Today’s Scripture Reading: Psalms 98-100, Psalms 102, 104
A prayer of one overwhelmed with trouble, pouring out problems before the Lord
When I read this introduction to Psalm 102, the word I immediately gave the most emphasis was trouble, but as I thought about it throughout the day I realized this was a prayer about being overwhelmed.
The first eleven verses paint the picture of this overwhelmed psalmist:
- My days disappear like smoke
- My bones burn like red-hot coals
- My heart is sick
- I’ve lost my appetite
- Because of my groaning, I am reduced to skin and bones
- I lie awake, lonely as a solitary bird on the roof
- My enemies taunt me day after day—they mock and curse me
- I eat ashes for food—my tears run down into my drink
- Because of your anger and wrath—you have picked me up and thrown me out
- My life passes as swiftly as the evening shadows
- I am withering away like grass
Have you ever had any of these feelings?
There was a time in my life when I would have underlined in red, starred, and dog-eared this psalm; maybe even written it in my journal and signed my name to it!
There was a big difference in the reason this psalmist was overwhelmed with trouble and the reason I was overwhelmed.
This was a prayer of restoration for God’s people of that day and in future generations. The psalmist was praying for you and me! He was heart-sick for you and me!
Let this be recorded for future generations, so that a people not yet born will praise the Lord. (v. 18)
My prayer was all about me!
When have I been heart-sick, had no appetite, unable to sleep, and crying uncontrollably for the people of God and the church of God?
My default position is selfishness.
Without the help of the Spirit of God in me, I will be so focused on me and mine that I’ll have little time, energy, and resources to care about anyone else.
I truly believe selfishness is Satan’s greatest tool in his quest to keep the good news of Jesus Christ from the getting to those who don’t know Him, whether it’s across the ocean or across our backyard fence.
Friends, there is a way to overcome the selfishness of our sinful nature…
Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. –2 Chronicles 7:14
Heavenly Father, thank you for helping me to overcome what comes naturally to me–selfishness. Please forgive me for not caring enough to pray and seek Your face for Your church, Your people, and Your future generations. Take away my selfish heart and replace it with a tender, responsive heart. In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!
And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. –Ezekiel 36:26
Thankful for your mercy!
© 2012 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading Psalms 105 through 106