DAY 21 | SATURDAY, MAY 30

Psalm 6:6-10 – A Prayer for the Coming Glory of God

6 I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping. 7 My eye wastes away because of grief; it grows weak because of all my foes. 8 Depart from me, all you workers of evil, for the LORD has heard the sound of my weeping. 9 The LORD has heard my plea; the LORD accepts my prayer. 10 All my enemies shall be ashamed and greatly troubled; they shall turn back and be put to shame in a moment.

For 21 days now, we have been praying through psalms and asking God to hear our prayer for our family, church, and community. Today we end our time together on these beautiful verses that give us reason to pause and process what God has been saying to us in these last three weeks. Instead of providing a prayer for you to pray, take some time to answer the following questions and write out your own prayer to God. After writing out your prayer, pray this prayer out loud for every member of your family, the ministries of the church that you participate in, and for our community.

1. What is one truth about the Gospel that you have learned more about over the past 21 days?

2. What is a characteristic of God that stood out to you in these verses over the past 21 days?

3. Based on these psalms, what would you want to see God do most in your family? In your church? In your community?

PRAY

Now, write out your answers to the questions above and turn them into a prayer to God!

DAY 20 | FRIDAY, MAY 29

Psalm 6:4-5 – A Prayer for Deliverance Because of God’s Love

4 Turn, O LORD, deliver my life; save me for the sake of your steadfast love. 5 For in death there is no remembrance of you; in Sheol who will give you praise?

In this psalm, David has a sense that God has turned from him. Whatever is threatening his life, it seems like David sees the end of his life coming if God doesn’t intervene. Looking straight ahead to where the dead go in David’s language (Sheol), David’s plea to God is to save him for one reason alone: for the sake of God’s love for David.

We know that, because of the Gospel, we can appeal to God’s love and grace toward us to answer our prayers for our church. Sometimes it is really tempting to list out all the ways that God has used our church in the past – and that can be really helpful for our own hearts sometimes! But when we feel like we have to somehow convince God that He owes us something good because we’ve done something good, we’re taking His grace and turning it into something owed. Here’s a great truth that you can know: God is extravagantly gracious, saved you by His grace through faith, and knows you can in no way repay Him (Ephesians 2:8-9). His church is saved simply because He loves His church. And based on His love, we ask Him to intervene.

Today, we are facing a difficult and challenging season as a church. By God’s grace, we have more than two hundred and fifteen years of serving Him! But why He will continue to be with us through and beyond this season is simply this: His love. We have financial needs as a church, but because God loves us we know He will provide through His people. We have spiritual needs in our church, but because God loves us we know that He will provide through His Word. We have new and changing opportunities for ministry, but we know that He will go before us and with us because of His love for us. As we face tomorrow and walk through today, we have no problems praying loudly, “Because of Your steadfast love for us, save us!”

PRAY

God, thank You for Your steadfast love for our church. You have always gone before us, provided for us, and remained present with us from our very beginning. We ask, God, based on Your steadfast love that You would empower us to follow You in these days. We love You, God. Amen.

DAY 19 | THURSDAY, MAY 28

Psalm 6:1-3 – A Prayer That God Would Answer Soon

1 O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger, nor discipline me in your wrath. Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing; heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled. 3 My soul also is greatly troubled. But you, O Lord—how long?

Waiting for an answer you are longing to hear is best described in one word: hard. You can feel it deep within, especially when the answer you’re longing to hear affects something significant in your life or in the life of someone you love. David knows this feeling. He is waiting to hear from God for freedom from sickness and a cure for his troubles, but it feels like God is taking a long time to answer. Is it discipline? Is God angry? Is God not being gracious to David? All of this waiting and questioning builds up until it becomes just one question – “How long?”

“How long” is the hallmark statement in David’s psalms where he is lamenting about his situation. Feeling stuck somewhere between the pain of now and the promise of the future, David so often finds himself where we have all found ourselves – asking God “How long?” How long until you hear my prayer to protect my family? How long am I going to have to go without? How long are you going to let me stay lonely, or broke, or hurting? We begin to know the pain that Jesus felt on the Cross that caused Him to cry, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”

Though there are answers, today why don’t you let your heart take some time to simply pray a prayer of pain to God. What is it that you feel God is taking long in answering in regards to yourself or your family? Have you been waiting for Him and feel troubled in your soul because of it? Here’s what you can know: you are doing what normal Christians do. It is appropriate and OK to say, “God, how long are you going to wait to answer?” So let’s do that today.

PRAY

Think of something you are waiting on for your family. Now pray:

Father, how long are You going to delay an answer for me? We have been waiting for _____________ , and You have not answered yet. God, teach me to trust You in the wait. Amen.

DAY 18 | WEDNESDAY, MAY 27

Psalm 5:12 – A Prayer of Grace for Those Who Follow God

12 For you bless the righteous, O LORD;
you cover him with favor as with a shield.

It is comforting to read these words, isn’t it? Just drilled down to this small little verse, we can let the world stop spinning around us for a moment. The constant parade of fear or sadness or frustration that
we are tempted to entrench ourselves in can fade away as we remember that the Lord covers the righteous with favor. Sometimes we may not recognize the favor for what it is in the moment, but when we look hard enough over the path we have walked we can see markers of God’s goodness and mercy that we did not recognize at the time they were being unfolded.

Let’s look back at the Scripture though – who does He cover? The righteous. While we know that God can cover us with favor in specific areas of our lives that may be identifiable to us, we should have it constantly before us that we are also covered by the redemption of Christ when we choose to accept
that free gift. We cannot be righteous without Jesus, we have no access to the favor without Him. Favor is certainly something we long for, and pray for frequently in one situation or another, but how much more are we blessed by the simple covering of Christ’s sacrifice as payment for our sin? Surely that is a shield that covers us as we walk through life, to know that we have a Savior that loves us deeply and wins the day.

So, what does this mean for us today, in the midst of a world that looks much different than it did a few months ago? I take comfort in the fact that there is a shield over me as a member of the body of Christ. That shield does not promise to keep me from harm or difficulty, in fact, we are promised to have troubles in this world, but to know that those troubles that do make it to my doorstep are those God has ordained that I battle with brings me purpose and determination. It leads us to consistently study our path,

before and behind us, to see evidence of God’s favor even in, and maybe especially in, the midst of trials. Regardless of how you have responded to this time of quarantine, what you may see in and around it politically, socially, or economically, take a moment to identify where you have found God’s favor in these weeks. What lesson or memory or stolen moment of joy in the midst of chaos will rise from a time of difficulty to remind you that you have not walked through this season without purpose?

PRAY

Pray that God would give you eyes to see the favor that He covers you in, including the simple gift of His grace. Pray that God’s favor would be present in your home and the homes of those around you. Pray that as we move on from this season, you would be able to look back and see His favor evident in new ways as life continues on.

DAY 17 | TUESDAY, MAY 26

Psalm 5:11b – A Prayer for Protection

11b and spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may exult in you.

Love and protection go hand in hand, do they not? Think about those whom you love most or those things that you love most. What length would you go to in order to ensure their protection? There is no length of love too far that a godly father or mother would not do to protect their child. There is no amount of protection that is too much for the things that carry your love. For good or evil, love drives and compels us to protect those things and people who we pour our love into. Love moves us beyond speaking and to action, even when uncalled for, in order to protect what we love.

David knows God’s perfect love. In fact, the Gospel describes this love as a love that is demonstrated to us in an extravagant way using terms related to acting in protection. Romans 5:6 – Jesus died for us while we were weak. Romans 5:7 – For the good and righteous, someone give their life for them. Romans 5:8 – God demonstrates His love for us by Christ’s death. God continues to fill us from within with His love through the Holy Spirit. In other words, God’s love for us compels and drives Him to protect His children from any and all real harm. Because of the Gospel, we are protected from the truest and most real harm we could face that results in death from sin and separation from God. God protected us from His own wrath and gives us cause to rejoice in this life, no matter what comes (Romans 5:11)!

For our church, we know that because of the Gospel there is nothing that can leave us unprotected. Jesus Christ, right now, is leading His church, on His throne, and calling us to continue to follow Him. He promised to be with us always and gives us cause to rejoice in lesser threats to our physical lives because the greatest threat of all – spiritual death and separation from God – has been conquered. Even our lives on earth are in His hands. And so, let’s pray for protection over our church, that the reality of God’s demonstrated love toward us in Christ would compel us to be bold and trust Him, and that God would cause our understanding of His protection from any eternal effect of sin to result in exultation (worship in recognition of how great God is)!

PRAY

God, You are my Protector! I know that You have already made a way, in Jesus Christ, to protect me from the greatest threat there ever was. In these days of physical threat, protect our church. Protect our church, Father, from physical sickness. More than that, protect our church from spiritual sickness. Keep our eyes on Jesus in these days. Amen.

DAY 16 | MONDAY, MAY 25

Psalm 5:11a – A Prayer for Joy in the Midst of Difficulty

11a But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy,

Seeking refuge in a storm is not only prudent, but wise. What makes a place of refuge wise or foolish, however, is not the intention of finding refuge, but whether or not the refuge is capable of weathering
the storm. David was in the midst of a hard and difficult time. David, being a warrior-king himself, had learned the difference between wise and foolish places of refuge in hard and stormy days. In his spiritual walk, he had learned that God was always a safe place of refuge – and in this refuge he could find joy in the midst of difficulty.

The Gospel teaches us that God is not afraid of life’s difficulties but has power over them – even death itself is no match for God! In the life of a follower of Christ, taking refuge in Christ during difficult times has a way of producing great joy. Suffering is indeed difficult but taking refuge in Christ while suffering can produce joy (Romans 5:3-4). Working with others in difficult times is hard but helping them find refuge in Christ can produce joy (2 Corinthians 1:24). Persecution in the name of Christ can be painful but finding refuge in Christ while persecuted produces joy (Luke 6:22-23). These things are not enjoyable, but those who take refuge in Christ can experience great joy.

Your family may be in a deep need for refuge right now, but not all places where we look for refuge are able to handle the storms and produce joy in the midst of them. Whether it’s due to suffering of some sort, working together during this difficult time, or from following Christ when others seem to be following so many other ways, Christ is not only your refuge but also a joy-producing refuge! As you walk out these days of pandemic, God’s desire for your family is to find refuge in Him. As David found, those who find refuge in Christ will find a deep and abiding joy!

PRAY

Think about where your family needs refuge, then pray:

God, today my family needs refuge from _____________ . Lord, show me where I may be seeking refuge in something other than You. Teach me to trust You as my refuge. God, produce joy in my heart and in my family as we find refuge in You. Amen.

DAY 15 | SUNDAY, MAY 24

Psalm 5:9-10 – A Prayer for Spiritual Conviction

9 For there is no truth in their mouth; their inmost self is destruction; their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue. 10 Make them bear their guilt, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; because of the abundance of their transgressions cast them out, for they have rebelled against you.

Does this seem a bit strong at first? David is speaking of his enemies and praying to God for their correction. He is not praying for his protection but that God see their rebellion against Him. Is it right for David to pray that they would bear their guilt and fall by their own ideas? It is, and the Gospel helps us understand why.

We see a lot of rebellion against God today – both in our own hearts and in the hearts of those in our community. Being a man after God’s own heart, David feels the sadness and hurt of their deception and knows that God alone is the one who can cause them to turn from their sin and be saved. If someone does not intercede and something doesn’t change, they will never see their need for salvation. The Gospel declares that everyone, apart from Christ, is already condemned (John 3:18b) and that their only hope is to turn from their sin and believe in Jesus for salvation (John 3:16-18a). The Gospel that saved us from our sin is the Gospel that saves all sinners.

So what does that mean for today? Today, we pray that God would open the minds and hearts of the lost to see how their own ideas make them fall. We ask that God would open their eyes and reveal to them their sin. We pray that God would use us to spead His message of life through Jesus Christ to those whose self-deception will lead them to eternal hell. We ask through the lens of the Gospel, “Let them bear their guilt; let them fall by their own counsel” so that they may find redemption in Christ and be lifted up into eternal life.

PRAY

In these times of turmoil we need to pray for the Gospel to be embraced in our community and nation. Let’s pray together:

Father, we pray for Your presence in our lives today. Show me, God, where I still believe my own counsel above Yours. We ask that in this time many people come to faith in You and that Your Glory be spread throughout the earth. We put our faith and trust in You. In Jesus’s mighty name we pray. Amen.

DAY 14 | SATURDAY, MAY 23

Psalm 5:8 – A Prayer to Walk in Holiness

Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness because of my enemies;
make your way straight before me.

Winding roads and crooked paths can be fun in the sun, but dreadful in the dark. When David faced dreary seasons of life, the pathway to follow became muddled with misery. That’s what David was going through in these verses, and why he is asking God to lead him clearly. David knew that times like this make sin easy to fall into and wanted to be steered away from distractions in order to avoid sin. David knew that His only hope for walking the path God had before him was to live in the righteousness that He provided.

What can we learn as a church in this time of turmoil? As a church it is so important that we seek God’s clear pathway through His Word. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says ,“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing,
in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Jesus Christ for you.” As a church we need to continually be in prayer for our leaders and members to see and walk on God’s clear pathway provided through Scripture. We know that God’s Plan A to get the Gospel to the world is His people, and there is no Plan B. So we trust God to lead every member to continue to support the ministry of the church through generosity, serving, and prayer.

As David learned to lean on God’s righteousness for His daily walk, so must we too rely on God’s righteousness to lead us on His righteous path.

PRAY

Father, right now, I raise up our church to You. I ask You to continue to provide protection, direction and endurance in these times. Unite us in spirit and purpose to do Your will. Helps us to be a beacon of Your love and grace in the seven cities of Hampton Roads. Amen.

DAY 13 | FRIDAY, MAY 22

Psalm 5:7 – A Prayer That God Makes His People Holy Because of His Love

7 But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love, will enter your house. I will bow down toward your holy temple in the fear of you.

This verse is a prayer for guidance. David is probably on his way to the Temple (church) or thinking about the next time he gets to go. He is determined to stay close to God and to both publicly and privately worship Him, and looks forward to the day he gets to worship freely in God’s house again.

From David’s descendants according to God’s promise, He brought the Savior Jesus Christ (Acts 13:22). Jesus showed us the way to God through prayer, both publicly and privately during His time here on earth. In all He did, He spoke with God the Father. We also can speak to Him for encouragement, comfort, direction and joy through prayer.

God is not surprised by what is happening today in the world. He knows what you and your family are experiencing. He stands ready to talk with you and give you guidance.

PRAY

Pray about what is going on in your family today.

God, thank You for always being ready to talk with me. I know You see what is happening in the whole world and my world. Wrap Your loving arms around me and my family today. Give us hope, patience and guidance in the coming days and draw us closer to You. Amen.

DAY 12 | THURSDAY, MAY 21

Psalm 5:4-6 – A Prayer Thanking God That, Because of Jesus, He Hears Our Voice

4 For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with you. 5 The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers. 6 You destroy those who speak lies;
the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.

I don’t know about you but when I get to verses like this in Scripture, it makes me uncomfortable. These aren’t really the words that I jump to first with my highlighter or want to underline and camp out on. I think there is part of me that rushes by these words because I understand the message. “Yes, obviously, God does not delight in wickedness, He is not evil, doesn’t like lies, I get it.” Another part of me maybe does not want to think about God hating or destroying or abhorring. I don’t want to see anyone hurt.

But still, there is another, perhaps quieter, part of me that maybe does not want to see myself in the passage. I don’t want to consider when I do evil, boast, delight in something sinful, or am less than honest with myself or others. We know that all Scripture is God-breathed, important, and useful. I have to push past my discomfort to surrender to the message that God has for us. Jesus brought to us such a different understanding of the Father than what the Jews He interacted with had known. Yes, God is holy. He is so far removed from the mess of our world, but Jesus shows us the holiness of God through the lens of His love. God is so holy that we are separated from Him by the sin we have chosen, but this separation was something He could not abide to the point that He willingly sacrificed His own Son to make us holy and bring us back to Him. Jesus came to bring a relationship with a holy God into our reach.

The first step of that relationship is also a continual step – to confess our sin. To see ourselves in the words of Scripture instead of the people we would rather identify as the wicked and deceitful, to look at ourselves honestly in light of God’s holiness. Maybe as you have journeyed through the season of social distancing, you have had more time for self-reflection and prayer. Perhaps you are in a situation where old sin struggles have returned along with unfilled time and lonely days. Maybe your world has been gripped by spinning worry and fear of finances, health, and future. It could be that the fractures have appeared in relationships as you have spent time sheltering in place, and your reactions to those stresses have not been the holiest. No matter where you are, take stock of what area of your life needs a fresh acknowledgement of God’s holiness, and your call in Christ to pursue it.

PRAY

Pray that God would reveal to you where He needs to be Lord of your life and your decisions. Pray that God would give you strength to resist temptation, flee fear, kill delight in sin, and sideline lies.