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21 Days of Prayer- Devotional

“Lord, Give Us a New Song!”

21 Days of Prayer in Psalm 40, August 26

Day 1: In Psalm 40:3, David writes, “He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.” 

One of the things I love about the Psalms is the honesty being expressed. The Psalms present us with patterns of life that the godly go through in every age. There are times when we hurt, and there are times when God shows Himself strong, and gives us a new hope and a new song.

That’s our prayer these next 21 days, as we seek the Lord in prayer, that the Lord will meet us in a special way, renew our hearts, and give us a new song!  During these days, we’re praying that He will inspire a new passion and joy in our hearts, and as a result, many will put their trust in the Lord!

As a bit of background, Psalm 40 is both the spiritual cry of David’s heart, and an inspired Old Testament prophecy of Christ, seen most clearly in v.7-8.  Each verse in the Psalm teaches us more of how this new song came about, and how it touched the lives of others.

Take time today to make this Psalm your personal prayer, for your own life and for those around you. Make this your prayer each day that somehow during this season God will renew your heart, rekindle your faith, and give you a new song. Pray that your countenance, attitude and experience in these days will not only bring Him glory, but also cause many others to be inspired and put their trust in the Lord!

 

“Lord, Give Us a New Song!”

21 Days of Prayer in Psalm 40, August 27

Day 2: Psalm 40:1 says, “I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry.”

The Psalmist, David, understood well what it was to patiently wait for the Lord. As a young man, David was anointed to be Israel’s next king, but for 13 years he was forced to live as a fugitive, being chased by King Saul’s men trying to kill him. And yet, through it all, he chose to trust God, not become bitter, and wait patiently for the Lord.

John Piper writes, “Waiting for the Lord is a great part of the Christian life. There are at least two essential elements in the way we should wait: with humility and with hope. Look back at Psalm 37:9, "Evildoers will be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land." Then in verse 11 the same promise is repeated, but in the place of ‘those who wait’ is ‘the humble’: "But the humble will inherit the land, and will delight themselves in abundant prosperity." Those who wait are the humble.

Have you ever been in a large waiting room at a doctor's office when the doctor is late returning from a call and the patients are stacked up? Who are the ones who get feisty with the receptionist and grumble to everybody? Not the meek, not the humble. Humble people can wait. They are not so presumptuous about their rights. So it is in waiting for God. We simply show how badly we need the chastisement of his delay when we do not wait patiently.

Secondly, those who wait patiently hope in God.  Psalm 130:5, "I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait, and in his word do I hope." The soul of one who waits for God is not listless. It is not like a weather vane pointing this way, then that. But it is like a thirsty animal longing for water. "As a deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for thee, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God" (Psalm 42:12). Those who wait like David long for the moment when God will come, and they hope in him. When will he come? At just the right time.”

The first key to experiencing a new song in your heart is learning to wait patiently for the Lord.

 

“Lord, Give Us a New Song!”

21 Days of Prayer in Psalm 40, August 28

Day 3: “…He inclined to me and heard my cry.”

The Psalmist, David, knew well what it was to cry out to the Lord. For years he had to run for his life from jealous and deranged King Saul, and then later in his life, his sons turned on one another and then on him. He knew what it was to turn to the Lord for help. And because of this, he had also seen the Lord come to his aid, intervene, and show Himself strong time and time again.  He later wrote, in Psalm 116:1, “I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy.”

The great preacher, Charles Spurgeon, knew suffering also. For years, he was reviled relentlessly by jealous religious leaders and local newspaper editors because of his boldness to proclaim the gospel and call men to repent. His dear wife also suffered chronic illness and he served her needs daily while also pastoring a large growing church. He knew what it was to wait patiently on the Lord in prayer, and wrote, “Neither Jesus the head, nor any one of the members of His body, shall ever wait upon the Lord in vain.”

This can be your experience as well, if you will only turn to the Lord, and look to Him for His mercy, grace, wisdom and strength.

This can be our experience as a church! It can be something you tell your children and grandchildren about in the years ahead, that because we humbly turned to the Lord in these days, we saw Him do a mighty work in our midst! 

Take time today to ask the Lord to do a great work of grace in your own heart, and in our church, for His glory!  He will not refuse such requests!


“Lord, Give Us a New Song!”

21 Days of Prayer in Psalm 40, August 29

Day 4: Psalm 40:2 says, “He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.” Do you have a story like this?

David had seen the Lord deliver him time and time again! Why? Because David had chosen to turn to the Lord in crisis, time and time again!  Instead of acting in the flesh, and lashing out in kind when attacked by evil men, David chose to entrust Himself to the Lord to deliver him. As a result, David had story after story of how God had rescued him, and done amazing things when there seemed no way out.  Most people have never seen the power of God intervene because they’ve never been willing to obey God and put themselves in a position where they have to rely upon it.

Jesus looked to the Father to deliver him many times during His earthly ministry. After forty days of fasting, and then being tempted by the devil; after preaching the Scriptures boldly in the synagogue; while on the stormy sea with his disciples; when being relentlessly harassed by hypocrites; when being falsely accused by wicked men parading as spiritual leaders; and even while being mocked, tortured and crucified as a criminal. He looked to his heavenly Father to deliver him from the finality of death and the grave, for the sake of those He would redeem.

What kind of struggle are you facing at present? And how, in this struggle, are you turning to the Lord and trusting in Him?

Turn to Him today for this, right now. Don’t just worry to the Lord, cast your cares on Him, ask Him to show Himself strong, and trust Him to intervene!  There is no song of victory that is not preceded by a struggle.


“Lord, Give Us a New Song!”

21 Days of Prayer in Psalm 40, August 30

Day 5: Psalm 40:3a says, “He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.” 

Take note of why the Psalmist had a new song.  It was because he had turned to the Lord for mercy, and the Lord had granted his request, and rescued him.  It was with a heart full of gratitude and thanksgiving for being shown mercy that his heart swelled up with a new song, a song of praise to God!

All too often, we look at our circumstances, and think our fiery trial is unjust, that what we justly deserve is blessing and happiness and prosperity. We think, “After all, we’re not like other sinners out there, Lord. We’re the righteous!” But the truth is, we’re not near as righteous as we think we are! In fact, most of the time, what we deserve IS God’s discipline. While we may do some things right, there’s a much longer list of Divine commands that we have ignored! If we’re honest, what we justly deserve is His judgment, and we need His mercy.

David understood the enormous nature of God’s mercy, and the longer he lived, the deeper his understanding grew of this mercy! And it was out of the depths of his grasp of God’s mercy, that his songs of deliverance were born.

It’s much like the story recorded in Luke 7, of the sinful woman who came and washed Jesus’ feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. In her heart, there was a powerful song of love for Christ, because of her understanding of His mercy and grace. But in the heart of Simon the Pharisee, there was no love, nor a song, because he did not understand his need for mercy.

Want a new song in your heart? Take time to ponder just how merciful God has been toward you over the years.  Journal what He brings to mind.  The more you grasp His mercy toward you, the louder your grateful song will become!  Spend some time right now doing this.


“Lord, Give Us a New Song!”

21 Days of Prayer in Psalm 40, August 31

Day 6: Psalm 40:3b says, “Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.” 

This was the aim of the Psalmist, that many others would see and fear God, and then put their trust in the Lord as well!  But what does it mean to fear the Lord?  So much confusion exists about this, and it needs to be understood. To fear the Lord means to be fully convinced that God always means what He says and does what He promises.

It’s of enormous importance, and many blessings flow from it!

  • Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
  • Proverbs 14:26 “In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence.”
  • Proverbs 14:27 “The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life.”
  • Proverbs 16:6 “By the fear of the Lord men depart from evil.”

The fear of the Lord is a source of great wisdom, courage, life and freedom!

How often do you pray for the Lord to meet a need so that others would see God’s faithfulness, and turn to trust Him too?

This is what the new song is all about, others being pointed to the Lord, others being inspired by His mercy, and others turning from their sinful rebellion to trust Him with their lives as well!  The new song that God desires to fill our hearts with is one that’s no longer about just our needs being met, but the Lord’s name being lifted up, and others being drawn to Him!

  • Acts 9:31 says, “The church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear ofthe Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied.”

Take time today to ask God to give you a new song in your heart, inspired by a desire to see the Lord Jesus lifted up! Ask Him to loosen your tongue to joyfully tell of what He’s done, so that others might be drawn to Him as a result.


“Lord, Give Us a New Song!”

21 Days of Prayer in Psalm 40, September 1

Day 7: Psalm 40:4 says, “Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie!” 

The people of Israel were enamored by their tall handsome king, named Saul. They wanted to be like the nations around them, having their own king and army, instead of trusting in the Lord.  They insisted the prophet Samuel give them a king; so God gave them what they asked for, and it was disastrous. Saul’s empty pride and theirs’ led to years of judgment and humiliation in Israel.  Today we find ourselves in such a place, living in a culture that admires the proud, and pride’s lies.

The Psalmist spoke out the truth boldly, that it was not those to turn to the proud who are blessed by God.  Rather, the blessed, the happy, are those who humbly admit their need, reject proud lies, and put their trust in the Lord.

Spurgeon writes, “The proud expect all men to bow and do them reverence; but believing men are too noble to honor mere money-bags, or cringe before bombastic dignity. The righteous pay their respect to humble goodness, rather than to self-inflated success. Our Lord Jesus was in this our greatest example. No flattery of kings or great ones ever fell from his lips; and he gave no honor to dishonorable men.”

Blessings belong those who turn from the proud, to make the Lord their trust.

Whatever your challenge today, would you make the Lord your trust? List some of the proud lies Satan has been telling you, reject them in prayer, and entrust your challenges to the Lord!

Pray also for our Elders as they seek the Lord for a new Pastor-teacher, that the Lord will help lead them past men like Saul, to find ‘a man after God’s own heart!’

 

“Lord, Give Us a New Song!”

21 Days of Prayer in Psalm 40, September 2

Day 8: Psalm 40:5a says, “You have multiplied, O Lord my God, Your wondrous deeds and Your thoughts toward us; none can compare with You…!” 

Here we find another key to enjoying a new song in our hearts… opening our eyes to what the Lord is doing in the world, how He’s working in lives, and His great love for us! The Psalmist’s heart was bursting with a new song, and that new song was a song of thanksgiving! A grateful heart is a joyful heart!

When was the last time you took time to look back on your life and consider how gracious God has been toward you? Stop and think about how often you’ve fallen in sin, hardened your heart, or wandered away from Him… and He’s brought you back! Consider how undeservingly kind He has been to you.

In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the believers in Ephesus he lists what God has done for us sinners in Christ. He states that in love He chose us, in order to redeem us through His blood, and has made known to us the mystery of His will (His mission for us), promising to us an eternal reward and inheritance, and sealing us until that day by giving us His Spirit to dwell within us! (See Eph 1-2)

Take some time today to read through Ephesians 1-2 and thank the Lord for His choosing you, for His saving you by His blood, for His showing you His will, for His rewarding you, and for His keeping you by the kind gift of His Holy Spirit until the last day. 

You might even journal what God brings to mind, to look back on and be encouraged by again later!

 

“Lord, Give Us a New Song!”

21 Days of Prayer in Psalm 40, September 2

 

Day 8: Psalm 40:5a says, “You have multiplied, O Lord my God, Your wondrous deeds and Your thoughts toward us; none can compare with You…!” 

Here we find another key to enjoying a new song in our hearts… opening our eyes to what the Lord is doing in the world, how He’s working in lives, and His great love for us! The Psalmist’s heart was bursting with a new song, and that new song was a song of thanksgiving! A grateful heart is a joyful heart!

When was the last time you took time to look back on your life and consider how gracious God has been toward you? Stop and think about how often you’ve fallen in sin, hardened your heart, or wandered away from Him… and He’s brought you back! Consider how undeservingly kind He has been to you.

In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the believers in Ephesus he lists what God has done for us sinners in Christ. He states that in love He chose us, in order to redeem us through His blood, and has made known to us the mystery of His will (His mission for us), promising to us an eternal reward and inheritance, and sealing us until that day by giving us His Spirit to dwell within us! (See Eph 1-2)

Take some time today to read through Ephesians 1-2 and thank the Lord for His choosing you, for His saving you by His blood, for His showing you His will, for His rewarding you, and for His keeping you by the kind gift of His Holy Spirit until the last day. 

You might even journal what God brings to mind, to look back on and be encouraged by again later!

 

 


“Lord, Give Us a New Song!”

21 Days of Prayer in Psalm 40, September 3

 

Day 9: Psalm 40:5b says, “…I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told.”

Here we find a repeated key to enjoying a new song in your heart… telling others of His wondrous deeds in your life!  A recent study reported that over 95% of professing Christians in American never share the gospel or their testimony with a lost person! That’s tragic! As a result, they never experience the joy Christ intended, or help anyone else experience it either.

Sharing what God has done in our lives is absolutely key to experiencing the joy God intended for us! As Jesus instructed the man he delivered from demons, “Now, go home to your family, and tell them all the Lord has done for you, and how merciful he has been toward you” (Mk 5:19).

An article I read recently by Jennifer Heeren gives 10 reasons every believer should share their testimony, regularly:

1) Your story is unique, and there are others who need to hear it! 2) God’s Word commands us to share it (1Pet 3:15-16.  3) People love to hear real stories from real people. 4) Sharing removes fear and inspires courage, in our own hearts and in others.  5) Skeptics have a hard time disputing personal stories of grace and life change. 6) Sharing helps to create transparency within the Church, the body of Christ. 7) Sharing helps you to become a resource of hope and encouragement for others in their journey. 8) Sharing keeps your testimony fresh and your gratitude to God full.  9) God uses this to continue to teach you and bless you, growing your testimony every month and year. 10) Your sharing brings glory to God, and causes others to want to know Him also.

Pray and ask the Lord to give you opportunities to share your testimony this week, even daily! Share not only about how He saved you, but how He’s continually helping you and changing you!

 

“Lord, Give Us a New Song!”

21 Days of Prayer in Psalm 40, September 4

Day 10: Psalm 40:6 says, “In sacrifice and offering you have not delighted, but you have given me an open ear. Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required. 

We know from Scripture that in the Old Testament, God had required the blood sacrifice of animals as a picture of what our sin justly deserves, death. But these sacrifices alone were not really what God desired. What He desired and still desires is our devotion… that we would listen to, trust in, and obey His commands, so that we might live!

However, from the beginning of time, men have been bent on rebelling, believing the lie that Satan initiated in the Garden of Eden, that somehow God doesn’t care about our happiness and well-being, and is keeping some good thing from us. (Gen 3:4-5)

In 40:6, the Psalmist was rejoicing that, through years of hardship and learning to turn to the Lord, God had given him “an open ear”… an ability to truly hear, trust in Him, and obey!

Friends, this is what true freedom is all about; not the freedom to do whatever I want, but the freedom to do what is right and wise and best, instead of being foolish and enslaved to sin.

All too often people ignore the warnings of God, choose sin, get themselves into a mess, and then try to make a deal with God, saying, “Lord, if you’ll get me out of this one, I promise to…”

But what God desires isn’t games like this. What He wants is quite straight-forward. He calls us to repent of living for just ourselves, receive God’s grace in Christ, and by His power learn to turn to the Lord, listen to His Word, and in faith obey Him!

When we turn to Him in humble faith, His Spirit gives us this ability to hear and obey Him! Phil 2:13 “For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”

Make this your own personal prayer today!

 

 “Lord, Give Us a New Song!”

21 Days of Prayer in Psalm 40, September 5

Day 11: Psalm 40:7-8 says, Then I said, “Behold, I have come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me: I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.”

This is one of the most beautiful passages in the whole of the Old Testament describing the heart and mind of Christ! He came to earth knowing full well of the suffering, shame and horrific death He would experience, for our sakes. And yet, He chose to obey His Father, whatever the cost.

Spurgeon writes, “Our Lord was always quick to hear and obey his Father’s will; his ears were open straight down to his soul… the prompt obedience of our Lord is the idea here. It’s a picture of our blessed Lord’s fidelity to His Father’s business, and His love for His Father’s children… to the end.”

Take some time today to sit, kneel or take a walk, and just ponder the willing obedience of Christ to His Father during His earthly ministry. Thank the Lord Jesus for this. Worship Him for His selfless, humble and unwavering obedience to the Father, and the many gracious blessings this has brought you!

It’s in this way that our hearts are changed and we begin to see obedience as not a burden, but a privilege and a delight!

What kinds of habits are helping you to saturate your heart with God’s truth? Some memorize one Scripture verse, paragraph or promise a week. Others choose a Scripture truth to meditate on all day, and then pray that truth throughout the day. Some read through the same New Testament passage every day for 7 days, before moving on, in order to get it into their mind and heart.

Choose a plan that best helps you saturate your mind with God’s truth, and live by it. Then, ask the Lord to use your efforts to give you the mind and heart of Jesus.  Ask the Father daily to grant you an obedient heart, to put within you a joy and delight to do His will.  


“Lord, Give Us a New Song!”

21 Days of Prayer in Psalm 40, September 6

Day 12: In Psalm 40:9-10, the Psalmist declares, I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation; behold, I have not restrained my lips, as you know, O Lord. 10 I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation.”  

From Christ’s very first public address, our Lord sought to make known the glad news of God’s grace and deliverance to anyone who would receive it. He taught openly in the temple, and declared God’s grace and truth without fear to powerful rulers and to social outcasts. He was faithful to speak the truth to everyone, no matter what the circumstance.

In Luke 4:18-19 we read His first words spoken about Himself in His hometown synagogue:

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.”

Jesus was reading the words of Isaiah 61:1-2, a prophecy about the Messiah, and these words described His three-year earthly ministry.  He brought good news to the poor of God’s mercy being offered to all. He delivered a great many people from demonic strongholds and oppression. He gave sight to the blind and healed the lame.  All the while He preached the good news of the Kingdom, and told people that God’s gracious salvation had come for all who would trust and believe!  Jesus was faithful to share of God’s mercy and grace with everyone!

Jesus also said to His disciples, “As the Father as sent me, so send I you” (John 20:21; 17:18). So, in one sense, these things should describe the heart and outreach efforts of every true Christian.  

As you think of how God has shown you steadfast love and faithfulness, who could you tell of these things today? Do that!


“Lord, Give Us a New Song!”

21 Days of Prayer in Psalm 40, September 7

Day 13: In Psalm 40:9-10, the Psalmist declares, I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation; behold, I have not restrained my lips, as you know, O Lord. 10 I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation.”  

In 1993, surveys showed that 89% of Christians agreed with the statement “Every Christian has a responsibility to share their faith.” Today, this has dropped to only 64%.  Even more tragic is this finding: Less than 5% said they had shared their faith with a lost person in the past year! This means that 95% of professing Christians in America could not say what the Psalmist has said here.

What many do not understand is that so much of the joy of knowing Christ is in making Him known!  So much of the joy and fulfillment that’s found in following Christ is in telling others about Him, and helping them to know and follow Christ also! And the more you share, the greater the joy and freedom in sharing you feel!

In what ways did the Lord deliver you when He drew you to Himself and saved you? In what ways has He shown you His faithfulness over the years? In what ways has He continually shown you steadfast love? These are the things the Psalmist refused to conceal, but looked for ways to share with others!

Journal some of these things, right now; then ask yourself: “Who could I share these things with today?” A neighbor? A relative? A co-worker? A classmate? A teammate? Ask the Lord to give you opportunity, and then the boldness to share!

You do this and you will have a new song in your heart!


“Lord, Give Us a New Song!”

21 Days of Prayer in Psalm 40, September 8

Day 14: In Psalm 40:11, David writes, “Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O Lord: let thy loving-kindness and thy truth continually preserve me.”  (KJV)

As a prophetic Psalm, this text became the prayer of our Lord. You see, for a short while, the tender mercies of God were withheld from Jesus, when He took upon Himself our sin, and was cursed in our place! 

When Jesus was in the desert, hungry and weak after forty days of fasting, an angel was sent to minister to Him (Matt 4:11). And when Jesus was in the garden praying with such intense agony that he sweat great drops of blood, an angel was sent to minister to Him (Luke 22:43). 

Many times, Jesus had preached God’s mercy, faithfulness and loving-kindness. But as Jesus approached the Cross, to take upon Himself our sin and shame, He pled for this same mercy upon Himself.

Spurgeon writes, “He had been blessed aforetime in the desert, and now at the entrance of the valley of the shadow of death, like a true, trustful and experienced man, he utters a holy, plaintive desire for the tenderness of heaven.”

This prayer is instructive for us today, to look to our Lord Jesus as an example to follow in our own suffering. Jesus (and the Psalmist) had exhorted others to trust in God’s mercies, and now He asks for these mercies himself.  We are encouraged to do the same in the dark hours of our lives; to call upon the Lord for His loving-kindness and truth.  It’s the only way to maintain strength and lift our heads in worship amidst our pain.

Take time today to intercede for those in our fellowship who are suffering. Earnestly intercede for them as you would ask others to do so for you, if it were you that suffers.

 

“Lord, Give Us a New Song!”

21 Days of Prayer in Psalm 40, September 9

Day 15: Psalm 40:12-13 says, 12 For evils have encompassed me beyond number; my iniquities have overtaken me, and I cannot see; they are more than the hairs of my head; my heart fails me. 13 Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me! O Lord, make haste to help me!”  

The Psalm also describes the sufferings and prayers of Christ, on our behalf, as He took upon Himself the burden of our sin, and even became sin for us, as a sacrifice lamb.

Spurgeon expounds on this beautifully. He writes, “On every side He was beset with evils; countless woes surrounded the great Substitute for our sins. Just as our sins are innumerable, so were His griefs. There was no escape for us from our iniquities, and so there was no escape for Him from the woes that we deserved. From every quarter evils gathered about the Blessed One. He had no sin, but sins were laid upon Him, and He took them as if they were His.”

The sorrows and pains that He bore, for the sins of so many, were far beyond numbering. And the burden that His soul bore was so heavy that His sweat turned to blood.

In His agony He cried out to the Father to come to His aid. His cry was not to be removed from His suffering, but to be helped, strengthened and delivered through His suffering.  And friends, all this He endured for the sake of fallen, wrecked, rebellious and broken sinners like you and I.

More than once, David experienced suffering because of his sin, and more than once God mercifully delivered Him. He humbly recognized how sinful and undeserving He was of mercy, but asked for it anyway, because he knew the merciful nature of God’s heart.

When we honestly reflect on the frequent number and grievous nature of our sins, we begin to see just how great our need is for His mercy and deliverance! Take some time today to do this, and pray these verses to the Lord, for your own life.


“Lord, Give Us a New Song!”

21 Days of Prayer in Psalm 40, September 10

Day 16: In Psalm 40:14-15, David writes, 14 Let those be put to shame and disappointed altogether who seek to snatch away my life; let those be turned back and brought to dishonor who delight in my hurt! 15 Let those be appalled because of their shame who say to me, “Aha, Aha!”  

These verses can be read as either a prayer or a prophecy, as they remind us of both the war we face with sin and Satan’s efforts to destroy us. One day the powers of sin and death and hell will be ashamed as they see the result of their malice and deceit turned against them.

Satan and his minions have already seen how that their efforts to destroy our Savior only served to accomplish the greater redemptive purposes of God! God turned all Satan’s devilish wisdom into foolishness, and all his diabolical plans into a great victory for us all! The cruel one became the one conquered, and the Crucified became the Conqueror!  So, to His name be glory, honor and praise forever!

When we come face to face with the efforts of the Evil One in our lives and in the lives of those we love, our Lord wants us to pray like this Psalmist against evil, and with firm faith in the overcoming and grace of God!

What attacks of evil are you seeing today? Take courage and instruction from this Psalm, and go to your knees. The real battles of this life are always fought and won in prayer.

Pray that his evil purposes would be turned on their head, and God’s gracious plans would be accomplished through them! Don’t just pray to survive Satan’s attacks. Pray that they will be overcome in beautiful triumph, for God’s glory!

Pray for the Lord to have the victory as we go forward as a church during this season, that Satan’s efforts to distract and discourage us would fail, and our hearts would sing His praise!


“Lord, Give Us a New Song!”

21 Days of Prayer in Psalm 40, September 11

Day 17: In Psalm 40:16, David writes, “But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually, “Great is the Lord!”

Take note of who it is that is being blessed here; not all men, but some… those, “all those who seek you”, who “love your salvation.” 

This is precisely what Jesus prayed in John 17:9 & 20, saying, I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given me, for they are Thine… 20 Neither do I pray for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word” (KJV)

On the eve of His greatest suffering, our loving Lord prayed for all those who would turn to Him, including you and I, and He asked that our hearts would be turned, that we would know His grace, and that we’d then be filled with rejoicing and gladness… because of what He accomplished for us! 

Spurgeon writes, “As deep as were His sorrows, so high would He have our joys! He groaned that we might sing. He was covered with grief so that we might be anointed with the oil of gladness!”

Friends, THIS is the new song we’re pursuing together! We’re asking God to renew in us an overflowing spirit of gratitude, joy, love, and praise to our Lord Jesus Christ for what He’s done in our lives… so that we will begin to testify of His grace to all those around us, and then rejoice in what He does in their lives as well!

Will you take time today to pray for this? Earnestly pray that God will open the eyes of our hearts to grasp His gracious love, and then loosen our tongues to readily speak of it to others!

Pray, in these days as a church, that God would give us a spirit of great joy and anticipation, and that we would continually boast of His greatness to all those around us!

 

“Lord, Give Us a New Song!”

21 Days of Prayer in Psalm 40, September 12

Day 18: Look at Psalm 40:16 again, that David does not simply write, “May all who seek you rejoice and be glad”. He writes, “May all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may all who love your salvation say continually, “Great is the Lord.”

The Lord’s merciful kindnesses are not simply meant to bring us joy, but meant to show us that real and lasting joy come from Him, and should draw us closer to Him.  He doesn’t simply want us to have joy. He wants us to find our joy in Him! This is because every kindness and mercy shown to us is a proof of God’s kind heart, and His readiness to show this same mercy to all believers, whenever they stand in need.  

In addition, every merciful kindness shown to any of us is meant to stir us to open praise, to magnify the Lord, to speak out of His loving kindness, and to say to one another and to our neighbor, “Great is the Lord!” 

When the Lord shows us merciful kindness and increases our joy and gladness, it is not simply to show us His love, but to inspire us to speak of His love to others, as the source of our joy and gladness.

God’s desire and purpose is that all those who embrace His salvation would say, and pray, and testify, and say continually, “Great is the Lord!” Our Lord’s desire is that our tongues would speak regularly of His grace and kindness and love to all we engage!

This is every pastor’s dream… to lead a people who love to tell the story of God’s redeeming love! Let’s become this kind of people, as we wait for God to bring us our new pastor!

In what ways and with whom could you share today of God’s mercies toward you, telling of His goodness and power? Pray the Lord would open your eyes today to the opportunities He provides, and give you the grace to testify, “Great is the Lord!”

 

“Lord, Give Us a New Song!”

21 Days of Prayer in Psalm 40, September 13

Day 19: In Psalm 40:17a, David writes, “As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me…”  

The Psalmist faces the simple reality that apart from God’s power and grace, he is nothing. He confesses that he is but a poor humble man, unable to control his surroundings, and without the resources to deliver himself from his troubles. But he does not despair! Instead, he declares that the Lord sees his affliction, and cares about him. Most likely, he says this for his own good, and for ours.

In an earlier Psalm, David writes something very interesting about what he’s doing here, that we need to learn from. In Psalm 15:2, describing the man who walks with God and dwells in His presence, David says that he “speaks truth in his heart.”  The man who walks with God continually speaks the truth of God’s Word to his own heart!

In Psalm 42:5 & 11, we see David do this, where he writes, “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God!”  He speaks truth to his own heart.

Friends, the world, the flesh and the devil are shouting lies at us all the time, telling us to look at our circumstance and conclude that God has forsaken us, that He is not good, and that we cannot trust Him.  So, we need to hear the truth of God!

Faith and positive thinking are NOT the same thing! Positive thinking is too often refusing to think about the painful things that are happening, as if we shouldn’t ponder such things; and instead filling our minds with the positive things that are happening, or that the situation might bring.  

Faith is facing the painful realities of life head on, but remembering that God is greater, and can do whatever He chooses, and has good and sovereign purposes that He is actively working out! Faith is remembering that the Lord is good and takes thought for me!


“Lord, Give Us a New Song!”

21 Days of Prayer in Psalm 40, September 14

Day 20: In Psalm 40:17b, David goes on to write, “You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God.”  

The Psalmist David experienced a great many difficult days in his life, before he became king, because of no fault of his own, while he was king because of the sins of others, and later as a result of grave personal sins and failures as a husband, and then as a father.

And yet, in spite of all his failures, he is still referred to in the New Testament as “a man after God’s own heart, who will do all my will” (Acts 13:22).   He was admired as such because he was a lifelong repenter, and continued to humbly turn to the Lord and do His will.  In spite of his failures, in spite of his faults, and in spite of his sufferings, he continued to humbly turn to the Lord and remain committed to do His will.

As for those times when the Lord appears to delay, Charles Spurgeon wrote of a very special young man who loved the Lord Jesus very deeply, and yet during his short life he suffered greatly from intense pain. A remarkable statement was made about this young man by his own brother, that “One striking feature in his character was his holy fear of God and trusting submission to His will. In fact, one day I was reading a verse to him from the Psalms, ‘As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord careth for me; Thou art my helper and deliverer; O Lord, do not long tarry.’ And he said, ‘Mamma, I love that verse, all but the last bit, for it sounds like a murmur against God. And He never tarries in my case’.”  Oh what blessed trust!

William Jay once wrote, “He who thinks upon you is a God at hand, and not afar off. He has all events under His control, and is the God of all grace. If, therefore, He does not deliver immediately, it is not because He is unable, or that He does not care, but because he is waiting to be more gracious to you.”

The only way to maintain a new song of praise in your heart is by learning to trust the Lord, even when he delays!

 

“Lord, Give Us a New Song!”

21 Days of Prayer in Psalm 40, September 15

Day 21: On this final day of our 21 Days of Prayer let’s return to Psalm 40:3, where David says, “He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God! Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.”  

Have you ever known someone whose life was so beautifully changed by Christ, and their heart so filled with gratitude and joy, that they seemed to bless all those they interacted with? Isn’t this what all of us as Christians desire to be true of us?

Tomorrow is my family’s last Sunday at LFC, and we approach it with both great sorrow and joy. We struggle leaving such a loving church family and leaving our older adult children, and yet pursue the calling God has given us, knowing it will result in joy later, to many we hope. 

As my family and I prepare to be trained and move overseas, would you please pray for us? We are in great need of His grace as we go serve people who have lost so much.

  • Pray that we will be able to maintain and grow this new song in our hearts, trust the Lord with our own struggles, and focus on the needs of others.
  • Pray that we will be helped to embrace our new city and culture, learn to communicate well (in Arabic) with those around us, love well, and allow ourselves to be loved.
  • Pray that the Lord will give us caring friendships and a strong sense of community with others in the gospel.
  • Pray that we will share boldly of His grace, and that many will see the hope He’s given us and put their trust in the Lord!

Then pray for these things in your own life and for LFC in the days ahead!

Pray that He will put a new song in all our mouths, a song of praise to our God; so that many more will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord!