Daily D – Psalm 143:8-10
Psalm 143:8-10 Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. Rescue me from my enemies, Lord; I run to you to hide me. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing. (NLT)
A friend is going through a tough time. The challenges he faces are huge. The emotional toll is steep.
It is easy to lose perspective during the hardest of hard times. It can be hard to know how to pray for yourself.
This psalm has been a favorite for close to thirty years. It reminds us how people like you, me, and my friend have always faced hard challenges. It also teaches how to pray during the worst of times.
David, the master songwriter of old, prayed, “Answer me because you are faithful and righteous,” (verse 1). He appealed to God’s nature and character. God is faithful. He never stops loving us. He never stops watching over us. He never stops providing for us. When the going got tough, David went to God who never ever says, “Stop bothering me.”
God is righteous. He always does what is right, just, fair, and compassionate. David took his problems to our righteous God. He told God about the unrighteous behavior of his oppressor (verse 3). Then he confessed how that made him feel.
I am losing all hope; I am paralyzed with fear.
I remember the days of old.
I ponder all your great works and think about what you have done.
I lift my hands to you in prayer.
I thirst for you as parched land thirsts for rain.
Not knowing how much more he could take, he prayed,
Come quickly, Lord, and answer me, for my depression deepens.
Don’t turn away from me, or I will die.
Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you.
Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you.
Rescue me from my enemies, Lord; I run to you to hide me.
Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. \May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.
It is worth remembering how David’s best days followed this prayer of pain and praise.
And so I could email this prayer to my friend and tell him to let it rip! I worked for King David; it will work for you! Singing sad songs to a weary soul is probably not the gift it seems.
Instead, I will take this psalm and pray it for my friend. As it has nurtured me day by day for all these many years, I will seek God’s faithful and righteous nature and character on behalf of my friend. I will trust God to do for my friend what he did for David, for me, and for generations of men, women, and young people who found themselves pressed to the limit of their personal resources.
Who do you know who doesn’t have a prayer? You have one for them. Feel free to employ it now and repeatedly. That’s what friends do.
I will pray for my friend with the words preserved for us across the millennia for moments like these.
Our Father, awaken my friend this morning with a clear realization of your unfailing love. Empower him to trust you for all he faces. Show him the way he should go. Rescue him from those who seek to harm him. Give him the wisdom to turn to you at every difficult turn. Teach him to do your will your way in your timing. May your gracious Spirit lead him forward on firm footing into better days than he could hope would ever happen. Amen.
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Romans 2:4 Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?
Acts 18:24-26 Meanwhile, a Jew named Apollos, an eloquent speaker who knew the Scriptures well, had arrived in Ephesus from Alexandria in Egypt. He had been taught the way of the Lord, and he taught others about Jesus with an enthusiastic spirit and with accuracy. However, he knew only about John’s baptism. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him preaching boldly in the synagogue, they took him aside and explained the way of God even more accurately.