Psalms 31

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“Let your favor shine on your servant. In your unfailing love, rescue me” (Psalm 31:16 NLT).

August 10, 2018

PRAYING GOD’S ATTRIBUTES DOWN ON US
David knew how to request God’s help based on God’s attributes rather than on his own worthiness. He didn’t negotiate with God, offering to make a sacrifice or some other payment. No, he based his supplications on God’s ability and willingness to bless. Notice how David prayed, asking God to “shine” on him according to God’s “favor” (“Your favor”). And asking God to “rescue” him according to God’s “unfailing love” (“Your unfailing love”).

We can do the same. We can ask for God to shine down on us and rescue us based on His divine favor and unfailing love. In fact, we can pray in the Name of Jesus, upon whom God’s favor rests and in whom He has expressed His unfailing love.

“But to you who fear My name the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings; and you shall go out and grow fat like stall-fed calves” (Malachi 4:2 NKJV). “Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.” (Revelation 22:7 NKJV). “Praise Him for His mighty acts; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!” (Psalm 150:2 NKJV). “Strength and honor are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come” (Proverbs 31:25 NKJV).

December 31, 2017

It’s become my habit to highlight a verse from each of the four daily readings in the One Year Bible on the last day of the year. So, on this last day of 2017, I offer a prayer for all of us from each of the readings:

From Malachi, I pray that we will receive healing and the power to go out kicking up our feet like young calves.

From Revelation, I pray that we will look forward to Christ’s return and be blessed by the promises of His Word.

From Psalms, I pray that we grow in our awareness and acknowledgement of God’s “mighty acts” and “excellent greatness,” so that we are always praising the Lord.

From Proverbs, I pray that as members of His Bride, the Church, we would be be clothed in “strength and honor,” always “rejoicing in time to come.”
I pray these prayers over all of us, knowing that His Word is true, His promises sure, and His ear, always listening, ready to answer the prayers of His people.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.

“Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble” (Psalms 31:9 NKJV).

February 8, 2017

This psalm of David reminds me of what the Eastern churches call the Jesus Prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

It also reminds me of Jesus’ story contrasting the prayers of the Pharisee and the publican. The Pharisee stood praying, “Thank you Lord that I am not like the publican”, whereas the publican prayed in humility, saying “Lord have mercy on me, a sinner” (Luke 18:10-14).

It is when we admit that we are “in trouble,” that the Lord moves to help us. As long as we move in our own strength, laboring in our own wisdom, we struggle alone. But when we admit our need, the Lord answers. As Jesus told his disciples, “Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 10:14).

“For I said in my haste, ‘I am cut off from before Your eyes;’ Nevertheless You heard the voice of my supplications when I cried out to You” (Psalm 31:22 NKJV)

August 11, 2015

Have you ever felt as David did when he wrote this psalm? You’re crying out to God in prayer, but you don’t feel His presence? Perhaps this dark night of the soul has come in order to increase your thirst for the Lord. It causes you to grow in awareness of your ultimate dependence on God. And this has become more acute as you desire to hear His voice and experience His touch. When we pray like this what may have begun as a litany of requests becomes a singular desire: “God, I only want You!”

“I will be glad and rejoice in Your mercy, for You have considered my trouble” (Psalm 31:7 NKJV)

August 9, 2015

This Psalm of David teaches us to choose gladness and worship, while giving our troubles to God. David wrote that God had “considered” his trouble. In other words David had stopped thinking about his troubles and had given them to God for His consideration. This is how the disciples prayed too, “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness” (Acts 4:29). When we continue to consider our own trouble it leads to discouragement and worry. But when we give them to God, it opens the way to gladness and rejoicing.

“Make Your face shine upon Your servant; Save me for Your mercies’ sake” (Psalm 31:16 NKJV)

February 8, 2015

A psalm of David, asking God for salvation based on God’s character of mercy rather than any sense of his own deserving it. It is a bold request, asking for God’s face to “shine upon” him, knowing that the Lord could rightfully look at his sinful life with a face darkened by wrath and displeasure. Yet, like a son seeking his father’s attention, David cried out, “Lord, look at me and let your face show your divine mercy and radiant joy towards me!” God answered David’s prayer, but at great cost. For in turning His face towards David in mercy, He later turned His face away from the Christ, the Son of David, while He died upon the cross for our sins.