Suggested Reading: Psalms 4-6
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Key Verse: Psalm 4:8
I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
How many of us have prayed the bedtime prayer, “Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep! If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take!” How many of us have considered that this prayer could have come from David? As a boy, David slept on the hills around Bethlehem. In order to find good pasture, he would often wander far from home. With wolves and mountain lions in the area, what a comfort David’s faith in God must have been to him.
These Psalms of prayer cover 24/7 time periods: morning, evening, and all night long. By practise, we develop a special sense of God’s presence at all times. In fact, we may want to read 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. While the middle verse of these three tells us to “pray without ceasing,” the verses before and after encourage us to “REJOICE” and to “GIVE THANKS!” David knew the secret of practising the presence of God. In Psalm 4, he writes of “GLADNESS” (verse 7a). In Psalm 5, he encourages, “REJOICE” and “SHOUT FOR JOY!” (verse 11a). And in Psalm 6, David writes of “WEEPING” (verse 8b). It is good emotional health to give vent to our feelings before God. So, go ahead, get alone with God and let your emotions surface, expressing whatever is in your heart. David surely did this. In fact, God said of David, as recorded by the Apostle Paul, “I have found David the son of Jessie, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will” (Acts 13:22b).
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord God, “HEAR MY PRAYER!” “MY VOICE YOU SHALL HEAR IN THE MORNING, O LORD!” “HAVE MERCY ON ME, O LORD, FOR I AM WEAK; O LORD, HEAL ME, FOR MY BONES ARE TROUBLED.” I cry out to You Lord with the words of David. I also confess David’s declaration of faith, “THE LORD WILL HEAR WHEN I CALL TO HIM.” I do so in the Name and through the Person of the One Who said, “FATHER, I KNOW YOU ALWAYS HEAR ME,” Jesus Christ (John 11:42a). Amen!!!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
Today is the anniversary of the evil and infamous attack on the World Trade Centre Towers in New York City. The Islamists who committed this unspeakable evil claim that David is one of their prophets. David wrote, “The Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man” (Psalm 5:6b). If I dwell on the evil in the hearts of people, I will surely do as David did, “drench my couch with my tears” (Psalm 6:5b). And at the same time I believe that, “The Lord has heard my supplication; the Lord will receive my prayer” (Psalm 6:9).
I identify strongly with the words of Psalm 6:2b, “Heal me for my bones are troubled.” I’m feeling better than I have for almost two years and yet yesterday my blood tests showed that the marrow of my bones is not producing healthy white blood cells, but cancerous ones. According to the medical people, the MDS acute leukemia is my diagnosis. Nevertheless, I pray with fervency every day, “Heal me, O Lord!” I believe God hears and answers my prayer. I’ve quoted before the couplet I heard my dad say, “Be my symptoms what they will, Jesus is my Healer still!” Amen!!!
Yours with total confidence in God’s provision!
P.S. I’ve had the honour of preaching in many different churches (those that hold to the solid faith of the early church fathers clearly written in the ancient creeds). I cherish the hymnbook pictured below which was presented to me after I preached in a Lutheran Church. The Psalms were the Hymnbook for worship in the Temple in Jerusalem for 1,000 years. Jesus worshipped in the Temple, and no doubt the Psalms were the book from which He sang and worshipped. This hymnbook sits on the shelf just above the place where I type this blog. I often take it down and read or sing one or more of the great hymns handed down to us by men and women of God. I don’t sing solos in public, but I surely do so when it’s just God and me here in my study.