Devotional Blog

Psalm 88

We’re reading through, and with intentionality, praying through the Psalms during this school year. There are 150 Psalms, divided into 180 different readings. See this post for more info.

Here is today’s prayer, preceded by the text from the Contemporary English Version, copyright 1995, by the America Bible Society.

Psalm 88:

You keep me safe, Lord God. So when I pray at night, please listen carefully to each of my concerns.

I am deeply troubled and close to death; I am as good as dead and completely helpless. I am no better off than those in the grave, those you have forgotten and no longer help.

You have put me in the deepest and darkest grave; your anger rolls over me like ocean waves. You have made my friends turn in horror from me. I am a prisoner who cannot escape, and I am almost blind because of my sorrow.

Each day I lift my hands in prayer to you, Lord.  Do you work miracles for the dead? Do they stand up and praise you? Are your love and loyalty announced in the world of the dead? Do they know of your miracles or your saving power in the dark world below where all is forgotten?

Each morning I pray to you, Lord. Why do you reject me? Why do you turn from me? Ever since I was a child,
I have been sick and close to death. You have terrified me and made me helpless.

Your anger is like a flood! And I am shattered by your furious attacks that strike each day and from every side. My friends and neighbors have turned against me because of you, and now darkness is my only companion.

You keep me safe, Lord God. So when I pray at night, please listen carefully to each of my concerns.

Here is today’s prayer:

We lay before you and open our hearts to you. Hear us as we pray. Please don’t turn away from us, but turn your face to us. Thank you for being here for us.

Somedays we are just overwhelmed. We have made bad choices. We are suffering the consequences of our own sin. We are exhausted, weak, and weary. We can’t even get out of bed. No clear thoughts enter our heads or our minds.

And, when this happens, we often look for others to blame. Our spouses. Our bosses. Our children. We even blame you, oh God, for our troubles.

Forgive us. For we know that you do not impose suffering on us. Times of trial and suffering are part of living in this sinful world. Your word says the trials of our faith produce perseverance. And perseverance brings wisdom and hope for a better future. Your word also says that surviving trials affords us the crown of eternal life. Thank you for life! Thank you for the future you have for us.

And yes, at one time, the sin of mankind produced your wrath. But thanks be to God, Jesus took all our sin on the cross and so, the wrath for your children is dissolved through the love and obedience of Jesus and your amazing grace. So, thank you, God.

Thank you for your righteous judgment. And thank you for your eternal forgiveness for those who bow before you. You have created all things new.

And that means you have made us new, as well. Wow! We are humbled at your plan for us.

So, deliver us from exhaustion and weariness. Give us your strength for today. You have offered to take all of our anxiety and fears. We lay it all down at your feet, Jesus. And we receive the crown of life and accompanying joy you so generously give.

Your word says that every good gift is from above. We worship you and thank you!

Because of Jesus,

Amen.

(c) 2021. Rich Ronald.

Psalm 87

We’re reading through, and with intentionality, praying through the Psalms during this school year. There are 150 Psalms, divided into 180 different readings. See this post for more info.

We are temporarily suspending the audio portion of this study via the RichlySpeaking podcast. Here is today’s prayer, preceded by the text from the Contemporary English Version, copyright 1995, by the America Bible Society.

Psalm 87:

Zion was built by the Lord on the holy mountain, and he loves that city more than any other place in all of Israel. Zion, you are the city of God, and wonderful things are told about you.

Egypt, Babylonia, Philistia, Phoenicia, and Ethiopia are some of those nations that know you, and their people all say, “I was born in Zion.”

God Most High will strengthen the city of Zion. Then everyone will say, “We were born here too.” The Lord will make a list of his people, and all who were born here will be included.

All who sing or dance will say, “I too am from Zion.”

Bless the City Gates of Jerusalem. May all who enter be blessed. Bless the mighty and sturdy walls. May all who walk by them be strengthened and protected.

Here is today’s prayer:

God. Abba. Father.

Today we pray for Zion and the city of Jerusalem. Your word says this city is the most favored of all the cities in Israel… even in all the world.

In your perfect plan, Jerusalem is highly favored among all cities of the world. We pray that you will strengthen the people of the City of David. It is a joyful place! Even today, to see young boys being consecrated at the Wall is such a joyous event. Bless those families.

Bless the City Gates of Jerusalem. May all who enter be blessed. Bless the mighty and sturdy walls. May all who walk by them be strengthened and protected.

Thank you for the many miracles your Son performed within its walls. Thank you for healing the lame and restoring the broken hearted, and for welcoming those whom others had rejected. Thank you for standing up for what is right and true and just. And thank you for laying your life down, and then, for rising again in this beautiful city, oh Jerusalem!  

We pray for peace within your city, Oh God. And as your peace is revealed to the people of the Land, may it also radiate to all the corners of the world. May your Kingdom come, on earth, to Israel, and to every other city on the globe. May your peace be revealed even in our homes, and our families this day.

There are many places where you knelt in this city of David. You knelt to comfort a scorned woman. You knelt to wash the disciples’ feet. You knelt to pray in the garden. And you fell to your knees as you were beaten and taunted… in that very city.

So, we bow before you to worship you and join you in praying for life and peace in Jerusalem.

We sing, we dance, we praise your name Jesus!

Amen.

(c) 2020. Rich Ronald.

Psalm 86

We’re reading through, and with intentionality, praying through the Psalms during this school year. There are 150 Psalms, divided into 180 different readings. See this post for more info.

We are temporarily suspending the audio portion of this study via the RichlySpeaking podcast. Here is today’s prayer, preceded by the text from the Contemporary English Version, copyright 1995, by the America Bible Society.

Psalm 86:

Please listen, Lord, and answer my prayer! I am poor and helpless. Protect me and save me because you are my God. I am your faithful servant, and I trust you. Be kind to me! I pray to you all day. Make my heart glad! I serve you, and my prayer is sincere. You willingly forgive, and your love is always there for those who pray to you. Please listen, Lord! Answer my prayer for help. When I am in trouble, I pray, knowing you will listen.

No other gods are like you; only you work miracles. You created each nation, and they will all bow down to worship and honor you. You perform great wonders because you alone are God.

Teach me to follow you, and I will obey your truth. Always keep me faithful. With all my heart I thank you. I praise you, Lord God. Your love for me is so great that you protected me from death and the grave.

Proud and violent enemies, who don’t care about you, have ganged up to attack and kill me. But you, the Lord God, are kind and merciful. You don’t easily get angry, and your love can always be trusted.  I serve you, Lord, and I am the child of one of your servants. Look on me with kindness. Make me strong and save me.  Show that you approve of me! Then my hateful enemies will feel like fools, because you have helped and comforted me.

You willingly forgive, and your love is always there for those who pray to you.

Here is today’s prayer:

God. Abba. Father.

We thank you today for the many truths proclaimed by the psalmist. You are the great I Am, the King above all kings. We give our lives to you. We trust you. Hear our prayer. Have mercy. Give us your joy.

Thank you for being so good to us. Your love and grace are always available to those who call to you. Yes, anytime we are anxious, or in trouble or distress, every time we pray, you answer. We place our confidence and hope and trust in you alone.

Why? Because there is none like you! No other god listens. No other god answers. No other god compares with you nor performs the miracles you do. We worship you, oh great King!

Teach us your ways. Give us the courage and discipline to follow as you lead. We desire that you be first in our heart. Always.

Thank you for watching over us and protecting us. You have saved us. You are tender and kind. Indeed, you are slow to anger, patient and compassionate towards us. You only have our best in mind. Give us the strength we need for today. Thank you for caring for us. You are our Father.

Show us your great love today. May those all around us see first-hand that you love us. May they be also be encouraged today. Thank you for always comforting us with your grace and giving us your peace.

Through Jesus.

Amen.

(c) 2020. Rich Ronald.

Psalm 85

We’re reading through, and with intentionality, praying through the Psalms during this school year. There are 150 Psalms, divided into 180 different readings. See this post for more info.

We are temporarily suspending the audio portion of this study via the RichlySpeaking podcast. Here is today’s prayer, preceded by the text from the Contemporary English Version, copyright 1995, by the America Bible Society.

Psalm 85:

Our Lord, you have blessed your land and made all go well for Jacob’s descendants.
You have forgiven the sin and taken away the guilt of your people.
Your fierce anger is no longer aimed at us.

Our Lord and our God, you save us! Please bring us back home and don’t be angry.
Will you always be angry with us and our families?
Won’t you give us fresh life and let your people be glad because of you?
Show us your love and save us!

I will listen to you, Lord God, because you promise peace
to those who are faithful and no longer foolish.
You are ready to rescue everyone who worships you, so that you will live with us in all of your glory.

Love and loyalty will come together; goodness and peace will unite.
Loyalty will sprout from the ground; justice will look down from the sky above.

Our Lord, you will bless us; our land will produce wonderful crops.
Justice will march in front, making a path for you to follow.

Love and faithfulness, grace and truth, justice and peace, will all come together.

Here is today’s prayer:

God. Abba. Father.

Thank you for blessing your good earth. All is well with the people of Israel and those who worship you. Why do we say this? Because you have forgiven us. You have taken away our guilt. You have restored us and saved us through the blood of the Lamb; the Lamb who takes away our sin; the Lamb whose name is Jesus. Your Son and our Messiah.

We pray for revival in our land, in Israel, and in the hearts of people around the globe. You have shown us your great love when Jesus approached the cross. You confirmed your salvation for us at the empty tomb. You have given each of us a perfect peace that we don’t fully comprehend. We proclaim your glory! Thank you for giving us a fresh life!

Your plan for us, for the world, is that love and faithfulness, grace and truth, justice and peace, will all come together in us and through us. We pray for that to happen. We need that to happen. In our land and in all the countries around the globe. This place is a confusing mess right now. We ask that you will heal our bodies, our hearts, and our lands. We need you, God.

We know none of this will happen because of politicians or great orators or business leaders or through pastors and rabbis. Your perfect peace in our lands will only come by Your hand.

By and through Jesus.

May it be so!

Amen.

(c) 2020. Rich Ronald.

Psalm 84

We’re reading through, and with intentionality, praying through the Psalms during this school year. There are 150 Psalms, divided into 180 different readings. See this post for more info.

We are temporarily suspending the audio portion of this study via the RichlySpeaking podcast. Here is today’s prayer, preceded by the text from the Contemporary English Version, copyright 1995, by the America Bible Society.

Lord God All-Powerful,
    your temple is so lovely!
Deep in my heart I long
    for your temple,
    and with all that I am
    I sing joyful songs to you.

Lord God All-Powerful,
    my King and my God,
sparrows find a home
    near your altars;
    swallows build nests there
    to raise their young.

You bless everyone
who lives in your house,
    and they sing your praises.
You bless all who depend
    on you for their strength
    and all who deeply desire
    to visit your temple.
When they reach Dry Valley,
    springs start flowing,
    and the autumn rain fills it
    with pools of water.
Your people grow stronger,
    and you, the God of gods,
    will be seen in Zion.

Lord God All-Powerful,
the God of Jacob,
    please answer my prayer!
You are the shield
    that protects your people,
    and I am your chosen one.
    Won’t you smile on me?

One day in your temple
is better
    than a thousand
    anywhere else.
I would rather serve
    in your house,
    than live in the homes
    of the wicked.

Our Lord and our God,
you are like the sun
    and also like a shield.
You treat us with kindness
    and with honor,
    never denying any good thing
    to those who live right.

Lord God All-Powerful,
    you bless everyone
    who trusts you.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Here is today’s prayer:

God. Abba. Father.

Wherever you are is a joyful place. How lovely is it to worship you, our great King! Yes, we eagerly long for the day where we will live with you in your holy temple, forever. Our whole body exudes songs of joy to you!

We are thankful that the birds of the air find a place to sing their praises to you as well! Yes, blessed are all those in whom you live, and who you accompany on their journey in this life. We are blessed and we worship you with every step we take!

We thank you that your Word says that we grow stronger in each season of our lives. We confess, this current season has taken its toll on many of us. And, yes, we are stronger because of it. So, we thank you for our growth as it prepares us for the next season ahead.

Hear our prayers. Answer us when we call. Your Son is our shield, our protector. Thank you, Jesus, for smiling on us. For turning your face towards us and looking at us with grace, compassion and unfailing love.

We worship you today and proclaim that today, as we worship you, this single day with you is better than a thousand days someplace else. Yes, we would rather hold the door in your house than live in the mansions of the wicked.

You are our sun, the bright morning star, our shield. You are generous in your kindness and you withhold no good thing from us. Yes, every blessing we have is given at your hands. Thank you!

You are the LORD, Yahweh, the Almighty. We thank you that you bless everyone who trusts in you. So we declare with great joy that we trust in you, and you alone. Today. And everyday.

Through Jesus our Messiah and King,

Amen.

(c) 2020. Rich Ronald.

Psalm 83

We’re reading through, and with intentionality, praying through the Psalms during this school year. There are 150 Psalms, divided into 180 different readings. See this post for more info.

We are temporarily suspending the audio portion of this study via the RichlySpeaking podcast. Here is today’s prayer, preceded by the text from the Contemporary English Version, copyright 1995, by the America Bible Society.

Our God, don’t just sit there,
    silently doing nothing!
Your hateful enemies
are turning against you
    and rebelling.
They are sly, and they plot
    against those you treasure.
They say, “Let’s wipe out
    the nation of Israel
    and make sure that no one
    remembers its name!”

All of them fully agree
in their plans against you,
    and among them are
Edom and the Ishmaelites;
    Moab and the Hagrites;
    Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek;
    Philistia and Phoenicia.
Even Assyria has joined forces
    with Moab and Ammon.

Our Lord, punish all of them
    as you punished Midian.
Destroy them, as you destroyed
    Sisera and Jabin
    at Kishon Creek near Endor,
    and let their bodies rot.
Treat their leaders as you did
    Oreb and Zeeb,
    Zebah and Zalmunna.
All of them said, “We’ll take
    God’s valuable land!”

Our God, scatter them around
    like dust in a whirlwind.
Just as flames destroy forests
    on the mountains,
    pursue and terrify them
    with storms of your own.
Make them blush with shame,
    until they turn and worship
    you, our Lord.
Let them be forever ashamed
and confused.
    Let them die in disgrace.
Make them realize that you
are the Lord Most High,
    the only ruler of earth!

Here is today’s prayer:

Psalm 83.

God, Abba, Father.

You are the Most High God. You are the only ruler on earth. You alone are worthy. From the highest mountain top of Everest to the Dead Sea in the Zin Wilderness, the lowest place on earth, or to the depths of the cavernous ocean, you are worthy to be praised. We bless your name!

Lord, we thank you for our salvation and pray for those who do not worship you. Send your Holy Spirit to chase them down, to bring them to their knees before you. May we all bow in holy reverence for who you are and what you have done. You make the way straight. You make the rocky paths smooth. You part the waters that would easily engulf us. When we find ourselves suffocating by the weight of stress and anxiety, you remove our burdens and give us the fresh air of your compassion and love.

We thank you for the stories of old, the examples of those who chose to rebel against you. May we learn from them. We thank you that since those days, however, you have given us grace. Yes, through your son, Jesus, you have shown us the one way. You are the only truth. You are the abundant and eternal life for all men and all women.

We need you. Hear our prayers. Please, don’t be silent. Defend us as we pursue your revelation. And we pray for the peace of your children in Israel. Confuse those who would choose to bring havoc on the Promised Land of your people. Strengthen those who follow as you lead. Give us all courage and hope for tomorrow.

In the name of our Messiah, Jesus, we pray.

Amen.

(c) 2020. Rich Ronald.

Psalm 82

We’re reading through, and with intentionality, praying through the Psalms during this school year. There are 150 Psalms, divided into 180 different readings. See this post for more info.

We are temporarily suspending the audio portion of this study via the RichlySpeaking podcast. Here is today’s prayer preceded by the text from the Contemporary English Version, copyright 1995, by the America Bible Society.

When all of the other gods
    have come together,
    the Lord God judges them
    and says:
“How long will you
keep judging unfairly
    and favoring evil people?
Be fair to the poor
    and to orphans.
    Defend the helpless
    and everyone in need.
Rescue the weak and homeless
    from the powerful hands
    of heartless people.

“None of you know
    or understand a thing.
You live in darkness,
    while the foundations
    of the earth tremble.

“I, the Most High God, say
that all of you are gods
    and also my own children.
But you will die,
just like everyone else,
    including powerful rulers.”

Do something, God!
Judge the nations of the earth;
    they belong to you.

Today’s prayer:

God, Abba, Father:

Thank you for being the Most High God. You are the One True Judge, who reigns over the heavens and the earth. We worship you today, oh God.

Forgive us when we make unfair judgments against people. We confess that we often size people up based on appearances or actions. Only you can see the hearts of men and women. May our hearts be pure before you and others. Give us the courage and strength to stand up for those who cannot defend themselves… the preborn, the weak, the homeless, those in poverty, the widow, and the orphan.

Remind us that it is only because of your grace that we have life and life to the full. Even when we think we have it all together or wear a happy, successful face for the world, but inside we find ourselves weak, or without a home, or without resources or family, we know that we will always have you. You have promised to never leave us. We are never alone. We do not lack for any good thing, because we have your love. Your grace. Your strength. Your blessings.

Give us your dreams for our lives today. Dreams that will glorify you and bless others. We know that you have the whole world in your hands. Save us. Deliver us. Forgive us. Lead us by your Holy Spirit today.

We thank you for your holy judgment and your amazing, all-forgiving grace. Through Jesus. Our Messiah and Lord.

And, it is in His name we pray.

Amen.

(c) 2020. Rich Ronald.

Psalm 81

We’re reading through, and with intentionality, praying through the Psalms during this school year. There are 150 Psalms, divided into 180 different readings. See this post for more info.

The audio file below is the entire episode for today. The text below is today’s prayer. I’m reading the Contemporary English Version of the Text, copyright 1995, by the American Bible Society.

God. Abba. Father.

We sing for joy to you today! We play music and instruments in our praise. Indeed, Lord, you have established a decree that we are to worship you. And we do so, with great revelry!

We thank you for removing from us the burdens of worry and the yoke of slavery. We thank you for rescuing us and for answering our prayers. We ask that you would forgive us from the sin of idolatry, from putting anything above you or in front of you, God. We worship you, the One True God.

We ask that you might defeat those things that defeat us… worry, anxiety, fear, stubbornness, pride, arrogance… or even those outside forces of the enemy like jealousy and oppression. Turn your hand against our foes, especially, the evil one. Please, don’t let us be tempted.

Thank you that your ways are just and true. And to the believer you promise we will enjoy the sweetness of life and be fed the finest of bread by the bread of life himself. Even Jesus.

And it’s in His name we pray.

Amen.

(c) 2020. Rich Ronald.

Psalm 80

We’re reading through, and with intentionality, praying through the Psalms during this school year. There are 150 Psalms, divided into 180 different readings. See this post for more info.

The audio file below is the entire episode for today. The text below is today’s prayer. I’m reading the Contemporary English Version of the Text, copyright 1995, by the American Bible Society.

God. Abba. Father.

You are our great Shepherd. You lead your children as you sit on your throne of grace in heaven. Hear our prayers. Restore us, God. Turn your face to shine on us; do not turn your face away from us.

May your anger against those who sin against you simmer. Thank you for providing a means to escape your judgment through your son, Jesus. Thank you for smiling on your children, once again!

Once we were your chosen people. You cared deeply for us, as a gardener tends his vines. You provided mountain shade and cool water. And, as a people, we thrived. Then, we confess, we turned our backs on you. We rejected you. Many still do. Thank you for forgiving us. Please forgive those who continue to reject you – as they turn to you.

Thank you that you sent the One, your son, who sits on your right in heaven! He has put a new life in us! We worship you because of Him! Thank you for renewing our strength. Thank you for turning your face towards us. Thank you for giving us your peace and your salvation.

Through Jesus.

And it’s His name we pray.

Amen.

(c) 2020. Rich Ronald.

Psalm 79

We’re reading through, and with intentionality, praying through the Psalms during this school year. There are 150 Psalms, divided into 180 different readings. See this post for more info.

The audio file below is the entire episode for today. The text below is today’s prayer. I’m reading the Contemporary English Version of the Text, copyright 1995, by the American Bible Society.

God. Abba. Father.

Sometimes, it feels like we are the punchline for the world’s jokes. We who have faith. We who believe. We are often berated and humiliated. And some, God, are severely persecuted. Give them strength today, those who face physical harm and abuse because they have taken a stand on behalf of the Kingdom.

Pour out your wrath on those who want to bring your children down. You are famous for helping. Please send your mercy. Forgive us of our sins. Don’t let the pagan nations scoff and ask wryly, “where is your God?”

Yes! Let your mighty power save! We will praise you and thank you. We will tell everyone of your wonderful love for us. From our generation to the next generation, we, your sheep, will proclaim the praises of our great shepherd!

His name is Jesus.

And it is in his name we pray.

Amen.

(c) 2020. Rich Ronald.