me;
out of your life of love, prolong my life.
Your words all add up to the sum total: Truth.
Your righteous decisions are eternal.
FROM THE HEART
Take a good look at your troubles. Stop and tell God your troubles, name them one by one, with a believing heart that nothing, absolutely nothing is too hard for God. Nothing gets past God who knows your troubles even before that are apparent to you. (Preaching to me.) God will turn our troubles into testimonies of His greatness and care for you. Just pray, obey, wait and see!
Take a good look at what God has already done for you because that exercise in itself brings peace and restores the joy of God’s salvation in you.
Take a good look at WHO you are talking to. He is God and we are not. Solutions you haven’t thought of suddenly appear on the horizon of your thinking when you ask God to take a good look at your current situation.
Take a good look at your life and reflect on who is in control. You or God? When we ask God to take a look, He will in turn ask us to do the same looking. We may learn a great deal about ourselves when we take a good, long look at what is before us and in us.
Take a good look at your antagonists. Do they guide your thinking? Do you have a desire for them to like you? Take a good look at where you want to be. Do you want what God wants or what the world wants? The Psalmist did not turn his eyes from God’s wisdom. He knew Who Truth was and Who to go to for Truth.
“I don’t swerve from the directions you gave.”
By asking God to take note of how much we love Him and want to obey him we are affirming our faith in our thinking and behavior. “Your words all add up to the sum total: Truth. Your righteous decisions are eternal.”
What I desire most is You! Yes, take a look at all the details and help us work through them before we go so that our focus is totally on the work you are inviting us to be and do. Show us solutions as problems arise that are not on our radar of thinking. You are God and we are not. We believe You. You are Truth. I love You. I love Truth. I know you will keep us in the palm of your hand.
In Jesus Name, Amen