Dear God, I have a Reason

As you open this devotional, prepare your heart for worship with song to the Lord.
All I have is Christ
Shane & Shane
Psalm 67:2

That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations.

I need a why in prayer. Why do I ask for mercy, blessings, and God’s presence in my life daily? When my children ask for something, I want to know why they want it. My youngest son, who is almost 4, wants a riding lawn mower for his birthday. Why does he want it? He wants it to help daddy, he wants it because he sees me cut our grass, and he wants to help and have fun while he does. Of course, he cannot have a riding lawn mower at 4, but the point is he wants to do something with what he requests that pleases me because he loves me. Our prayers need a why and thank God we can see our “why” in praying clearly through this verse.

The Reason in Psalm 67 (2)

What is the reason for the request in Psalm 67:1? What is the motivation to want such things from God? Better yet, why has God promised such things to us through Jesus? It is by God’s grace we can receive mercy, blessing, and shining. To answer this question we will return to Genesis 12:2b “So that you will be a blessing”. What kind of blessing was Abraham to the nations? What was the life, family, wealth, and knowledge God blessed him with supposed to do? It was to promote the way and name of God to all nations. God elected and destined Abraham, his offspring (mainly Jesus Christ), to bless all the nations by making His name and way of salvation known to all nations. If you are wondering what your purpose is as a believer, husband, dad, business owner, young person, or  old person, look no further than this verse! God wants to be known by the people on the earth and He uses His people who have received mercy, blessing, and His presence to do so. All we have and own is for this goal. Your marriage, job, education, ability, and the church exist to make Jesus known. The blessings of the church are to flow into the world.  Are your blessings for this goal? Are our blessings as a church aimed squarely on making God’s name and salvation known in the earth? Rest assured God’s name is being made known by His people and He is filling them with joy, peace, and purpose. Another question: “Are you excited to be in God’s will”? Are you focused on God’s will for your life? Today, pray Pslam 67:1 knowing the goal of the prayer is to be a blessing to others. 


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Dear God, Jump with Us

As you open this devotional, prepare your heart for worship with song to the Lord.
Your Love
Shane & Shane

Psalm 67:1 God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah.

My children want me with them at all times. In our back yard is a trampoline and I am asked many times a day to jump on it. My children can jump on it with or without me, but jumping is at its best when I am with them. Our job, school, home, money, talents, time, personality are blessings and they are what they are. If they stand alone they are bearable, something to do, something to think about, but these blessings are at their best when God is “jumping with us.” 

The third request is acknowledging and asking that God jump with us in life because living is at it’s best when God is not watching but participating in our lives.

a.     Shine– The third request is asking God to cause his face to shine upon us. Not like the closest of our stars, which is bright yet far. The request is to shine among us. Those He bestows mercy upon He also blesses; those who are blessed refuse to make His blessing their prize. We do not live for the blessing. We live unto God and this third request reminds us that a blessing is not even a close substitute for the presence of God in our lives. Many years after this Psalm was written Jesus would come as God in the flesh and dwell among us. He is Emmanuel, God with us. God is with us because God is for us and when God is for us we go into the world for Him! Today, ask God to be with you in the blessings of life. My trampoline is not at it’s best unless I’m on it with my children. Our things are not at their best unless God’s presence is there. 


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Dear God, Bless Us

As you open this devotional, prepare your heart for worship with song to the Lord.
Open Up the Heavens
Shane & Shane
Psalm 67:1 God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah.

I love God and His Word. When I was 18 years old I began attending church faithfully. The church was known for its great choir and wonderful song selection but I didn’t know it. Honestly, I was neutral with my feelings about their music. I tolerated it to get to the preaching. I was eager to open my Bible, listen to the preacher, and take notes. Everything I have done since has been born out of my love for God and His word. My love for preaching, giving, serving, singing, and the church were all born out of love for God and His Word. If I am going to love to pray, it must come from that same love. Therefore, let us turn to the Word of God and learn to love to pray. 

The second request in Pslam 67:1 is “bless us.” 

    Bless Us – The request for blessing is sandwiched between mercy and God’s face shining upon us. Blessings are not fully enjoyed or stewarded correctly without mercy, and what seems to be a blessing is none at all without the presence of God with us. What is a blessing? It is opposed to a curse. It is the opposite of taking, harming, hindering, and withholding. Blessing is, therefore, giving, helping, giving health, unshackling, and allowing. Blessing is God’s unleashing of substance to us and entrusting us with what is His. This is done for His glory and our sake. Today ask God to have mercy on you and bless you. Ask Him for what you need and desire. Make your request known to Him. Prayer is easy. 


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Dear God, have Mercy on Us

As you open this devotional, prepare your heart for worship with song to the Lord.
Yet Not I, but through Christ in Me

Psalm 67:1

God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah.

Do you struggle with praying?

Prayer has always been difficult for me. I may lack discipline, direction, or faith. The right words to express my needs, wants, or emotions never seem to settle in my mind. Then, there is the theology of it all. The preacher’s fear of “not praying right” grabs me and throws me to the ground. I oftentimes find my first reaction to prayer simply is not to bother with it at all, all the while knowing prayer is good and would help my mind, body, and soul. I also know prayer would unleash blessings unsearchable and still, I struggle. Yet I have found great help in God’s Word with my struggle. I have found simple prayers that I understand and know are right because they are in God’s Word. One such prayer is in Psalm 67. I invite you to learn this Psalm with me and pray it today.

Psalm 67 is a Scripture, Prayer, and Song package packed into 7 mind-boggling and soul-reviving verses. The contents of this Psalm have helped me greatly in my prayer life recently. Let’s look at the content bit by bit, beginning with the threefold prayer request of verse 1.

Request 1:

Mercy- Forgive us not by our own merit, but by your loving-kindness. The first happy plea in this prayer is one of trust and confidence in God. The road to Christian desire and joy is rooted in the mercy of God. Mercy is resting in the Person of God for forgiveness and grace. It is laying aside ego and pride, confessing sin to God, and going forward with a life of service founded upon God alone. Let us ask for the mercy of God today for it endures forever.


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Dear God, Give Us Joy

 
As you open this devotional, prepare your heart for worship with song to the Lord.
Hallelujah for the Cross
Chris McClarney
Psalm 67:3-5

Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee.

O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Selah.

Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee.

When we pursue joy from temporary things we, at best, can catch temporary joy. Our pursuit of joy in temporary things is more often than not a Trojan horse which appears to be a gift but in reality, is the enemy of our security. Many people have pursued joy in relationships only to find out broken people are broken. We look for joy in jobs only to discover we missed precious time with our spouse, children, and friends that we can never get back. Addictions form as we pursue worldly joy. We get a shot of joy to the brain only to come down to the sad reality we call life. The good news is we can have eternal joy with God. The joy God gives accompanies us through all the hills and valleys with all their horror and heights. God’s joy does not destroy all ill happenings in life, but it is there in our tears, defeats, and doubts. God’s joy is “unspeakable and full of glory.” This is the joy I have and the joy others want to have. This joy is given to the nations through spreading the good news of Jesus Christ empowered by our received mercy, blessing, and shining. 

What is the purpose of making God’s name and way known to the nations? The nations are sad and in ruin, but faith in the name of Jesus Christ makes people glad they are at fellowship and not war with God. People become glad they are forgiven, indwelt, and sealed by the Holy Spirit. It makes them glad their life has a purpose, glad there is something greater than the law, glad there is a King supreme over all the happenings on earth. It makes them glad, glad, glad, infinitely glad that “Our God Reigns!”

In the gladness of the nations we see and hear rejoicing. Songs burst forth in praise, prayers are made in thanksgiving, and gifts are distributed one to another in love. We move the nations God-ward in their joy and rejoicing through missions both local and abroad.

In the sadness of the nations, we feel and see bitterness, division, and desperation. Nations need more than money, food, and medical supplies. These are blessings we have and are to share, but with the intention of making God’s name and way known. I can give my blessings away for many reasons, but gladness and rejoicing only come through the name of Jesus. We live in a sad world; a world where bad news flourishes. We occupy a world void of joy. The best the world can muster up is a healthy, short life, with a decent job and education. And if you think that is enough to fill your joy, you are dead wrong and as shallow as a lost person in your thinking. When we make God’s name and salvation known to the world, we give the world joy they cannot find anywhere else. God, help us desire to make the nations glad in your name! How can we make the nations glad? What can we pray, do, or give? 


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