Pray First, Plan Afterwards

27 Jul

Psalm 31

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16

Faith and prayer go together. I think the phrase from What Happens When Women Pray by Evelyn Christenson, “Pray first, plan afterwards” is a great goal. We need to tune in to God’s will before we start anything and then have confidence that we’re going in the right direction. Often the outcome is not the exact one we imagined, but it will be the right one which our Father has ordained for us.

Psalm 31 is another of David’s psalms written when he was (again) in trouble. It is quite a mixture of elements:
Prayers full of cheerful confidence when he asks for help out of his present calamities
Complaints about his deplorable situation
Requests that God will “take care” of his enemies
Praises giving glory to God
Encouragement for himself and the reader to put all our trust in our Lord.
Not a bad recipe for prayer!

I encourage you to read this psalm in The Message. It has quite a different feel. I like the last verse: Be brave. Be strong. Don’t give up. Expect God to get here soon.

I have written some thoughts based on Psalm 31. Just another way of praying:

Always dear Lord, you give me refuge,
When I call upon your name
Be my rock, my strong fortress
Never let me be put to shame

Your face is my focus as I walk through life
Keep me safe and guide my path
Be my rock, my strong fortress
Keep me close, is one thing I ask

Into your hands I commit my spirit
Deliver me, my faithful God
You are my rock, my strong fortress
I will rejoice in you and be glad

You see the anguish of my soul
When times are hard and I feel low
Let your face shine on me
And lift me up so all can see
How faithful you are to those you love
Who bow before your holy throne
And freely call upon your name

Let others see my love
Expressed in all I say and do
You are my rock, my strong fortress
I will be strong, take heart
And place all my hope in You

Iris

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Our Hope, an anchor for our soul, firm and secure

18 Jun

Numbers 14 and Hebrews 6:13 – 7:10.

Both of these readings remind of God’s promises, our hope.

And the LORD said to Moses, “How long will this people despise me? And how long will they not believe in me, in spite of all the signs that I have done among them? 12 I will strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they.” Gulp! That is a big punishment! But it is followed by a big promise!

In Hebrews we read about God’s people being reminded of the same promise. Verse 14…“I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.”

God promised us our own blessing, Jesus, our Saviour. We see how God’s plan for his Son was put in place way back in the beginning. In Genesis 14 I was very interested to read about Melchizedek. His name means “king of righteousness” and he is referred to as “king of peace” and “priest of God Most High.” Abraham also gave Melchizedek a tithe offering, a tenth of everything. Who does this remind us of?

God’s covenant promises are sure and certain. We can see how they have been fulfilled. We have seen that Abraham’s descendant was indeed the promised Messiah. He is our king and priest, the “King of righteousness.”

Do we deserve to be blessed or do we deserve to be punished? We forget our faithful Father’s promises and complain when life doesn’t go to our plan. We are intolerant of others and not interested in building each other up. We keep our belongings to ourselves and not use them to promote God’s kingdom.

God is faithful and doesn’t change. He is compassionate and loving. Do I deserve to be punished? I surely do, but I know that my Saviour has already died for me. My hope is firm and secure. I have been forgiven, I am redeemed. It is well with my soul.

I pray that God’s Holy Spirit will convict each of us today as to how we can use our gifts and belongings to build each other up here in Figtree. I have a song flowing through my head as I write this. Enjoy!

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a right spirit within me.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence O Lord,
Take not your holy Spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of your salvation;
And renew a right spirit within me!

Iris

Our Hope – an anchor for our soul, firm and secure

17 Jun

Numbers 14 and Hebrews 6:13 – 7:10.

Both of these readings remind of God’s promises, our hope.

And the LORD said to Moses, “How long will this people despise me? And how long will they not believe in me, in spite of all the signs that I have done among them? 12 I will strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they.” Gulp! That is a big punishment! But it is followed by a big promise!

In Hebrews we read about God’s people being reminded of the same promise. Verse 14…“I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.”

God promised us our own blessing, Jesus, our Saviour. We see how God’s plan for his Son was put in place way back in the beginning. In Genesis 14 I was very interested to read about Melchizedek. His name means “king of righteousness” and he is referred to as “king of peace” and “priest of God Most High.” Abraham also gave Melchizedek a tithe offering, a tenth of everything. Who does this remind us of?

God’s covenant promises are sure and certain. We can see how they have been fulfilled. We have seen that Abraham’s descendant was indeed the promised Messiah. He is our king and priest, the “King of righteousness.”

Do we deserve to be blessed or do we deserve to be punished? We forget our faithful Father’s promises and complain when life doesn’t go to our plan. We are intolerant of others and not interested in building each other up. We keep our belongings to ourselves and not use them to promote God’s kingdom.

God is faithful and doesn’t change. He is compassionate and loving. Do I deserve to be punished? I surely do, but I know that my Saviour has already died for me. My hope is firm and secure. I have been forgiven, I am redeemed. It is well with my soul.

I pray that God’s Holy Spirit will convict each of us today as to how we can use our gifts and belongings to build each other up here in Figtree. I have a song flowing through my head as I write this. Enjoy!

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a right spirit within me.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence O Lord,
Take not your holy Spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of your salvation;
And renew a right spirit within me!

Iris