Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Praying Through God's Word: Ezra

Ezra 1:1-2:35
"Rebuild the House of the Lord" (Ezra 1:3). This, Lord, is what You're calling us to do. Who are You calling? Is it just a few 'special' people? - No! It's "all those whose spirits God had moved" (Ezra 1:5). Help us, Lord, never to say, "There's nothing for me to do." There's always something we can do. Help us to open our hearts to You, to lay our lives before You, and to do the work that You give us to do for You.

Ezra 2:36-3:13
At the heart of Your work, Lord, there is worship - "praising and giving thanks to the Lord" (Ezra 3:11). Help us to see the importance of worship. Nothing can take the place of worship. Where would we be without worship? Could we even begin to serve You? Help us, Lord, to come to You, with this heartfelt prayer: "I will worship You with all of my heart ... with all of my mind ... with all of my strength" (Jude Del Hierro).

Ezra 4:1-5:17 
Sometimes, Lord, we're so busy, looking at the opposition that we fail to see the opportunity. Sometimes, the opposition can have some success - "the work on the House of God came to a standstill" (Ezra 4:24). Whenever Satan attacks Your work, You raise up Your servants to keep the work going: "Zerubbabel ... arose and began to rebuild the House of God in Jerusalem (Ezra 5:2). When our heads go down, You will lift them up - and Your work will go on.

Ezra 6:1-7:28 
 Lord, Your work makes good progress when Your people receive strength from Your Word. It's Your Word that inspires us to keep on working for You. Your House is rebuilt, and Your people rejoice (Ezra 6:14-16). Help us, Lord, to turn, often - again and again - to Your Word. May Your Word lead us in the pathway of joyful obedience.

Ezra 8:1-36  
Lord, the return of Your people to Jerusalem was more than a geographical return. It was a spiritual return. Help us to return to You - and to seek Your blessing (Ezra 8:21). Without Your blessing, we are nothing. Help us to hold on to Your promise: "The hand of our God is for good upon all that seek Him" (Ezra 8:22).

Ezra 9:1-10:44
 Lord, the return of Your blessing comes with a real confession of our sin - "Our sins are higher than our heads and our guilt has reached to the heavens" (Ezra 9:6), You don't bless us because we deserve to be blessed. You bless us because You love us. This is where Your blessing comes from. It comes from Your love. Despite all of our sin, You encourage us to believe that You may yet "grant us some reviving to set up the House of our God" (Ezra 9:8-9).

Praying Through God's Word: Nehemiah

Nehemiah 1:1-2:18
When we have big problems, help us to remember that You are bigger than all of our problems. Where do our problems come from? they come from our sin. That’s our biggest problem. That’s no problem to You, Lord – “Christ has put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (Hebrews 9:26). Thank You, Lord, for Jesus. What a great Saviour He is!
Nehemiah 2:19-4:9
What are we to do when we encounter opposition? We’re seeking to serve You – and the enemies of Christ and His Gospel are making life difficult for us. Help us, Lord, to look to You. May we know, in our hearts and lives, the truth of Your Word: “The people who know their God will be strong” (Daniel 11:32).
Nehemiah 4:10-5:13
“Our God will fight for us” (Nehemiah 4:20). What tremendous encouragement there is in these wonderful words! We are not alone in our battle against Satan. You are with us – and You are stronger than Satan! When Satan attacks us, teach us, Lord, to take our stand on Your Word: “The Lord your God will go with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory” (Deuteronomy 20:4).
Nehemiah 5:14:6:19
What are we to do when we face those who are “scheming to harm” Your servants and Your work? We are to devote ourselves to Your work – and we are to pray for your strength (Nehemiah 6:2; Nehemiah 5:16; Nehemiah 6:9). When Satan, our great enemy, tries to pick an argument with us, help us to give him this answer: “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you” (Nehemiah 6:3). Help us, Lord, to keep on working for you – and to pray that “many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord” (Psalm 40:3).
Nehemiah 7:1-73
What kind of people are we? Are we “faithful and God-fearing” people? Lord, it is so easy to lose our way. We forget You – and we wander away from You. Draw us back to Yourself. Speak to us in love. Assure us that You haven’t given up on us. Let us know that “There’s a way back to God from the dark paths of sin.” Bring us to “Calvary’s Cross” – and let us begin again with You.
Nehemiah 8:1-9:5
What happens when Your people “gather together” (Nehemiah 8:1)? We hear Your Word (Nehemiah 8:2-3,8). We thank You for Your Son (Nehemiah 8:13-18; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26). We dedicate our lives to You (Nehemiah 9:2). We worship You (Nehemiah 9:5). Lord, help us to enter in, with all our hearts, to all that You promise to bring into our lives when we respond to Your gracious call: “Let us worship God.”
Nehemiah 9:6-38
What a great God you are – “You are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love” (Nehemiah 9:17). Your love is greater than our sin. We look at ourselves – and everything seems to be hopeless. We look to You - and everything changes. We see Your grace and Your mercy. Your love fills us with hope.When everything seems to be getting too much for us, we remember that Jesus died for us – and we rejoice: “His blood cleanses us from all sin” (1 Corinthians 15:3; 1 John 1:7).
Nehemiah 10:1-39
Lord, You’re calling us to commit our lives to You. At the heart of this commitment, there must be worship: “We will not neglect the House of our God” (Nehemiah 10:39). Help us to worship You. This is our reason for coming to Your House. We come to worship You. May our worship be more than words. Help us, Lord, to give ourselves to You
Nehemiah 11:1-12:30
Our lives lay in ruins until You put us together again. You call us to build our lives on Christ (Matthew 7:24-27). Help us, Lord, to come to You, again and again – confessing our sin, receiving Your forgiveness, building on Christ, our Saviour. When we feel ourselves being pulled away from You, help us to choose Christ. May we choose to be holy. May we choose the way of blessing, the way that brings glory to You.
Nehemiah 12:31-13:31
“Songs of praise and thanksgiving to God” (Nehemiah 12:46) – Where does the song of praise come from? It comes from You: “God had given them great joy” (Nehemiah 12:43).You look  at the way we are living – and what do You see? “Why is the House of God forsaken?” (Nehemiah 13:11). Does it have to be this way? Is there not a better way? Can we stop forgetting You – and start remembering You? Can we rise above our failure – and be lifted up into Your victory? Help us to keep on believing that You have not abandoned us. You have not turned Your back on us. You still love us> Let Your love come to us – and fill us with Your joy.

Praying Through God's Word: Proverbs

Proverbs 1:1-7
Lord, help us to be doers of Your Word. Hearing Your Word is easier than doing Your Word. We hear what You’re saying to us – but do we do what You’re telling us to do? This is the great question we must always ask ourselves. It’s the great question that You’re always putting to us. It’s a question that calls for an answer – ‘Not my will but Yours be done’ (Matthew 26:39).

Proverbs 1:8-19
Lord, when Satan comes, we are very weak. We need a strength which is not our own. We need Your strength. Your strength – this is the strength against which Satan cannot stand. Lord, help us to take our stand against Satan. Help us to stand in Your strength.

Proverbs 1:20-33
Lord, help us to win others for You. You've called us to be Your witnesses. How can we be Your witnesses - when there is so much about us that is unworthy of You, so much that speaks so loudly of ourselves, so little that proclaims the amazing grace of Jesus? Lord, we thank You that, along with this high calling - "you shall be My witnesses", you give to us Your wonderful promise: "you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you" (Acts 1:8).

Proverbs 2:1-15
Lord, help us to grow in Christ. Help us to go often to Your Word. There, we will find strong warnings and precious promises. Help us to heed the warnings and trust the promises - to grow in Christ.

Proverbs 2:16-34
Lord, we love to hear Your promises of love. Sometimes, we need to hear Your words of warning. In Your warnings, we hear the voice of Your love. In Your love, You're calling us back from a way that will do us great harm. You call us into a better way - the way of Your great salvation. Lord, when we are being pulled away from You, bring us back to Yourself. Speak to us with Your Word of warning, the Word that calls us back so that we can move forward with You and for You. When we don't want to hear it - That's when we most need to hear it. Speak to us, O Lord, and help us to listen. "How shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?" (Hebrews 2:3).

Proverbs 3:1-18
Lord, we want everything to go smoothly - but that's not what You've promised us! Your way can seem like a long and winding road - but it's better to be facing problems, as we walk with You on the pathway of holiness, than to be having an easy time of it because we've stopped standing up for You.

Proverbs 3:19-35
Lord, our faith is often put to the test. Soon, we become aware that our faith is very weak. When we start to feel that our faith is so weak, help us to remember something - Our God is always strong. With You, as our God, we go from strength to strength. It's not our own strength. It's Your strength.

Proverbs 4:1-9
Thank You, Lord, that You do not keep Your distance from us. In Your Son, Jesus, our Saviour, You have come to us. This is more than "From a distance, God is watching us." From a distance, You have come to us. Help us to come to You. Help us to know that you are near to us.

Proverbs 4:10-19
There are times, Lord, when it seems like the light have gone out, and we can see nothing - nothing but darkness. When this happens to us, help us to catch a glimpse of the brightest light of all - the light of Your love. This is the light which will never go out. It is not our faith that lifts us out of the darkness. It's Your love - the love that we see in Jesus, in His dying for us, His rising for us and His returning for us.

Proverbs 4:20-27
When we feel like giving up, Lord, help us to keep our eyes fixed on Your Son, Jesus. He is our Saviour. He'll give us the strength that we need to keep on walking with You in the way of faith. He'll give us the strength that we need to keep on living in obedience to Your Word. We are often weak. He is always strong. When we feel like we can't go on, when all of our love has gone, help us to remember the love of Jesus: "Jesus loves me! He will stay, close beside me all the way; He will always be my Friend, and His love will never end."

Proverbs 5:1-14
Lord, we are so easily entangled in the ways of the world. We try to disentangle ourselves - but we can't do this by ourselves. we need Your power. We need Your love. It's Your love that changes everything. It's Your power that makes us new. Show us Your love. Show us Your power. May Your love lift us out of our sin. May Your power lead us in the way of Your salvation.

Proverbs 5:15-23
We thank You, Lord, for the love of Jesus. There is no love like the love He has for each and every one of us. Before we ever thought of loving Him, He loved us. Before we were even born, He gave Himself, in death, for us. What a wonderful love! It's the greatest love of all.

Proverbs 6:1-15
What is our opinion of ourselves? Is it the same, Lord, as Your opinion of us? You see as we really are - sinners. That's not all that You see. You see something else, something that fills us with hope for the future. You don't write us off as hopeless cases. You see us as sinners, saved by grace. It's Your grace that makes the difference. It's Your grace that changes us.

Proverbs 6:16-35
Lord, Your Word is our "lamp" and "light" (Proverbs 6:23; Psalm 119:105). Your Word shows us the ways we are to avoid - and it shows us the way we are to follow: Your way, the way of obedience and blessing. Help us, Lord, to watch how we live, to take care that we do not drift away from You, to keep on choosing Your way, the way that brings glory to You.

Proverbs 7:1-27
You teach us, Lord, "to distinguish good from evil" (Hebrews 5:14). Show us the wrong way so that we can avoid it. Show us the right way so that we can choose it. Often, Lord, we know what is right but we don't do what's right. We need the power that comes from You. Without the power of the Holy Spirit, we fail, over and over again. With the Holy Spirit, living in us, we are learning to choose the good way of living, the way that pleases You and brings glory to You.

Proverbs 8:1-36
We seek, Lord, for the way of wisdom - and we find that it is also the way of happiness (Proverbs 8:32-34). The world seeks happiness in wealth. Your Word teaches us that wisdom is better than "silver, gold and jewels" (Proverbs 8:10-11). How are we to find wisdom? We find wisdom when we find Jesus. He is our Wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:30). He is also our Joy. When this world is getting us down, He says to us, "Be of good cheer. I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).

Proverbs 9:1-18
Lord, You come to us with bread and wine. You come to us in Jesus, our Saviour. You come to us in love. You show us how much You love us. There is no love like Your love for us. It's the best love. It's the greatest love. It's love "so amazing." It's love "so divine." Thank You, Lord, for Your wonderful love.

Proverbs 10:1-22
There is a wise way of living - and there is a foolish way. We're always being pulled away from the wise way. We're always being dragged into the way of foolishness. Sometimes, Lord, we don't need much persuasion to turn away from following You. Our hearts are already drifting away from You - before Satan comes with his subtle - yet strong - temptations. Help us, Lord, to choose the "way that leads to life" - and not the "way that leads to destruction" (Matthew 7:13-14). Help us to choose Jesus, our Saviour. Help us to know that, in Him, we have the forgiveness of sins, given to us as Your gift of grace; the power of the Holy Spirit, enabling us to live for You; and eternal life, being prepared for us in Your heavenly glory.

Proverbs 10:23-11:11
"With his mouth the godless man would destroy his neighbour" (Proverbs 11:9). Lord, this is straight talking - from Your holy Word. We need to hear this kind of thing. It keeps us on the right track. It keeps us from going off the rails. When, Lord, we're tempted to speak words that will hurt other people, help us remember Your Word to us: "The tongue is a fire ... With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse men ... this ought not to be so" (James 3:6-10). Help us, Lord, to keep quiet - or end up saying, I wish I had never said that - It's better to 'put a zip on it' than to 'put our foot in it'. When we have nothing good to say, help us to say nothing at all.

Proverbs 11:12-31
Lord, You're calling us to win others for You. You're calling us to share Your love with them. You're calling us to bring Jesus to them. Help us, Lord, not to keep Your Good News to ourselves. Help us to pray, "Here I am, wholly available - as for me, I will serve the Lord" (Chris Bowater).

Proverbs 12:1-14
Lord, show us the way we are to go: "The root of the righteous stands firm" (Proverbs 12:12) - and the way we are not to go: "He who follows worthless pursuits has no sense" (Proverbs 12:11). Does it make any sense to follow "worthless pursuits", when we can be "filled with all the fullness of God"? You show us the most sensible way to live: "Let Christ dwell in your heart through faith" (Ephesians 3:17-21). You direct our attention to Jesus, who is "the Way" (John 14:6) - the Way to life and the Way of life.
Proverbs 12:15-28 
What harm can be done by “reckless words” (Proverbs 12:18)! Lord, teach us to take care how we speak. Help us to remember that we are Your witnesses. We have a testimony to maintain. Teach us that there is a better way than the way of “lying lips” (Proverbs 12:22). Help us, Lord, to bring “glory” to You, as we keep on confessing our faith: “Jesus Christ is Lord” (Philippians 2:11).
Proverbs 13:1-11
“The light of the righteous rejoices” (Proverbs 13:9). We thank You, Lord, that Jesus is our Light. He’s “the Light of the world” (John 8:12). In Him, we rejoice (Romans 5:11 – “the blood Of Jesus, Your Son, cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). We thank You that, through Jesus, You have “called us out of darkness into Your marvellous light” (1 Peter 2:9). When, Lord, we’re going through hard times, help us to see the light at the end of the tunnel – “the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:6-9).
Proverbs 13:12-25
What, Lord, do we do with Your Word? How do we respond to Your Word? Do we respect Your Word? Do we despise Your Word? There’s a right way and a wrong way of hearing Your Word (Proverbs 13:13). Teach us, Lord, to turn from the wrong way, and to turn to the right way (Proverbs 29:1; Psalm 19:7-14).
Proverbs 14:1-19
“A perverse man will be filled with the fruit of his ways, and a good man with the fruit of his deeds” (Psalm 14:14). Lord, You speak to us about two kinds of fruit – good fruit and bad fruit. How are we to have good fruit in our lives? We need Your Word (Psalm 1:1-3). We need Your Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). Help us, Lord, to throw away our bad fruit – “strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness … ” – and enjoy Your good fruit – “love, joy, peace … ” (Galatians 5:19-24).
Proverbs 14:20-35
“Righteousness lifts up a nation, but sin is a disgrace in any society” (Proverbs 14:34). Lord, we wonder about the future. Can times of blessing come again to our nation? Yes! They can – but there needs to be a big change in our way of thinking and our way of living. There needs to be less “This is what we think”, and more, “What is the Lord saying to us?” There needs to be less, “Look at what I’ve done”, and more “This is what the Lord has done for us.” Lord, we pray for a revival – a revival of looking to You, listening to you, learning from You and living for You.
Proverbs 15:1-33
“The path of life leads upward for the wise” (Proverbs 15:24). Where, Lord, does wisdom come from? It comes from Jesus. We look to Him, and we are led in the way that leads to the “Father’s House” (John 14:2-3,6). “Better is a little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble with it” (Proverbs 15:17). We thank You, Lord, that Jesus teaches us the way to live wisely: “Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:20). “The lips of the wise spread knowledge” (Proverbs 15:7). We thank You, Lord, that Jesus is our Wisdom” (1 Corinthians 1:30). Help us to “confess with our lips that Jesus is Lord” (Romans 10:9).
Proverbs 16:1-17
“Wisdom is better than gold” (Proverbs 16:16). Where, Lord, will we find wisdom? Your Word tells us that Jesus Christ is “our Wisdom” (1 Corinthians 1:30). When we find Him, we find wisdom. Jesus says to us, “Seek, and you will find” (Matthew 7:7). Set us free from the idea that we already know what wisdom is before we start looking for it. Help us to go to looking for Jesus – and to find that He was already looking for us before we started looking for Him. We thank You, Lord, that, when Jesus finds us, we find the “wisdom” which “is better than gold.”
Proverbs 16:18-33
Help us, Lord, to think about the way we’re living. Is it a self-centred life? – “There is away which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 16:25). Is it a God-centred life? – “He who gives heed to the Word will prosper, and happy is he who trusts in the Lord” (Proverbs 16:20). Help us, Lord, to turn from the world’s way of living – “the wages of sin is death.” Help us to choose Your way, the way that leads to eternal life – “the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
Proverbs 17:1-12
What kind of people are we to be? What kind of life are we to live? Lord, You’re calling us to live a life of “love” (Proverbs 17:9). How, Lord, do we learn what love is? – We learn from You. You show us what love is – “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son … ” (John 3:16). In Jesus, we see perfect love – “The Son of God loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). The Holy Spirit fills our lives with Your love – “The fruit of the Spirit is love” (Galatians 5:22). Help us, Lord, to live a Godly, Christlike, Spirit-filled life – a life of love.

Praying Through God's Word: Psalms

Psalm 1:1-6
Lord, we thank You that Your way is the best way. It’s ‘make up your mind’ time. Every day, we must make up our mind – Will it be the way of the world? Will it be the way of the Word? It cannot be both. It must be one or the other.
Lord, help us to choose Your way. Help us to keep on choosing Your way. May we always know, in our hearts, that Your way is the best way.

Psalm 2:1-12
We thank You, Lord, for Jesus Christ - Your Son, our Saviour. What a great Saviour He is! When we think of Jesus, may our hearts be filled with true and lasting joy. We search for happiness - but we don't find it. Why? - Because we look in the wrong place. We look within ourselves. What do we find? - An emptiness which keeps on gnawing away at us, 'There must be more than this.' There is. There's Jesus. He changes our focus. We start looking less at ourselves and more at Him. We see that real happiness - true and lasting joy - doesn't come from within ourselves. It comes from Jesus - "Hallelujah! I have found Him ... Through His blood I now am saved."

Psalm 3:1-6
Lord, we are surrounded by so many enemies. They are Your enemies, enemies of Your Gospel, enemies of Your truth, What are we to do? What can we do? Left to ourselves, we are helpless. Our situation is hopeless - until You come to us with Your love and Your power. You assure us that You love us. You are with us and You lead us in the pathway of holiness and victory. You lead us on the pathway that brings glory to You.

Psalm 4:1-8
Lord, we thank You that You answer the sinner's prayer. Jesus is Your Answer. He is our Saviour. He is the Gospel Answer. He is the Good News that we need to hear. He is the Good News of Your amazing love. He is the Good News of Your saving power. Lord, we thank You for Jesus - our wonderful Saviour.

Psalm 5:1-12
Lord, without Your help, we are nothing and we can do nothing. We need You, Lord. We can never be what You call us to be if we don't come to You and receive strength from You. We come to You in our weakness. It is the weakness of our sin. We come to receive Your strength. It is the strength of Your salvation.

Psalm 6:1-10
Lord, help us not to get bogged down in what's happening to us right now. Help us to lift up our eyes and see Jesus. Help us not only to see Him as a figure from the past - a man who lived a long time ago. Help us to see Him as the Lord who is coming to us from the future, coming to us from the glory, coming to us from from heaven, coming with His salvation, coming to establish Your eternal Kingdom.

Psalm 7:1-7
Sometimes, Lord, we feel like we're in a deep, dark hole. We don't want to be in this place - but we are! Help us to know that You're there with us. You're not there to blame us for getting into this mess. You're there to assure us that there is hope.

Psalm 8:1-9
Lord, we thank You that You don't keep Your distance from us. You come near to us. You show us Your love. You give us Your peace. You fill our hearts with Your joy. You lead us forward with hope. Thank You, Lord.

Psalm 9:1-20
“I will give thanks to You, Lord, with all my heart …My enemies turn back; they stumble and perish before you . The Lord reigns forever … The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble” (Psalm 9:1,3,7,9).
We give thanks to You, Lord. Where does our thanksgiving begin? It begins with thinking. We think - and we thank. We think about what You have done for us. We thank You for what You have done for us.
We thank You, Lord, that we have the victory in Christ. When Satan attacks us, help us to remind him that Jesus is Lord. Help us to tell him, “Jesus is my Saviour – and He’s a lot stronger than you are!” We thank You, Lord, that Satan – our determined enemy – is also our defeated enemy. He’s been defeated by Jesus – and Jesus gives His victory to us! When Satan to us, “I’m stronger than you are”,  help us to answer him with Your Word: “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).

Psalm 10:1-18
Lord, when it feels like You've forgotten us, help us to see the truth as it really is. We have forgotten You. We've taken our eyes off You - and now everything's out of focus. There's a blurring of our vision. Lord, take us to the Cross of Jesus. Show us that we're not forgotten. We're remembered. 

Psalms 11:1-13:6
We thank You, Lord, that You have opened up for us a great future. What glory awaits us in Your eternal Kingdom. What encouragement this gives to us when we're going through a hard time! Help us, Lord, to lift up our eyes, to catch a glimpse of Your glory, to be changed by Your glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). Help us to "turn our eyes upon Jesus", to "look full in His wonderful face." As we look upon Jesus, may "the things of earth grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace."

Psalms 14:1-15:5
When our faith is being sorely tested, help us, Lord, to turn to You. Help us to know that, through it all, You are there with us - suffering with us, leading us into Your joy. Teach us, in our suffering, to wait for the day when You will "restore our fortunes", when You will answer our prayer: "O that salvation ... would come", when we will, again, "rejoice" and be "glad" in You (Psalm 14:7).

Psalm 16:1-11
True and lasting joy comes from You, Lord. This joy doesn't depend on good things happening to us. Even when bad things are happening to us, this joy, Your joy, is still there - because You are still there. You're with us - and You're for us. The world cannot give this joy to us. Joy is Your gift. The world cannot take this joy away from us. Whatever happens to us, there's one thing that never changes - You are our God. This is where our joy comes from. It comes from Your faithfulness. Help us to remember this - especially when everything seems to be pulling us away from You.

Psalm 17:1-15
Lord, we long for a closer walk with You. Sometimes, Lord, we take our eyes off Jesus, our Saviour - and we wander far away from You. Always, You are calling us back to Yourself. In love, You wait for us to return to You. You call us to make a new beginning with You.

Psalm 18:1-24
Lord, You are "our strength, our rock, our fortress, our deliverer, our shield and the horn of our salvation, our stronghold (Psalm 18:1-2). What more can we ask for? You are all that we need - and more! Help us, Lord, not to stagger along in our own strength when You're calling us to stand in Your strength and march on with You to victory (Ephesians 6:13). Our own strength isn't strength. It's weakness. Your strength is the only true strength. We are strong when we stand upon Your gracious promise - "My grace is sufficient for you. My strength is mad e perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Psalm 18:25-50
We thank You, Lord, for Your salvation and Your victory. Help us to walk with You in salvation and victory, obeying Your command - "Clothe yourselves in humility", heeding Your warning - "God opposes the proud", and trusting Your promise - He "gives grace to the humble" (1 Peter 5:5).

Psalm 19:1-14
Lord, You're always speaking to us. Every day and every night,You speak to us through Your created world. You prepare us for hearing the voice of Jesus, Your living Word. He speaks to us through the Scriptures, Your written Word. Help us, Lord, to become aware of Your presence, to listen to the voice of Jesus - calling us to come to You, and to receive new life, as we put our trust in Jesus, our Saviour.

Psalms 20:1-21:13
“We trust in the Name of the Lord our God...Through the unfailing love of the Most High’ we ‘shall not be moved” (Psalms 20:7; 21:7). Lord, we thank You that You are a solid rock for our faith. You are the only solid rock for our faith. Without You, Lord, the foundations are shaking. We're about to collapse. You pick us up. we're broken in pieces. You put us together again. Our life is going nowhere. You give us a new sense of direction. Without this input from You, our lives are empty. Everything we do is futile. When You are there with us, everything changes. It's Your love that makes the difference. It's Your love that changes us. Thank You, Lord, for Your love.
When our future seems so uncertain, help us, Lord, to put our trust in You. Help us to remember Your Son, Jesus. Help us to remember that He is our Saviour. When we fear the worst, may we always remember that our Saviour is absolutely trustworthy and completely dependable. When our love for Him seems so weak, may we remember that His love is never weak. It’s always strong. When we fail Him, may we remember that He will never fail us. His love is an unfailing love. When we’re feeling down, may the love of Jesus lift us up. When we don’t feel like singing, may we look to You to fill our hearts with praise to You.

Psalm 22:1-18
"My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?" (Psalm 22:1). This was the Psalmist's prayer. Often, it's our prayer - it's the way we feel, even if we don't actually speak the words! More than that, it was our Saviour's prayer (Matthew 27:46|). On the Cross, "our sin was laid on Him" (Isaiah 53:6). When we're suffering, help us to see Jesus - suffering for us. Help us to see Him - risen, exalted and returning for us. Help us to say, "Thank You, Lord. I am not forsaken. I am forgiven."

Psalms 22:19-23:4
We thank You, Lord, for Jesus Christ, our great Saviour. He died for us. He was raised from the dead for us. He is coming again for us. We think of all that He has done for us, and we say, "Hallelujah! What a Saviour!"

Psalm 23:1-6
Sometimes, we nibble at our food. We don’t feel like eating. We’re off-colour. Often, Lord, we’re like that with Your Word. We could be enjoying a feast – but we’re not! We’re too easily satisfied. There’s no real hungering and thirsting for Your life-giving Word. Lord, give us more hunger for You. Fill us with a deeper desire for Your presence and Your blessing. Help us to feast on Your Word – the Word of life, the Word which we need so much, the Word which leads us into all the blessing that You want so much to give to us.

Psalms 23:5-24:10
Lord, we thank You that You are preparing a wonderful future for us. It's glory with You. It's eternal life: "I shall dwell in the House of the Lord forever" (Psalm 23:6). Fill our hearts, O Lord, with resurrection hope - the true and living hope, the sure and steadfast hope that comes from knowing You, the God who has raised Your Son, the God who raises us up, with Jesus, to everlasting life.

Psalm 25:1-22
Knowing You, Lord, is more important than knowing a lot about this, that and the other subject. Where does the best education from? It comes from You. You teach us about the things that really matter. you teach us about eternal things. You teach us what life is really all about. You are "the God of our salvation." You "lead us in Your truth" - the truth that changes us, the truth which inspires us to become all that You want us to be (Psalm 25:5).

Psalm 26:1-27:12
"Your love is ever before me, and I will walk continually in Your truth" (Psalm 26:3). Lord, it's Your love for us that inspires our loyalty to You. You love us. This is what makes us want to walk with You. In Your love, You lead us in the way of Your salvation. We don't begin with walking with You. We begin with worshipping You. We celebrate Your love for us, and we receive Your strength - strength for living the new life, the life that brings glory to You.

Psalms 28:1-29:11
Lord, You are "the strength of Your people." May each of us say, "You are my strength" (Psalm 28:7-8). Your strength comes to us through fellowship. We receive strength from others, and we give strength to them. Your strength is more than human strength - the strength that comes to us through fellowship. It is the strength which comes to us through faith - faith in You, our Lord and our God. 
"The Lord is my strength ... The Lord is the strength of His people" (Psalm 28:7-8). We come to You, Lord, in prayer - when we're on our own, and when we're gathered together with other worshippers. As we pray, You give us Your strength. It is the strength which comes to us from Your Word. We grow strong, as we listen for "the voice of the Lord" (Psalm 29:3-9). Teach us, Lord, that we need more than human words. We need Your Word: "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4).

Psalm 30:1-12
“I will exalt You, O Lord” (Psalm 30;1). Lord, You are not exalted because we exalt You. We exalt You because You are exalted. How do we come to the point where we exalt You? We realize our need of You – “when You hid Your face, I was dismayed” (Psalm 30:7). We look to You for mercy – “To You, O Lord, I called; to the Lord, I cried for mercy” (Psalm 30:8). You hear and answer our prayer – “You turned my wailing into dancing. You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy” (Psalm 30:11). You call us to worship You – “Sing praises to the Lord, O you His saints, and give thanks to His holy Name” (Psalm 30:4). Help us, Lord, to worship You: “O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever” (Psalm 30:12).

Psalm 31:1-24
“Into Thy hand, I commit my spirit” (Psalm 31:5). As we read these words, Lord, our thoughts turn to Jesus Christ, crucified for us. In death, He gave Himself for our sins (Luke 23:46). Beyond His “affliction and the anguish of His soul”, there was the “spacious place” of His resurrection – and there was, for us, “eternal salvation” (Psalm 31:7-8; Hebrews 5:7-9). Lord, we look to Jesus, our crucified Saviour, and we say, “Praise be to the Lord, for He showed His wonderful love to us” (Psalm 31:21). We thank You for Jesus, our risen Lord. In Him, we are  “strong and our hearts take courage” (Psalm 31:24).
Psalm 32:1-11
We come to You, Lord, with our sin. You come to us with Your forgiveness. What a tremendous blessing this is – the forgiveness of our sins (Psalm 32:1-2). You give Your promise to us: “If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). We bring our prayer to You: “I make my sins known to You, and I did not cover up my guilt. I decided to confess them to You, O Lord. Then You forgave all my sins” (Psalm 32:5).
Psalm 33:1-22
“Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous” (Psalm 33:1). Lord, we have so many reasons for rejoicing in You. You have opened Your heart to us (Psalm 33:11). You have shown Your love to us (Psalm 33:5). Help us to trust in Your Word, and rest in Your faithfulness (Psalm 33:4). We rejoice in “Your unfailing love” (Psalm 33:20,22).
Psalm 34:1-22
Lord, we rejoice in Your salvation (Psalm 34:4-6). We say, “I will bless the Lord at all times” (Psalm 34:1). Help us to bring others with us, calling on them to worship You, with joy (Psalm 34:3,8). Help us to share Your Word with them (Psalm 34:11), and to lead them on to spiritual maturity (Psalm 34:14; Hebrews 5:14).
Psalm 35:1-28
“Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me!” (Psalm 35:1). When, Lord, we feel that we are under pressure from the unbelieving world, help us to remember the words of Jesus: “In the world, you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Help us to rejoice in Your victory (Romans 8:31; 1 Corinthians 15:57). Help us to say, from our hearts, “I will thank Thee … I will praise Thee … all day long” (Psalm 35:18,2,8).
Psalm 36:1-12
We thank You, Lord, for “Your steadfast love” (Psalm 36:5,7,10). Your love is the best love. It’s the greatest love of all. Your love is very wonderful. We rejoice in Your love. We are amazed at Your love. We look at Jesus, Your Son, crucified for us, and we say, “Amazing love, how can it be that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?” Jesus died for us. Now, He lives in us. In love, You are leading us on into Your future – on to “fullness of joy in YOur presence” (Psalm 16:11).
Psalm 37:1-40
Lord, You tell us that “those who trust in You … will dwell in the land”, and those who turn from  You will “£perish” (Psalm 37:3,20). You’re calling us on to “a heavenly country” (Hebrews 1:16). It will be better than anything we’ve ever known here on earth. You’ve shown us the way to this heavenly country. Jesus is the Way. He opens the door for us – and He will welcome us. Help us, Lord, to trust in Jesus, our Saviour, now – and to look forward to being welcomed by Him into Your eternal Kingdom.
Psalm 38:1-22
“My guilt  has overwhelmed me. Like a heavy load, it is more than I can bear” (Psalm 38:4). What, Lord, are we to do when things seem to be going from bad to worse? What are we to do when everything seems to be falling apart? When, Lord, we are “completely devastated” and our “heart is in turmoil” (Psalm 38:8), help us to join with the Psalmist in saying, “I wait with hope for You, O Lord” (Psalm 38:15).
Psalm 39:1-13
Some live to a ripe old age. Others die young. What are we to make of this? What, Lord, are You saying to us about this? We read what the Psalmist says, “My life span is nothing compared with Yours” (Psalm 39:5). Help us, Lord, to think about the quality of our living – “How am I living?” as well as the quantity of our years. “How long have I lived?” Teach us that life is not only about survival – living for a long time. It’s also about revival – living in the light of eternity. Help us to put “our hope in You” (Psalm 39:7), and to live as “citizens of heaven,” who are looking forward to the return of our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20).
Psalm 40:1-17
Lord, we thank You for Your gifts – salvation, security, singing and sharing. You have saved us – “He drew me up from the desolate pit … ” (Psalm 40:1). You give us security – You “set my feet on a rock, making my feet secure” (Psalm 40:1). You give to us “a new song … a song of praise to our God” (Psalm 40:3). You give us something wonderful to share with other people – “I have not hidden Thy saving help within my heart, I have spoken of Thy faithfulness and Thy salvation … ” (Psalm 40:10). Thank You, Lord.
Psalm 41:1-13
When everything seems to be going wrong, help us, Lord, not to forget about You. Things will only get worse, if we turn away from You. Help us to turn to You, and receive help from You. Give us the strength that we need to say, with confident faith, “My enemy has not triumphed over me” (Psalm 41:1). Help us to rejoice in You, Lord, and to say, from our hearts, “Blessed is the Lord .. ” (Psalm 41:13).

Psalm 42:1-11
Lord, help us to move beyond the shallow waters – to move, with You, into the deeper waters of Your love and Your blessing. We think of deep water – and we think of danger. Yes! There is danger – but there is also something else. You are with us – and You assure us that, though the dangers are great, You are greater than they are! Lord, lead us into the deeper waters – not with fear of the dangers, but with expectation of Your blessing!
Lord, help us to move beyond the shallow waters – to move, with You, into the deeper waters of Your love and Your blessing. We think of deep water – and we think of danger. Yes! There is danger – but there is also something else. You are with us – and You assure us that, though the dangers are great, You are greater than they are! Lord, lead us into the deeper waters – not with fear of the dangers, but with expectation of Your blessing!
We ask the question – “Why are you downcast, O my soul?” You give us Your answer: “Put your hope in God” (Psalm 42:5,11; Psalm 43:5). Often, Lord, our minds are so full of our questions that we fail to hear Your answers. Help us to stop talking and start listening – “Speak, for Your servant is listening” (1 Samuel 3:8-10). It’s Your Word that brings us out of our darkness, and into Your light. – “Send forth Your light and Your truth, let them guide me … ” (Psalm 43:5).
Psalm 44:1-26
Victory comes from You, Lord. In ourselves, we are defeated. In You, there is victory. It’s so easy to forget this. We take our eyes off You, and we get despondent – “You have rejected and humbled us …You have made us retreat before the enemy … You gave us up to be devoured like sheep … My disgrace is before me all day long … ” (Psalm 44:9-16). What are we to do when such negative thoughts fill our minds? Lord, help us to pray, “Awake, O Lord! … Rise up and help us; redeem us because of Your unfailing love” (Psalm 44:23,26).
Psalm 45:1-17
We thank You, Lord, that Jesus is “the most excellent of men” (Psalm 45:2). He is much more than that. We look at Jesus Christ, the risen Lord (Acts 2:24, 36), and we say, “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever” (Psalm 45:6; Hebrews 1:8). Help us to approach our Lord Jesus Christ with “reverence”, “honouring” Him, “bowing down” before Him, “worshipping” Him, and “obeying” Him (Psalm 45:11).
Psalms 46:1-47:9
You call us, Lord, to “be still and know that You are God” (Psalm 46:10). You call us to “shout to You with songs of joy” (Psalm 47:2). Your Word brings peace to our hearts – “In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength” (Isaiah 30:15). Your blessing is not to be kept to ourselves – “Sing to the Lord … Let them shout from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory to the Lord, and declare His praise in the coastlands” (Isaiah 42:10-12). Help us, Lord, toi rejoice in Your love for us, and to share Your love with others.
Psalm 48:1-14
Lord, we worship You in the place of worship – “Within Your Temple, we meditate on Your unfailing love.” Help us to go out from there, and play our part in seeing that Your praise “reaches to the ends of the earth” (Psalm 48:: 9-11). How will other people know of Your love, if we don’t tell them? How will they find their way to Your House, if we don’t invite them? When we share Your Word with others, help us to remember Your promise: “My Word … will not return to Me empty, but will … achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).
Psalm 49:1-20
How can I be saved? Is there a more important question than this? In Your Word, Lord, You speak to us about our need of salvation and Your provision of salvation. You call us to receive Your salvation. We cannot save ourselves – “No man can ransom himself, or give to God the price of his life. The price to be paid for his soul is too costly” (Psalm 49:7-8). We thank You that Your Son,Jesus, came to earth “to give His life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). Help us, Lord, to believe Your promise – “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31), and to enter into the blessing that is promised – “He who believes in the Son has eternal life” (John 3:36).
Psalm 50:1-23
“Our God comes, He does not keep silence … God the Lord speaks” (Psalm 50:3,1). We thank You, Lord, that You do not keep Your distance from us. You come near to us. We thank You that You do not keep Your silence. You speak to us. How do You come near to us? How do You speak to us? You come near to us in Jesus. He is “the Word made flesh” (John 1:14). You speak to us through Jesus, Your living “Word” (John 1:1).
Psalm 51:1-19
“Create in me, a clean heart, O God … Cast me not away from Thy presence … Restore to me the joy of Thy salvation” (Psalm 51:10-12). Lord, these words come to us from thew ancient past. They can become words that change our future – words for making a new beginning with You> We have sinned. We need to be forgiven. May Your love reach us. May Your power change us. May we know the truth and power of Jesus’ gracious and precious promise: “I will never turn away anyone who comes to Me” (John 6:37).
Psalms 52:1-53:6
“I am like a green olive tree in the House of God” (Psalm 52:9). Here, Lord, we have a picture of growth and fruitfulness. In Your House, we can grow spiritually. In Your House, we can become spiritually fruitful. When, Lord, we pray for Your blessing, help us not only to think of ourselves. Help us to pray for all of Your people – “Oh, that salvation for Israel would come from Zion.” “Restore the fortunes of Your people.” May all of Your people “rejoice and be glad” (Psalm 53:6).
Psalms 54:1-55:23 
Sometimes, Lord, we face opposition from people who are outside of Your Church: “Strangers are attacking me; ruthless men seek my life – men with no regard for God” (Psalm 54:3). Sometimes, the opposition comes from people we know very well: “my close friend, with whom I enjoyed sweet fellowship, as we worshipped together at the House of God” (Psalm 55:13-14). What are we to do? Are we to run away from it all – “I would flee far away … far from the tempest and storm” (Psalm 55:6-8)? Would it not be better to remember this: “God is my Helper” (Psalm 54:4). Help us, Lord, to remember Your promise: “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you.” Help us to say, “I will call upon God, and the Lord will save me” (Psalm 55:16,22).
Psalms 56:1-57:11
“Be gracious to me, O God … Be merciful to us, O God” (Psalm 56:1; Psalm 57:1). In mercy, Lord, You don’t send to us the judgment we deserve. In grace, You give to us the salvation we don’t deserve.
How do You do this for us? You make Your grace and mercy available to us through Your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. How do we receive Your grace and mercy? We look to the Cross of Christ. There, we see Your “steadfast love and faithfulness” (Psalm 57:3,10). Your love is eternal love. It’s love unchanged, unchanging and unchangeable – “I will give thanks to You, O Lord … I will sing praises to You … Be exalted, O God” (Psalm 57:9-11).
Psalms 58:1-59:17 
“Surely there is a God who judges the earth … Deliver me from my enemies, O my God” (Psalm 58:11; Psalm 59:1). May these words send us to the Cross of Christ. We come in our need. Lord, we need Your forgiveness and Your victory. What do we find at the Cross of our Saviour? – “My God in His steadfast love will meet me … My God will let me look in triumph over my enemies” (Psalm 59:10). What a great Saviour we have! We think of His love and His power, and our hearts are filled with praise to You – “I will sing of Your strength … I will sing of Your love … O my Strength, I sing praises to You; You, O God, are my Fortress, my loving God” (Psalm 59:16-17).
Psalms 60:1-61:8
“With God we shall gain the victory, and He will trample down our enemies” (Psalm 60:12). When, Lord, we’re feeling defeated, Your Word gives us great encouragement. The battle isn’t ours. It’s Yours. The victory isn’t ours. It’s Yours. In the heat of the battle, You are our “strong tower against the enemy” (Psalm 61:3). When we’re feeling the ferocity of Satan’s hostility towards the truth of Your Word and the Gospel of Your grace, help us to remember that You, Lord, are “enthroned for ever” (Psalm 61:7).
Psalms 62:1-63:11
You, Lord, are “our rock and our salvation” (Psalm 62:2,6). We think of Your Son, Jesus Christ – the “Rock of our salvation” (1 Corinthians 10:1-4,16), and we say, “Your steadfast love is better than life … I will praise You as long as I live” (Psalm 63:3-4). We look at Jesus, our great Saviour, and we say, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15).
Psalms 64:1-65:13
“Let the righteous rejoice in the Lord” (Psalm 64:10). Lord, You give us joy – true joy, lasting joy. This is Your joy. It’s not just a passing emotion. It’s more than a feeling that doesn’t last very long. Your joy changes us. It gives us the strength to live as “a new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Psalm 66:1-67:7
“Come and see what God has done …Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what He has done for me” (Psalm 66:5,16). Lord, You invite us to read the story of all that You have done for us. You invite us to let the story of Your salvation become real in our lives. Help us, Lord, to come to You with this prayer – “May God be gracious to us and bless us … ” Help us to receive Your answer – “God has blessed us”, to “be glad and sing for joy,” and to call “all the ends of the earth” to “worship You” (Psalm 67:1,4,6-7).
Psalm 68:1-35
Lord, You are “the God of salvation.” You are “our salvation” (Psalm 68:19-20). Your salvation covers our past, present and future.   You have saved us – You have forgiven our sins (Romans 5:1). You are saving us – You are making us the kind of people that You want us to be (Romans 5:3-5). You will save us – You’re leading us on to Your eternal glory (Romans 5:9-10). From beginning to end, salvation is Your work. It is such a great salvation. Help us to rejoice in You – and to give all the glory to You (Psalm 68:13,35).
Psalm 69:1-36
When, Lord, we are going through “the deep waters” of suffering, help us to pray to You for deliverance (Psalm 69:16). we have sinned against You. We do not try to hide this – the wrongs that I have done are not hidden from You, my guilt is not hidden from You” (Psalm 69:5). You are the God of “steadfast love” and “abundant mercy” (Psalm 69:16). We remember that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” You don’t send the judgment we deserve – This is Your mercy. You send the blessing we don;t deserve – This is Your grace. Help us to come to You and receive Your “mercy” and Your “grace” (1 Timothy 1:13-16; Hebrews 4:14-16).
Psalms 70:1-71:24
“May all, who seek You, rejoice and be glad in You! May those who love your salvation continually say, ‘God is great!’” (Psalm 70:4). When, Lord, we’re going through “many terrible troubles”, help us to look beyond our problems, to look to You, to know that You are our “rock of refuge” and our “strong fortress” (Psalm 71:3, and to say, from our hearts, “You have done great things, O God … You will revive us again” (Psalm 71:19-20).
Psalm 72:1-20
Lord, we read the words – “His Name shall endures for ever” (Psalm 72:17), 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). We read the words – “all nations shall call Him blessed” (Psalm 72:17), 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). We read the words – “May His glory fill the whole earth!” (Psalm 72:19), 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!
Psalm 73:1-28 
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).
Psalm 74:1-23
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 ans glory and power belong to our God” (Ephesians 1:7,13; Luke 2:10; 1 Peter 1:5,8-9; Revelation 19:1).
Psalms 75:1-76:12
“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 785:1,9; 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).

Psalm 119:105-112
Lord, You have so much to teach us – and we have so much to learn. How do we learn from You? - You open up Your Word to us. You speak to us words of life. You shine Your light upon us. You show us how much You love us. Every day You have something to say to us. Every day, You have something to share with us. Every day, You show us more of Your love for us. Help us, each and every day, to take time to learn from You.

Praying Through God's Word: Job

Job 1:1-2:13
Lord, Your power is greater than the power of Satan. Help us never to forget this. Satan is “roaming through the earth”, “prowling around like a roaring lion, seeking for someone to devour” (Job 1:7; 1 Peter 5:8) – but he can only do what You allow him to do (Job 1:12; Job 2:6). When Satan seems to be getting the upper hand, remind us that You’re the One who’s in control – not him!
Job 3:1-4:11
What are we to do when, like Job, we find ourselves sinking into a state of deep depression? Help us, Lord, to remember Jesus. Help us to remember His suffering. He suffered for us. He suffers with us. We thank You that Jesus knows how we feel. He’s been there. He went to the Cross – for us. Behind His suffering, we see His love. In our suffering, we need Jesus. We need His love. Without His love, things will only get worse. Thank You for Jesus – for His love and His help.
Job 4:12-6:7
Lord, we read about Eliphaz. We see so much pride. We don’t see much love. Satan is speaking through Eliphaz. Help us not to listen  to Satan. He’s trying to put us down. He’s trying to keep us down. Help us to listen to the voice of Your love. Your Word lifts us up. Help us to look to You, to be lifted by You, and to give all the glory to You.
Job 6:8-7:21
We read about Job, going through hard times. We remember Jesus, suffering for us - ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? At the Cross, there is no Voice from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased’ (Mark 15:34; Matthew 3:17). Job is suffering. Jesus is suffering.  What are we to make of this? Where are You, Lord, while all this is happening? What are You doing about it? We remember the words, spoken by Jesus to His enemies, shortly before His crucifixion: ‘This is your hour, and the power of darkness’ (Luke 22:53). You allow Satan to have his ‘hour’. ‘The power of darkness’ appears to have the upper hand. This is not the end of the story. There is ‘a happy ending’. Job is raised from his depression (42:10,12). Jesus is ‘raised’ from the dead (Acts 2:23-24). Help us, Lord, to look beyond what’s happening to us right now. Help us to catch a glimpse of the glorious future for which You are preparing us.
Job 8:1-9:19
We read the words of Bildad. He speaks as a ‘know-it-all’. He sees what has happened to Job, and he thinks, ‘Job must have forgotten God’. He fails to see that not forgotten God You. Help us, Lord, to see that bad things can and do happen to people who love You as well as people who don’t love You. When things are going badly, help us, Lord, to remember Your long-term purpose. You’re preparing us for ‘eternal life’ (Matthew 19:29). Help us to look beyond our sufferings. They are ‘slight and short-lived’. Help us to look ahead to the ‘eternal glory that is greater than anything we can imagine’ (2 Corinthians 4:17).
Job 9:20-10:22
What are we to do, Lord, when, like Job, we think that You are “against” us (Job 10:2)? Where do such negative thoughts come from? Do they come from You? No! They come from Satan, the “accuser ” of Your people (Revelation 12:10). When Satan attacks us, help us to remember that You love us, that Jesus died for us, that “there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”, and that “we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 5:8; Romans 8:1; Romans 8:37).
Job 11:1-12:25 
We read, Lord, about Job – “a righteous and blameless man! (Job 12:4). He was suffering, and he was confused. Was He being punished by You? That’s what Zophar was telling him - Job must have done  something pretty awful to deserve this. You, Lord, were saying something very different – “My servant Job” (Job 1:8). When Satan is hurling his accusations at us, help us, Lord, to keep on listening to what You’re saying to us. May the voice of Your love lift us out of the pit of our despair.
Job 13:1-14:22
Sometimes, Lord, we need to say, “The less said, the better.” We read what Job said about his ‘friends’ – “Oh that you would keep silent, and it would be your wisdom!” (Job 13:5). We feel for Job. From his ‘friends’, there was nothing but one accusation after another. What was he to do? What are we to do? We turn to You, Lord. Can we look beyond our suffering? Is there something better? – “If a man dies, shall he live again?” (Job 14:14). We thank You, Lord, for the answer of faith: “I know that my Redeemer loves … Even after my skin has been stripped off my body, I will see God … ” (Job 19:25). Help us, Lord, to look to Jesus, the risen Lord, to hear His Word of triumph: “Death is swallowed up in victory”, and to offer to You our joyful praise – “Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:20,54,57).
Job 15:1-16:5
Lord, we feel the pain of Job. He’s been listening to Eliphaz. Now, Job says, “how often have I heard all this before! What sorry comforters you are!” (Job 16:1). Job needed “words of encouragement” (Job 16:5) – but he didn’t get them from Eliphaz. Where, Lord, does true comfort come from? It comes from the Holy Spirit – “the comforter” (john 14:26). Help us, Lord, to listen to the voice of the Spirit – and to speak with His voice, the voice of “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).
Job 16:6-17:16
“There is no violence in my hands, and my prayer is pure” (Job 16:17). We wonder, Lord, ‘Is this no more than Job’s own opinion of himself?” Your Word tells us that it’s also Your view of Job: “My witness is in heaven, and He that vouches for me is on high” (Job 16:19). As we read about Job and his suffering, Help us to think about ourselves. How do we react when suffering comes our way? Do we become bitter – blaming You and turning away from You? Or, do we become better – “the righteous holds to his way, and he that has clean hands grows stronger and stronger” (Job 17:9)? How, Lord, can we become better – and not bitter? It’s Your  love that changes us (Romans 5:3-5). It’s Your love that lifts us when we feel like we’re falling down. Lead us, Lord, out of the bitter way and into the better way.
Job 18:1-19:7
“How long will you torment me, and break me in pieces with words?” (Job 19:2). Lord, we read Job’s reply to the harsh words, spoken by Bildad, and we ask, “What about us? What effect do our words have on other people? Lord, You speak to us about our use of words “The tongue is a fire … set on fire by hell …With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, this should not happen!” (James 3:6,9-10). As we think about what You are saying to us, help us to pray that “our conversation will be always full of grace” (Colossians 4:6). Lord, may our words “bring a blessing to those who hear” them (Ephesians 4:29).
Job 19:8-29
“I know that my Redeemer lives … In the end He will stand upon the earth” (Job 19:25-26). Lord, we read these great words of faith, spoken by Job, and our thoughts turn to Jesus. We think of His resurrection – He “has risen” from the dead” (Matthew 28:6). We think of His return – He will return “with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30). We think of “our redemption” – “When  He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is”; “We shall always be with the Lord” (Luke 21:27-28); 1 John 3:2; 1 Thessalonians 4:17). We think of all of these things – Christ’s resurrection, His return, our redemption, and we give to You, Lord, our thanks, our praise, our hearts and our lives. To You, Lord, be all the glory!
Job 20:1-29
Lord, we read Zophar’s detailed description of “the wicked man’s portion from God, the heritage decreed for him by God” (Job 20:29). We wonder if Zophar has ever thought of asking the question:’ Help us, Lord, to learn from Zophar ‘Does all of this apply to Job? Is Job a wicked man? Is Job being punished by God? Help us, Lord, to learn from Zophar’s mistakes. Help us to listen to what You’re saying to us before we start telling other people what we think You should be saying to them. may our words be Gospel words – words of love, words of encouragement, words of hope. May our words bring glory to Your Name, the Name of love, the Name of Your salvation.
Job 21:1-34
Lord, we sense Job’s deep disappointment, as he says to his ‘comforters’, “How then will you comfort me with empty nothings? There is nothing left of your answers but falsehood” (Job 21:34). We thank You, Lord, that Job was looking beyond his ‘comforters’. He was looking to You: “He knows the way that I take; when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10). When life is hard, and it’s difficult to understand what’s going on, help us to hold on to Your promise: “Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount uo with wings like eagles … ” (Isaiah 40:31).
Job 22:1-23:7
Lord, we read Job’s question: “Would He contend with me in the greatness of His power?” We also read his answer: “No; He would give heed to me” (Job 23:6). We thank You that You are not only the God of great power. You are also the God of great love. If You, Lord, were nothing but power, we would have good reason to be terrified of You. At the Cross of Jesus, we see how much You love us. In Jesus’ resurrection, we see Your power. It’s  not just the power to do strange and mysterious miracles. It’s the power of Your love – the love that lifts us when we’re down, the love that leads us on to a life, in which there will be “no more death or  mourning or crying or pain” (Revelation 21:4).
Job 23:8-24:5
Lord, life can be so confusing. We see Job, trusting in You – “he knows the way that I take … ” (Job 23:10). we also hear him saying, ” … the Almighty has terrified me … ” (Job 23:16-17). where, Lord, do these negative thoughts come from? Do they come from You? No! They come from Satan! This is not “the fear of the Lord which is the beginning of wisdom” (Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 1:7). This is the fear that comes from Satan What are we to do when fear threatens to overwhelm us? What are we to do when fear threatens to destroy our trust in You? We look to You, Lord. You “have not given us a spirit of fear.” You’ve given us Your “Spirit of power and love.” You give us “a sound mind.” Help us, Lord, to keep on looking to You. May Your “perfect love cast out our fear” (2 Timothy 1:7; 1 John 4:18).
Job 25:1-27:6
Lord, we hear biting sarcasm in Job’s response to his ‘comforters’: “How you have helped him who has no power! How you have saved the arm that has no strength!” (Job 26:2). We hear Job’s searching question: “With whose help have you uttered words, and whose spirit has me forth from you?” (Job 26:4), and we pray, “Lord, help us to listen for the voice of Your love – and not to be deceived, discouraged, and distressed by words that come to us from Satan.”
Job 27:7-28:28
“The fear of the Lord – that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding” (Job 28:28). Give to us, Lord, the wisdom that is centred on Christ, the wisdom that receives “salvation through faith in Christ Jesus”, the wisdom that leads us to become “mature in Christ”, the wisdom that is Christlike, the wisdom that gives glory to Christ (1 Corinthians 1:30-31; 2 Timothy 3:15; Colossians 1:28; James 3:17).
Job 29:1-30:31
When, Lord, we start wondering, ‘Why are these bad things happening to us?’, help us to start thin king something else: “Why have You blessed us with so many good things?” (Job 30:27,31; Job 29:4-5). Help us, Lord, to thank You for Your good days, and to trust You in our bad days.
Job 31:1-40
“Job … was blameless and upright, one who feared God, and turned away from evil” (Job 1:1). Again and again, Lord, we fall far short of this ideal (Romans 3:23). How can our sins be forgiven? How can our guilt be removed? We thank You that “the blood of Jesus, Your Son, cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). This is more than having our sins forgiven. You, Lord, are leading us n the paths of righteousness. Create in us a deeper longing to become more like Jesus, our Saviour – and help us to give all the glory to You (Psalm 23:3; Psalm 51:10).
Job 32:1-33:18
“Understanding” comes from “the breath of the Almighty” (Job 32:8). “God does speak – now, one way, now another – though man may not perceive it” (Job 33:14). We thank You, Lord, that You have spoken to us through Your Word. You still speak to us through Your Word. It’s Your Spirit who brings Your Word to us. We do not always understand what You are saying to us. There is always more than we can take in. When, Lord, we feel that we’re out of our depth, help us to keep on listening, to keep on believing – and to pray for “understanding” that will lead to new life; q life that is grounded in the Scriptures, a life that is centred on the Saviour, a life that is filled with the Spirit, a life that brings glory to You.
Job 33:19-34:20
When things are going well, help us to remember to say, “Thank You, Lord.” When things start going badly, help us to remember that You are still with us – and You haven’t stopped loving us. You haven’t left us on our own. You’re there beside us, every step of the way. In all of life – our times of suffering as well as our times of blessing, draw us, Lord, closer to Yourself and give us this powerful testimony; “He redeemed my soul from going down to the pit, and I shall love to enjoy the light” (Job 33:28-30).
Job 34:21-35:16 
“If you have sinned” (Job 35:6). Help us, Lord, to think about Job, about Jesus, and about ourselves. “Job feared God and shunned evil” (Job 1:1). Job wasn’t being singled out for special punishment, because he was much more sinful than anyone else – but this doesn’t mean that he had never sinned (Job 7:21; Job 13:26). Help us, Lord, to look beyond Job to Jesus. He did not sin (Hebrews 4:14-16) – but He did suffer: “He suffered for us … He bore our sins … He died for us … He died for our sins” (1 Peter 2:21-24; Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 15:3). Thank You, Lord, for Jesus, our Saviour. When we sin, help us to come to Jesus. He is our “Redeemer” (Job 19:25). He gives us “quietness” and “songs in the night” (Job 34:29; Job 35:10). Help us, Lord, to “be still and know that You are our God.” Help us to “shout for joy to You” (Psalm 46:10; Psalm 98:4).
Job 36:1-33 
“God is mighty, and does not despise any” (Job 36:5). Lord, You are great in power. You are great in love. How sad it would be if You had great love for us, but did not have the power to save us. How terrifying it would be if You had great power, but had no love, in Your hear, for us. What a joy it is to know that You are both the God of great power and the God of great love. You are “abundant in power.” You “heal the broken-hearted and … lift up the downtrodden.” We think, Lord, about Your great power and Your great love, and we say, “Praise the Lord!” We “sing to You with thanksgiving.” We “make melody to You.” We “sing praises to You” (Psalm 147:1-7).
Job 37:1-24
“The Almighty is great in power and … He does not oppress” (Job 37:23). Lord, Your power is loving power. Your love is powerful love. We see Your power in Jesus – “He is able to save to the uttermost all who come to God through Him” (Hebrews 7:25). We see Your love in Jesus – “I will never turn away any one who comes to Me” (John 6:37). In the world, we see the love of power. It’s a very destructive thing. In Jesus, we see the power of love. Hew uses His power to show us His love. He shows us His love when, through His mighty power, He saves us. Thank You, Lord, for Jesus. What a great Saviour He is!
Job 38:1-38
Lord, we do an awful lot of talking about ourselves, and not very much listening to You. When it seems to us that our problems are bigger than Your power, help us to start listening to what Your Word is saying to us. There are many questions for which we have no answers – Why has this happened to us? Why did it turn out this way? Why this/ Why that? When, Lord, it seems to be all questions and no answers. help us to remember this: “I lift up my eyes to the hills. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1-2). 

Friday, 28 March 2014

"With God, we shall gain the victory ... "

"With God we shall gain the victory, and He will trample down our enemies" (Psalm 60:12). When, Lord, we're feeling defeated, Your Word gives us great encouragement. The battle isn't ours. It's Yours. The victory isn't ours. It's Yours. In the heat of the battle, You are our "strong tower against the enemy" (Psalm 61:3). When we're feeling the ferocity of Satan's hostility towards the truth of Your Word and the Gospel of Your grace, help us to remember that You, Lord, are "enthroned for ever" (Psalm 61:7).

Our Rock And Our Salvation

You, Lord, are "our rock and our salvation" (Psalm 62:2,6). We think of Your Son, Jesus Christ - the "Rock of our salvation" (1 Corinthians 10:1-4,16), and we say, "Your steadfast love is better than life ... I will praise You as long as I live" (Psalm 63:3-4). We look at Jesus, our great Saviour, and we say, "Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift" (2 Corinthians 9:15).