Psalm 129

Here is today’s prayer from Psalm 129:

God. Abba. Father.

Today we thank you for Israel and its special place in your heart. The people of The Land have suffered greatly throughout the years. Most of its neighboring nations would prefer that Israel not exist. Yet God. You have protected this special place. You have kept The Land safe.

Most who live there honor your name. Bless them. And to those who would welcome its demise, only you know their hearts. May you bring your holy judgment. In your time.

Our prayer is that there would be peace throughout The Land. From the lush plains of the Shephelah, to the desert around the Salt Sea. From the northern-most Mt. Hermon to the fertile crescent and the Galilee. From the metropolitan cities along the Mediterranean to the villages along the Jordan River. Bring your grace. Bring your truth.

Thank you for this special place. Yet, let us also be reminded that while our savior walked the dusty roads of Jerusalem he lives in our hearts, in the lives of those who have bowed their knee to the infant son born in Bethlehem, who is our risen King!

Jesus!

Amen.

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.

(c) 2021. Rich Ronald.

Psalm 109

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:

_____

 I praise you, God! Don’t keep silent. Destructive and deceitful lies are told about me, and hateful things are said for no reason. I had pity and prayed for my enemies, but their words to me were harsh and cruel. For being friendly and kind, they paid me back with meanness and hatred.

My enemies said, “Find some worthless fools to accuse him of a crime. Try him and find him guilty! Consider his prayers a lie. Cut his life short and let someone else have his job. Make orphans of his children and a widow of his wife; make his children beg for food and live in the slums.

“Let the people he owes take everything he owns. Give it all to strangers. Don’t let anyone be kind to him or have pity on the children he leaves behind.  Bring an end to his family, and from now on let him be a forgotten man.

“Don’t let the Lord forgive the sins of his parents and his ancestors. Don’t let the Lord forget the sins of his family, or let anyone remember his family ever lived. He was so cruel to the poor, homeless, and discouraged
that they died young.

“He cursed others. Now place a curse on him! He never wished others well. Wish only trouble for him! He cursed others more often than he dressed himself. Let his curses strike him deep, just as water and olive oil soak through to our bones. Let his curses surround him, just like the clothes he wears each day.”

Those are the cruel things my enemies wish for me. Let it all happen to them! Be true to your name, Lord God!
Show your great kindness and rescue me.

I am poor and helpless, and I have lost all hope. I am fading away like an evening shadow; I am tossed aside
like a crawling insect.  I have gone without eating, until my knees are weak, and my body is bony. When my enemies see me, they say cruel things and shake their heads.

Please help me, Lord God! Come and save me because of your love. Let others know that you alone have saved me.  I don’t care if they curse me, as long as you bless me. You will make my enemies fail when they attack, and you will make me glad to be your servant. You will cover them with shame, just as their bodies are covered with clothes.

I will sing your praises and thank you, Lord, when your people meet. You help everyone in need, and you defend them when they are on trial.

We look to heaven and we ask you, Father, to check our hearts: “Are we good, you and I?” That is what is most important today.

a prayer from Psalm 109

Here is today’s prayer from Psalm 109:

God. Abba. Father.

We praise you! Today we thank you that we can run to you when our enemies attack. Even when others spread lies and speak maliciously against us, we can trust in your unfailing love. You are the just judge. You know what is truth.

We look to heaven and we ask you, Father, to check our hearts: “Are we good, you and I?” That is what is most important today. Even when we find ourselves in times where other relationships are fraught with misunderstanding, we bow before you to be reminded that you are in control. Bring peace to hearts where there is angst.

When people speak ill of us, sometimes we begin to believe them. We might wallow in self-pity, wondering if what they have said is true, even when we know it to be false. Sometimes we let the words of others make us feel like we are like insects who crawl in the dust. Forgive us. Forgive those who speak things that are false against us.

Today we speak what we know to be the truth. We are children of the most high, God! You have great plans for us. You keep your promises. Nothing will ever be able to separate us from your love!

You alone have saved us through the cross of grace. Ultimately your blessing is all we care about. And we will rejoice! Yes, you will make us glad. We trust in the relationship we have with you, the One True God.

And we thank you for Jesus, who makes this relationship between you and us possible.

Amen.

(c) 2021. Rich Ronald.

Advent Day 19, The Gift of Weaponry, the Belt of Truth

December 19, 2011

The Gift of weaponry, the Belt of Truth 

This Advent Daily Devotional is focusing on the gifts God gives us, as uncovered in the book of Ephesians. 

There are many great kernels of wisdom parents can pass along to their children.  One of my favorites: “A half truth is a whole lie.”  It’s important that children learn to tell the truth, right?   Truth is at the core of the judicial system.  Think about the vow that someone takes when testifying in a court of law.  They agree to “tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”

So, how significant is it then that the first piece of weaponry, of armor, that Paul writes about in Ephesians Chapter 6 is the encouragement to put on “the belt of truth.”?  The truth is the leading weapon used to defeat the enemy!

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist. (Ephesians 6:14, NIV).

Circle yourself with truth. Don’t mess with the half-truths of the world. Don’t buy the lies of Hollywood and Madison Avenue. 

I’m reminded of another piece of advice from Paul.  Philippians 4:6 says: Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  

A good start to defeating the enemy is to not fool around with the father of lies!  

The belt… it wraps around your center of gravity… it is the physical center of who you are.  Let your life be balanced with the truth.  Let it be your spiritual center, too. Surround yourself with the truth and people who are people of truth and who will be ones who speak truth into your life.  Let every part of you be enveloped with truth.

The truth is weapon Number One to defeat the attacks of the enemy.  When you may be confused or unsure, get the facts.  Get to the truth.  Who is the truth? Jesus is the truth.  Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6, NIV)

Open your eyes, open your hands and receive the Gift of Truth this Advent.

Father God, thank you for the Gift of Truth.  May I circle every area of my life with it.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.