Monday 10 November, 2014

I love the dependence of the Psalmist here.  He starts in thanksgiving to God, remembering all God has done for them; then moves to petition asking God for restoration; then moves to anticipating salvation; then moves to hope.

How often do I find myself in this prayer filled flow where I need to recall all that God has done which reminds me of how far removed I have become from His will and purposes so I cry out for His restoration, His salvation and this again leads me to hope because I know the faithfulness of my Father in heaven.

I find this a natural flow in prayer and one that has enabled and empowered me often.  If you’re ever stuck in prayer then give it a go!!!

Father I want to thank You for Your faithfulness and love.  You are magnificent in all things and I come to You as the only hope of Salvation in every aspect of my life!

Written by Ps. Richard Botta

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Sunday 9 November, 2014

I have loved this psalm for many years & many verses have been my heart cry.

It speaks to me of finding a home, a place to belong, place of safety & security a place to be productive … I get this picture of this big huge place & yet intimate .. all within God.

We all long to belong somewhere to fit in to be loved … this Psalm shows me that God is that place. His dwelling place, His courts, His alter, His house, Him.

Whenever I feel like I don’t fit in or don’t belong I need to keep my eyes on Him as in Him I will always belong I will always find home and when I find that in Him I am strengthened & I can bring it to others .. Making those desolate places springs.

Father thank you for this beautiful psalm this encouragement of complete inclusive belonging in You.

Written by Suzie Hodgson

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Saturday 8 November, 2014

The psalmist is clearly frustrated by the ever encroaching enemies of God. He wants God to act. To sort it. The enemies are listed as Edomites and Ishmaelites; Moabites and Hagrites; Gebalites, Ammonites, and Amalekites; and people from Philistia and Tyre, Assyria too,  and the descendants of Lot. Asaph then goes on to suggest ways for God to deal with these enemies. Asaph gets more and more worked up and does not mince his words! Ultimately the Psalmist wants God’s enemies to acknowledge that the Lord alone is God and that he is supreme in all the earth.

Most of us at some point would have said to the Lord something to the effect, “Lord can’t you hear what they are saying can’t you see what they are doing and how it is affecting a certain person, family, organisation, church etc. it can’t go on… do something!” This is the same sentiment Asaph is expressing and most of us “get it!” A very passionate call for God’s intervention so that those that oppose the Lord will come to acknowledge him as the one true God, supreme over all. Being a New Testament believer I’m not sure about wanting God’s enemies being utterly disgraced, blown away, terrified forever etc. It may be a therapeutic read at times but we are called to love our enemies. Not sure that God needs my suggestions on how to deal with his enemies either. What this psalm does encourage me to do is to pray, to cry out on behalf of those that vehemently oppose the Christian faith. To pray for revelation and that people would experience the goodness of God.

Dear Lord, we pray that those who do not yet know you will learn that you alone are called the Lord, that you alone are the Most High, supreme over all the earth. Amen

Written by Ainslie Woods

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Friday 7 November, 2014

God’s idea of justice is amazing. He doesn’t protect the favoured or the powerful or those easy to look after, He wants to protect the unfavoured and those who have no power. He wants us to do the same. It’s important to remember that God notices when we help in perpetuating injustice.

Lord helps us to help You in Your plan for the world – to create a place where justice reigns. Remind us when we are not noticing what we should see.

Written by Therese Manning

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Thursday 6 November, 2014

What strikes me about this psalm are the things that God is calling his people to do in the first half of the psalm: These things are not difficult or onerous and seem like they would be joyful to participate in. Yet the people do not listen or obey and God mourns their disobedience.

Upon reflection, it becomes clear that these things are all worship- The thing that God really wants us to obey him in the most is to have all of our lives as worship! When I think about it, this sums up so many of the promises and commandments in the Bible for me. When I truly worship Him, obedience in all other areas becomes so much easier.

Lord help me to keep learning new ways of opening all areas of my life up in worship of You and help me also to be fully obedient in all areas of my life.

Written by Ps. Justin Ware

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Wednesday 5 November, 2014

This seems to be a psalm that would be sung at the point of repentance when the people recognise that they are separated from God and that when they are separated from Him all sorts of bad things happen – some caused by their enemies, some they attribute to God – and they can’t make things right on their own.

There’s a refrain that is repeated three times which the NIV translates as “Restore us, O God; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved”. Even though I repent I need God to restore me to a right place. And that depends on what Jesus did on the cross. I can’t do that myself.

But the NLT translates the first bit of that refrain as “Turn us again to yourself”. (The Hebrew word “shoo” here means both “return” (as in NIV) or “turn again” (as in NLT).) I found this phrase surprising at first. Surely it’s my responsibility to turn to God. But as I thought about it, I remembered that

  1. If I’m not in a right place in relation to God it’s not because he’s in the wrong place. Restoring me requires turning me around, moving me to where he is.
  2. One of the Holy Spirit’s jobs is to show me my sin (John 16:8) and it’s God who brings me to repentance (Romans 2:4, 2 Timothy 2:25). I can’t even do that on my own. I have to play my part in repenting but its God who brings me to that point.
  3. “Repentance” is literally changing my thinking. Romans 12:1-2 tells me to make myself a “living sacrifice” and to “be transformed by the renewing of my mind”. I need to actively be transformed (passive verb) – God and I need to make that repentance change of mind together. But that should have been obvious: doing it with Him rather than separately from Him is fundamental to that change from sin to son.

When I’m back in that right place, God’s face shines down upon me. Only then will I be saved. How good is that!

Father, renew my mind. Transform me from going my way to your way; from being separate to being with you; to face you as your face shines on me.

Written by David Cornell

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  1. Justin Ware says:

    At the moment, I am doing a 30 day devotional in The Bible App (by YouVersion) on prayer and my eyes have been opened further to the beauty of the psalms while going through this devotional. What strikes me about this psalm is that even though the writer recognises that they are in a bad way, they are not running from God, or bargaining with him (i.e. if you fix this God, I will come back to you). I know that when things don’t go as I would like, I do both of these things!

    As I read through more of the psalms, I am learning more about prayer and more about where my heart needs to go when times are tough- it is amazing how many of the psalms are written during hard times!

    Lord, change my heart to always seek you no matter what – and make it my instinct to seek you first.

    I love your words on this psalm David!

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Tuesday 4 November, 2014

This psalmist talks of a physical enemy and the pain of the defeat and death and dishonour of real people – God’s people. As I live on this side of amazing grace (post Jesus dying for my sins and rising in resurrection power) – I’m trying to find a relevant connection for me as I read it.

I’m called to love my enemies and pray for those who persecute me – but here the psalmist cries out for vengeance – payback!

2 things strike me

  1. God’s amazing grace through Jesus absolutely changes the way I relate to God and to people
  2. I have enemies – but they are not flesh and blood –
    1. they are powers are principalities (satan and his demons) and
    2. the echo of my old sinful nature – that once rebelled against God’s rule in my life

With these things in mind as I re-read the psalm I see a cry to God for justice and I am stirred to echo the words of the Lord’s Prayer: “May Your kingdom come may Your will be done here on earth as it is in heaven.”

Lord you have called me to love You and to love people. When I look around at the state of the world – there is much that requires Your justice. But I cry out to You not for vengeance or payback – I cry out to You for Your Kingdom to come here on earth – as it is in heaven – across the earth – across every nation. May Your kingdom come here in my life and in the lives of everyone one of us who call you Lord and may You establish Your peace and righteousness across the earth.

Written by Ps. Linda Quinn

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Monday 3 November, 2014

It’s good to look back. To remember what God has done in our lives. It’s important too to let the past strengthen our faith for the future. I need to say to myself “God answered my prayers and came through for me in this situation. I can trust Him for the next”. Somehow though I seem to forget.

Verse 53 is the key for me,

He kept them safe so they were not afraid

If I’m afraid it means I’ve forgotten the past. I need to stop and remind myself “wait a minute, God can do this – He came through for me before and He will do it again. I am His adopted son!  He will not let me down.”

Heavenly Father, you are awesome in your power and love. You command me “do not fear” and then say “because I am with you”. Help me always remember your past provisions and with faith step confidently into my future.


Written by Boudy Van Noppen

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Sunday 2 November, 2014

What I see in this Psalm is the writer is struggling to see God at work at all in their life. I love the honesty and the determined seeking of God, even in the grief and distress. It speaks to me of real, biblical tenacity. But what catches my attention most is how the psalmist moves to meditating on the extraordinary works that the Lord has already done.

It would appear to me that when we are in the middle of a crisis of faith, there are two things we must do before God. Be completely honest about our distress, and then tenacious in remembering the mighty things God has already done for us. That builds faith – you can feel the faith build in the Psalm as the psalmist declares the good things God has already done.

Lord, I find it very easy to get stuck meditating on my difficult situation. This Psalm calls me to honestly express my distresses and worries to you…and then boldly and with deep tenacity remember all the good you’ve already done. Help me to form this as my constant practice in Jesus name.

Written by Ps. Rob Waugh

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Saturday 1 November, 2014

There is so much on the news to cause people to fear; war, political instability, disease and natural disasters…. Yet we serve a God who is far more powerful than the strongest human-built weapon, a God who causes the earth to fear, a God whose strategy to unleash hope and life is truly unstoppable, a God who is greater than any leader and who halts opposition with a rebuke.

Lord, help me make your name and your greatness known in the places that I go. May people see that you are the one who enables and empowers us to act in the face of difficulty, to bring hope and practical solutions. Help me to focus on what I can do and to take steps of faith, trusting in you to do immeasurably more than all I can ask or imagine. Amen.

Written by Beth Waugh

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