Thursday, December 29, 2011

Psalm 28 - A Prayer for Help

English: Dancing for Joy Dancing waves at Ingo...

Have you ever been in a fix and did not know the way out? Have you needed wisdom and skills for dealing with a huge challenge ahead of you? Has it seemed like God was not listening, as if He had better things to do with His time?

Be encouraged. God sees you and hears you. He can renew your intimacy with Him. He can draw you close to Himself. (He was not the one who moved, by the way!) Start by taking your eyes off the problem and raise them to the Lord. Pray the Scripture. Praise Him for his loving care for you. Call on Him who his your rock, your mercy, your holiness, your grace, your justice, your strength, your shield from danger, your help, your faithfulness, your protection, your calm and loving Shepherd. Try Psalm 28 on for size.

Prayer for Help (Psalm 28:1-5)

1 To You I will cry, O LORD my Rock: Do not be silent to me, / Lest, if You are silent to me, I become like those who go down to the pit.

I desperately need you, Lord. Things are tough, and I am running to You. Hear me, and don’t be silent. Don’t turn me away. I am struggling and in pain. I am crying out of an honest heart. My trust is fractured. My emotions are hanging by a thread. My resentment is rising. I want to know I can trust You with everything I have, everything I am. You are my Rock of safety. If You don’t intervene right now, powerfully and visibly, I’m not sure I will make it.

 2 Hear the voice of my supplications When I cry to You, / When I lift up my hands toward Your holy sanctuary.

Your mercy is all I have left. I call to You desperately, as desperately as I ever have in my life. Even though I don’t feel like it, I lift my hands in prayer to Your Throne of Grace. Answer me, Lord. Let me hear You. I need You to be here for me. I need to know You are close. I need Your answer swiftly, clearly, incisively, and completely.

 3 Do not take me away with the wicked And with the workers of iniquity, / Who speak peace to their neighbors, But evil is in their hearts.

Lord, please make me wise to the enemy’s schemes. Give me the wisdom and grace to overcome them. I know people are not the adversary. Don’t let me drop to the level of fighting flesh and blood. Keep me walking in the Spirit. The spiritual workers of iniquity hide behind smooth words and gracious talk, but it is intended to deceive and destroy. Don’t let that destructive intent have its way in me.

  4 Give them according to their deeds, And according to the wickedness of their endeavors; / Give them according to the work of their hands; Render to them what they deserve.  5 Because they do not regard the works of the LORD, Nor the operation of His hands, / He shall destroy them And not build them up.

Lord give me the grace to bless those who are being used to come against Your work. Take your rightful authority over the invisible powers behind their visible actions. Repay the enemies of your Kingdom and my soul. Repay them for their evil schemes. They set themselves against You, Your work, and against me, the work of Your hands. Lord, this is your battle.
     
Praise for the Answer (Psalm 28:6-9)

 6 Blessed be the LORD, Because He has heard the voice of my supplications!

I praise You, Lord, for you are my Mercy! Thank You for hearing my prayer. Thank You for working in my life. Your character is to keep your Covenant and to keep Your commitment as a Father to his children. You are gracious, compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness, desiring to bless me. I thank You that in Your mercy you hear the cry of my heart. You hear me when I pray your promises back to You.

 7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; / Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him.

Lord, You are the only strength I have, but Your strength is All-Sufficient. I hide in You and still my soul in Your shield which cannot be broken. You are my refuge, my fortress, my protector, my help, my hope, my high tower. I run to You and are safe. Renew my broken trust. In the very depth of my heart, enable me to lean on your everlasting arms and shout about the joy of the Lord. My heart leaps for joy because of Your joy, O my Lord! Now I will sing songs before You, singing of your character, of my thankfulness, and of your strength.

8 The LORD is their strength, And He is the saving refuge of His anointed.  9 Save Your people, And bless Your inheritance; / Shepherd them also, And bear them up forever.

Lord, you alone are my unyielding strength and sure salvation. Self-protection cannot serve me. It is your character and the character of Your Messiah which help me. On Christ the Solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.  Save Your people. Prosper Your Kingdom. You are the Good Shepherd. Carry me on your shoulders all my days. You alone are my Victory!

Adapted from: Sylvia Gunter, Prayer Essentials for Living in His Presence (Birmingham, AL: Father’s Business, 2000), vol. 2.