In our own homes – let us pray to the Lord and let us praise the Lord.

‘How I love Your Temple, Almighty Lord! How I want to be there! I long to be in the Lord’s Temple. With my whole being I sing for joy to the living God’ (Psalm 84:1-2). 

Lord, we read this words, and we know that this is much more than paying lip-service to You. This is real. ‘I long for You, O God. I thirst for You, the living God; when I can go and worship in Your presence’ (Psalm 42:1-2).  

‘Let Your light and Your truth guide me… to the place where You dwell. Then will I go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight…’(Psalm 43:4).

Here, Lord, we meet a man who found great joy in worshipping You.

‘O God, You are my God, and I long for You. My whole being desires You… my soul is thirsty for You’(Psalm 63:1).

Here, Lord, we meet a man who worshipped You with his whole heart. This is real worship, joyful worship, heartfelt worship. Lord, help us to worship You like that!

“Sing aloud to God; shout for joy to the God of Jacob” (Psalm 81:1).

Teach us, Lord, to worship You with joy. You have blessed us in the past: “I am the Lord your God, who brings you out of the land of Egypt.” You will bless us in the future: “Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it” (Psalm 81:10). Help us, Lord, to thank You for Your past blessings, and to trust You for Your future blessings.

“We give thanks to You, O God … I will rejoice for ever, I will sing praises to the God of Jacob. Make your vows to the Lord your God, and perform them” (Psalm 75:1,9; Psalm 76:11).

Teach us, Lord, that true rejoicing in You is more than singing praise to You. Teach us to live what we sing. “Fill Thou our life, O Lord our God, in every part with praise.” “Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee.” Such words are not to be forgotten as soon as we leave the place of worship. They’re more than words for singing. They’re words for living. How, Lord, can we live a life of praise and consecration? – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

Lord, it’s so easy for us to lose our way – “my feet had almost stumbled.” We look at “the prosperity of the wicked”, and we become “envious of the arrogant” (Psalm 73:2-3). When others are forgetting about You, help us to keep on saying, “For me, it is good to be near God! – in “the sanctuary of God” (Psalm 73:28). When we leave the place of worship, help us to tell others what You “have done” for us. Help us to say to others, “O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His Name together” (Psalm 34:3).

‘I will sing of the Lord’s great love for ever; with my mouth I will make known Your faithfulness through all generations’ (Psalm 89:1).

Lord, we read these words from so long ago. Many generations have come and gone since these words were written. The years come and go. The centuries run their course. One generation gives way to another generation. Time moves on relentlessly. None of us can halt the march of time. Many changes have taken place over the course of time. We thank You, Lord, that there is something that has never changed – Your great love for us. As we think of Your great love, may we say, in our hearts – The Lord is to be praised ‘for ever.’ He is to be praised ‘through all generations.’ Help us to look back and remember that Jesus Christ was crucified for us, that He has risen for us. We thank You, Lord, for the Good News which inspires our praise: ‘I will sing of the Lord’s great love for ever…’

‘Lord, You have been our dwelling place throughout all generations… From everlasting to everlasting, You are God’ (Psalm 90:1-2). 

Lord, we read the words, ‘In the beginning, God…’, and we know, in our hearts, that You are ‘the eternal God’. You are ‘the high and exalted One’. You are the God ‘who inhabits eternity’. You are the God ‘who lives for ever’. You have no beginning. You have no end. You are ‘the beginning and the end’. Our life on earth has a beginning. It has an end. We trust in You, ‘the eternal God.’ We rejoice in Your precious promises – ‘The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms’; ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love’; ‘The free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord’ (Genesis 1:1; Deuteronomy 33:27; Isaiah 57:15; Revelation 21:6; Jeremiah 31:3; Romans 6:23).

Lord, You have “redeemed” us. You have brought “salvation” to us (Psalm 74:2,12). We rejoice in the Old Testament story of redemption (Deuteronomy 7:8). We have much greater joy, when we think of Jesus: “In Him we have redemption through His blood.” This is “the Gospel of our salvation.” It is “good news of a great joy.” Through faith in Him, we “rejoice with unutterable and exalted joy.” We look forward to “the salvation of our souls.” We say “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God” (Ephesians 1:7,13; Luke 2:10; 1 Peter 1:5,8-9; Revelation 19:1).

When, Lord, we’re asking the question, “Can God spread a table in the wilderness?” (Psalm 78:19), help us to hear Your answer: “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” At Your “table”, You bless us – “You anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows” (Psalm 23:5). Help us to come to Jesus, Your Son. He is our Saviour. Help us to come to His “table”, to drink from “the cup of salvation” and to be “anointed with the oil of gladness” (Psalm 116:7; Psalm 45:7).

Lord, You led Your people out of Egypt, through the desert and into Your “holy land” (Psalm 78:52, 42-43,51,54-55). You did great things for Israel. You do great things for us – “You restore our soul. You lead us in the paths of righteousness for Your Name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3). We thank You, Lord, for Your many blessings – “peace with God”, standing in Your “grace”, “our hope of sharing the glory of God”, “Your love poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit” (Romans 5:1-5).

Lord, we see the Psalmist ‘down in the dumps.’ He feels like he is ‘in the depths of the Pit.” He feels like he is ‘in the darkest depths’(Psalm 88:6). This is the way he feels, but he has not stopped praying – ‘O Lord, the God who saves me, day and night I cry out before You… I call to You, O Lord, every day… I cry to You for help, O Lord; in the morning my prayer comes before You’ (Psalm 88:1,9,13). Lord, we read his prayer – and it doesn’t make pleasant reading: ‘My soul is full of trouble… I am like a man without strength… Your wrath lies heavily upon me… the darkness is my closest friend’ (Psalm 88:3-4,7,18). How can we be helped when we feel like this? We thank You, Lord, that we can be helped by Jesus. He knows what it feels like. For us, He has entered the ‘darkness’- ‘My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?’. For us, He has triumphed – ‘risen from the dead’ (Matthew 27:45-46; 28:5-7). Thank You, Lord, for Jesus, our great Saviour.

Sometimes, Lord, we have more questions than answers (Psalm 77:7-9). The questions keep flooding into our minds. We wonder where the answers are going to come from. What, Lord, are we to do when this happens? We remember what You have done for us (Psalm 77:11-12). Help us, Lord, to look back over the “years” – and remember that Your “hand” has been upon us (Psalm 77:5,10). May the memories of Your many blessings fill us with strength – to face the future with confidence in You. Help us, Lord. to trust in You – and be truly happy.

‘You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you… Teach me Your way, O Lord, and I will walk in Your truth… I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart… For great is Your love towards me’ (Psalm 86:5,11-13).

Lord, You love us. You forgive our sins. We receive Your love. We want to love You more. Your love inspires our praise – ‘I will praise You…’. Your love inspires our prayer – ‘Teach me Your way…’. Our whole life is to be a celebration of Your love – ‘Great is Your love towards me’. We are to celebrate Your love with ‘joy’ (Psalm 86:4). We rejoice in You because of who You are – ‘You, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness’- and what You have done for us – ‘You, O Lord, have helped me and comforted me’ (Psalm 86:15,17).

So many people are turning away from You, Lord. They no longer worship You. We wonder, “Can things be turned around?” It would be so easy to give up and go the way of the world. “Help us, O God of our salvation” (Psalm 79:9) – to keep on praising You: “We, Your people, the flock which You shepherd, will give thanks to You forever. We will praise You throughout every generation” (Psalm 79:13).

“Restore us, O God, make Your face shine upon us, that we may be saved” (Psalm 80:3).

When, Lord, we come to You with the question of salvation – “What must I do to be saved?”, You come to us with Your answer – “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:30-31). In Christ, You have “blessed us with every spiritual blessing” (Ephesians 1:3). Thank You, Lord.

“A friend loves at all times” (Proverbs 17:17). Help us, Lord, to look beyond human love and human friendship. Help us to see Jesus. His love is the greatest love. He is our greatest Friend. Thank You, Lord, for Jesus. Thank You for His love. He’s our Forever Friend. May we know, in our hearts, that His love is ‘always and forever’ love.

Keep on praying for our troubled world – and don’t forget to thank God for answers to prayer.

____

Help us, Lord, to pray for revival – ‘Restore us again, O God our Saviour… Will You not revive us again that Your people may rejoice in You?’ (Psalm 85:4,6).

Help us to pray that You will ‘grant us Your salvation.’ Help us to pray that ‘Your saving presence will remain in our land’, that ‘Your glory may dwell in our land’ (Psalm 85:7,9).

Help us to pray for real listening – ‘I will listen to what God the Lord will say’- , a real turning to You – ‘turning to You in our hearts’- , and a real sense of Your blessing – ‘You will speak peace to Your people’ (Psalm 85:8). Teach us, Lord, that prayer for revival does not begin as a prayer for others. It begins with ourselves: ‘O Holy Ghost, revival comes from Thee; send a revival – start the work in me’. It begins with this prayer: “Lord, take my life, and make it wholly Thine; fill my poor heart with Thy great love divine.’

‘Glorious things are said of you, O city of God… The Lord will write in the register of the peoples: “This one was born in Zion”. As they make music they will sing, “All my fountains are in You”’ (Psalm 87:3,6-7).

We thank You, Lord, that the ‘city of God’ is our glorious destination – ‘we are looking for the city that is to come’, ‘the Holy City’ (Hebrews 13:14; Revelation 21:2). It is also the place of our heavenly birth – ‘This one was born in Zion’. The heavenly birth – This is where our journey to the ‘city of God’ begins: ‘No one can see the Kingdom of God without being born from above’ (John 3:3). Between our heavenly birth and our glorious destination, there is life in the Spirit: As we journey with You, in this life in the Spirit, may we thank You for the words of the Psalmist – ‘All my fountains are in You’ – and the promise of  Jesus:  ‘Rivers of living water shall flow from the heart of anyone who believes in Me’ (John 7:38).

“His Name shall endure for ever” (Psalm 72:17).

Lord, we read these words, and we think of Your Son, Jesus. His Name is “the Name above all other names.” He is “the King of kings and Lord of lords” (Philippians 2:9-11; Revelation 19:16).

“All nations shall call Him blessed” (Psalm 72:17).

We read these words, and, again, our thoughts turn to Jesus, our Saviour. “From every tribe and language and people and nation, “Your people have been redeemed by His precious blood” (Revelation 5:9).

“May His glory fill the whole earth!” (Psalm 72:19).

We read these words, and we rejoice in Jesus Christ, “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

Thank You, Lord, for Jesus. What a wonderful Saviour He is!

May God bless you all.

Charlie

2 thoughts on “In our own homes – let us pray to the Lord and let us praise the Lord.

  1. Pingback: In our own homes – let us pray to the Lord and let us praise the Lord. – Daily Devotional Readings

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