Lord, on this your day, I come for rest and refreshment in you. Lift my burden of cares, ambitions, and fears.
Read PSALM 25
1 In you, Lord my God,
I put my trust.
2 I trust in you;
do not let me be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
3 No one who hopes in you
will ever be put to shame,
but shame will come on those
who are treacherous without cause.
4 Show me your ways, Lord,
teach me your paths.
5 Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
6 Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love,
for they are from of old.
7 Do not remember the sins of my youth
and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
for you, Lord, are good.
8 Good and upright is the Lord;
therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
9 He guides the humble in what is right
and teaches them his way.
10 All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful
toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.
11 For the sake of your name, Lord,
forgive my iniquity, though it is great.
12 Who, then, are those who fear the Lord?
He will instruct them in the ways they should choose.[b]
13 They will spend their days in prosperity,
and their descendants will inherit the land.
14 The Lord confides in those who fear him;
he makes his covenant known to them.
15 My eyes are ever on the Lord,
for only he will release my feet from the snare.
16 Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.
17 Relieve the troubles of my heart
and free me from my anguish.
18 Look on my affliction and my distress
and take away all my sins.
19 See how numerous are my enemies
and how fiercely they hate me!
20 Guard my life and rescue me;
do not let me be put to shame,
for I take refuge in you.
21 May integrity and uprightness protect me,
because my hope, Lord,[c] is in you.
22 Deliver Israel, O God,
from all their troubles!
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.
Father, forgive me that I so often rush into prayer quickly, saying the first things that come into my mind. Help me to be more thoughtful today.
Psalms differ from other parts of Scripture in which God addresses people. Here, people speak to God, often revealing deeply personal situations while pouring out praise and needs. Psalm 25 is one of the few patterned acrostic psalms, with each verse beginning with a different letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Here is real effort in design. How often do we hastily throw prayer ideas together?
There’s anguish as the psalmist speaks about his enemies (v 2), his sins (vs 7,11), his loneliness and afflictions (vs 16,18). Its raw honesty gives this psalm a treasured place in Scripture, encouraging us to be real with God. Its carefully ordered prayer challenges our often hasty superficiality. We can learn from the way the psalm blends needs with affirmations in a deliberate framework that shows spiritual depth. Yes, he needs so much from God: deliverance, because his enemies have power over him and he doesn’t want to be put to shame (v 2); guidance because he knows the importance of following God’s path (v 4) and walking in it (vs 8,9,12); forgiveness for sin which goes right back to his youth (v 7) and which he admits is very great (v 11).
What lifts this psalm are the affirmations about God in every verse. The writer knows that God can hear and answer because he is Savior (v 5). Look at God’s attributes of mercy, love, goodness, uprightness, faithfulness – all promised in his covenant with believers. God’s steadfast love (vs 6,7,10) remains sure and changes everything. Prosperity (v 13) is not worldly wealth but God’s promise for the future of his people. Through it all the psalmists ‘eyes are ever on the Lord’ (v 15) who, in spite of all his troubles, will guard and rescue him (v 20).
Consider carefully writing out a prayer with equal parts on needs and affirmations, using a range of God’s attributes.
Lord, you have been so faithful to me in the past. Today my heart is running over with praises to you for hearing and answering my prayers, and seeing me through hard times.
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