Open our eyes, Lord. Help us to see Jesus - to see Him in His holiness and confess our sin, to see Him in His love and receive His forgiveness, to see Him in His power and be changed by Him, to see Him in His glory and worship Him.
The Lord, our God, is “King of the whole earth. He rules the nations” (Psalm 46:10; Psalm 47:7-9). The Lord is great. He is “the great King” (Psalm 48:14). The Lord does not remain detached from us in isolated heavenly glory. He comes to us as the God of our salvation - “God will buy me back from the power of hell” (Psalm 49:15). By His Word, spoken to us and acted out on our behalf, God involves Himself with us as our Saviour. He is not a God who keeps His distance from us - “Our God will come.” He is not a God who keeps His silence - “and will not be silent” (Psalm 50:3). This God comes to us with His promise of salvation - “Call on Me in times of trouble. I will rescue you, and you will honour Me” (Psalm 50:15). Along with this promise of salvation comes God’s call to live in faith and obedience: “Bring your thanks to God as a sacrifice, and keep your vows to the Most High” (Psalm 50:15). To those who walk in His way, the Lord promises His blessing: “Whoever offers thanks as a sacrifice honours Me. I will let everyone, who continues in My way, see the salvation that comes from God” (Psalm 50:23).
“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.”
“The Lord will wash away the filth of Zion’s people … His glory will cover everything” (Isaiah 4:4-5). The restoration of the divine glory is the goal of the divine cleansing. What God does for us and in us is the reversal of what sin does – “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). God’s people are His “vineyard”, “the garden of His delight” (Isaiah 5:7). Our response to the Lord is to love Him and worship Him: “Let me sing a love song to my Beloved” (Isaiah 5:1). We rejoice in the Lord because He has forgiven our sin (Isaiah 6:7). We sing praise to Him because all glory belongs to Him (Isaiah 6:3). Our sin, which is great (Isaiah 6:5), has been forgiven – All glory to God! This is the Lord’s doing. It is marvellous in our eyes. “The King” is among us. He reveals Himself as the King of love. Out of love for the Lord, we make our response – Here am I. Send me” (Isaiah 6:8). As we obey God’s command, “Go and tell the people” (Isaiah 6:9), we may find that there is much that causes us to be discouraged – “the cities lie in ruins … The land is completely desolate … A large area in the middle of the land will be abandoned” (Isaiah 6:11-12). We will also have some encouragement – “a stump is left – The holy seed will be the land’s stump” (Isaiah 6:13). When we are tempted to give up, when discouragement threatens to overwhelm us, we must remember that God is still on the throne. He is the King – and He still loves us. He is the King of love.
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.
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).
We read about Solomon – he built “his own house”, and he built “the House of the Lord” (1 Kings 6:37-7:1). Which was the most important to him? Which is most important to us – pleasing ourselves or serving You? Help us, Lord, not to be “lovers of self, lovers of money, lovers of pleasure”. “Lovers of God” – this is what You call us to be (2 Timothy 3:1-5). Help us, Lord, to keep on making our choice – to become the kind of people that You want us to be.
The name, “Solomon” means “peace” - “in his time I will give Israel peace and quiet” (1 Chronicles 22:9). The peace came from the Lord. It came from the presence of the Lord with Solomon (1 Chronicles 22:18). When we think of all that the Lord has done for us and all that He has given to us, we must give our hearts and lives to Him, to live as His faithful people - “So dedicate your hearts and lives to serving the Lord your God. Start building the holy place of the Lord your God” (1 Chronicles 22:19).
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.
When, Lord, things are going badly, we start feeling sorry for ourselves - when we should be getting strengthened by You. You are "our strength and our shield." You give us Your "strength" and Your "peace" (Psalm 28:7-8; Psalm 29:10-11). Give to us the peace that comes to us from knowing that we are not alone. May we not fall down in our weakness. May we stand up in Your victory.
Your redemption, Lord, is more than rules and regulations. It's not about the things that we do for You. It's about all that You have done for us. Jesus died for us - This is what inspires us to live for Him. What a great thing Jesus has done for us! Help us, Lord, to do great things for Him. Help us, Lord, to receive Your great salvation - and to give all the glory to You.
No-one goes on forever. We read about David’s reign coming to an end, about David being replaced by Solomon (1 Kings 1:30). Help us, Lord, to pray that the future will be “greater” than the past (1 Kings 1:37,47). In all of life’s changes, help us to remember this: You are the living God (1 Kings 1:29) – the God who remains constant when everything else is changing, the God whose love is unchanged, unchanging and unchangeable.
Lord, we are surrounded by so many temptations. We cannot avoid this. There's no getting away from it. It's part-and-parcel of our life in this world. What are we to do when temptation comes our way? What are we to do when we feel the powerful pull of the world, drawing us away from You? Lord, help us to turn to You. Help us to renew our strength - in You.
“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.
“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).
"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).
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.
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.
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.
The great decision is always the same. Who will you serve - God or the gods? God’s Word is clear - “Never worship other gods. Instead, worship the Lord your God” (2 Kings 17:38-39). Our response is not always so clear - “The people of Israel had refused to listen and made up their own rules ... These other nations worshipped the Lord, but also served their own idols” (2 Kings 17:40-41).
There were so many kings, and so little submission to the real King, the Lord. Over many generations, the Lord’s purpose for His people seemed to be at a low ebb. Behind all the depressing details of so many disobedient kings, we must learn to see God’s determination to fulfil His promise of blessing. Even in the hard times, God is there. He is ready to revive His work. He waits for His people to call upon in his Name in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).
You call us, Lord, to "lead a life worthy of Your calling" (Ephesians 4:1). We say, 'I can't.' You say to us, "I have blessed you, in Christ, with every spiritual blessing" (Ephesians 1:3). Why we do allow our lives to be controlled by our own weakness when we can be transformed by Your strength? Help us, Lord, to think of all that You have given to us, in Christ, and to rise up, with new strength - Your strength - to live for You day-by-day.
God is “our Father” (Isaiah 64:8). He says to us, “Here I am” (Isaiah 65:2). He waits, in love, for us to come to Him and receive the blessing He has promised: “Whoever asks for a blessing in the land will be blessed by the God of Truth” (Isaiah 65:16). He sets before us this glorious future: “I will create a new heaven and a new earth” (Isaiah 65:17). The Lord’s blessing is like “an overflowing stream” (Isaiah 66:12). The more we experience His blessing, the more we come to realize that this is just the beginning. God has much more blessing for us. There is no end to His love. His love is eternal. This eternal love is the source of His blessing. This is the basis of our eternal hope - “The new heaven and earth that I am about to make will continue in My presence” (Isaiah 66:22).
Psalm 129 speaks of God's judgment upon "wicked people who attack" the Lord's people. Psalm 130 is a prayer for forgiveness. In Psalm 131, the Psalmist comes to the Lord with humility - "My heart is not conceited" (Psalm 130:1). In Psalm, he worships the Lord with joy - "Let your godly ones sing with joy" (Psalm 132:9); "Then Zion's godly ones will sing joyfully" (Psalm 132:16). Our worship is not only personal worship. It is also public worship - worshipping in fellowship with the Lord's people: "See how good and pleasant it is when brothers and sisters live together in harmony" (Psalm 133:1).
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).