Father God, today I resonate with Mary’s word, “My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior” (Luke 1:46-47). Thanks be to God.
Read PSALM 126
A song of ascents.
1 When the Lord restored the fortunes of[a] Zion,
we were like those who dreamed.[b]
2 Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
3 The Lord has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy.
4 Restore our fortunes,[c] Lord,
like streams in the Negev.
5 Those who sow with tears
will reap with songs of joy.
6 Those who go out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with them.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
‘Great is Thy faithfullness! / Great is Thy faithfullness! / Morning by morning new mercies I see’.1
The psalmist is in a bad way – verse 4 is the clue. For him and his people it is a time of misfortune. The context is not given, but we can all identify with the situation. What does he do? Answer: he dreams about the good times. Since the psalm is written to be sung as worshippers approach the temple in Jerusalem, he dreams of released captives returning to the city from exile. They could hardly believe their good fortune. They laugh and sing as they return to their homes, acknowledging what the Lord has done for them.
I find that before asking God for any request, any answer, any mediation, it’s a good plan for me to remind myself of what God has already done for me and for those for whom I pray. It may be an answer to prayer within the past 24 hours, or earlier this week. It may be that I go back over the years of His faithful forgiveness, guidance, healing, and teaching. With that resulting picture of God before me I’m more able to pray with confidence and faith. He will restore my fortunes and the fortunes of those I bring to Him because He has done so in the past. So, as the psalmist and other worshippers approach the temple, there is encouragement to look, not at today’s tears and weeping, but forward to what God will do – and songs of joy will erupt.
It’s important to note, however, that those who weep are nevertheless active, ‘carrying seed to sow’ (6), rather than sinking into a depressive torpor. If we can have faith and confidence for the resulting harvest, then pretty soon God will show us the involvement He wishes us to have.
Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and only then Supplication (requests): ACTS. Use this mnemonic as a structure for your daily prayer this week.
Heavenly Father, I pray for renewal and revival in my life, my church, my country, and in the world. I look to You Lord, whether You work dramatically or gradually.
1 Thomas Obadiah Chisholm, 1866–1960, ‘Great is thy faithfullness, O God my Father’
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