Friday, March 17, 2006
Many of you know it’s my habit to pray using the Psalms. This goes back to my illness three years ago, when God taught me to praise Him through pain and diversity—and the Psalms were such a wonderful way to do it. I have a long list of people to pray for. Folks write and ask me to do so, some whom I know and some whom I don’t (readers or folks who saw the segment on The 700 Club about my healing). Some of the Psalms are particularly great for covering sickness and emotional/spiritual needs. Other petitioning Psalms are great to use in praying for God’s mercy on our country, and for protection against our enemies (e.g., terrorists).
Psalm 90 is particularly wonderful for praying God’s mercy upon His believers in this difficult and fallen world. It contains glorious passages, covering both our physical and spiritual needs, and asking God to bless us in what we do. For as his believers, we are still only human, and oh, so susceptible and frail. As with many of the Psalms, it starts with praise and moves to supplication. Here is the psalm in BPV translation (Brandilyn’s Prayer Version), which is based on the New American Standard Version. I hope you will find comfort in this psalm and begin praying it. I have found two of its thoughts particularly meaningful. These, I have italicized. God knows we need His mercy as we struggle to live in this fallen world while waiting on His return.
Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.
Before the mountains were born,
Before You gave birth to the earth and world,
From everlasting to everlasting, You are God.
You turn man back into dust,
Saying, “Return, O children of men.”
For a thousand years in Your sight
Are like yesterday when it passes by,
Or like a watch in the night.
You sweep man away like a flood, and we die.
In the morning we are like grass that sprouts anew.
In the morning it flourishes and sprouts anew,
Toward evening it fades and withers away.
We are consumed by Your anger,
And by Your wrath we are dismayed.
You have placed our sins before you,
Our secret sins in the light of Your presence.
All our days are declining in Your fury;
We finish our years like a sigh.
As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years,
Or if we’re strong, maybe eighty,
Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow,
For soon it is gone, and we fly away.
Who understands the power of Your anger,
And Your fury, according to the fear that is due You?
So teach us to number our days,
That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.
Do return, O Lord; how long will it be?
Be sorry for Your servants.
Satisfy us in the morning with Your lovingkindness,
That we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
Make us glad according to the days You have afflicted us,
And the years we have seen evil.
Let Your work appear to Your servants,
And Your majesty to our children.
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us.
And do confirm for us the work of our hands;
Yes, confirm the work of our hands.