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Weekly Devotion: My Strength and My Shield

My Strength and My Shield

 

Pray: Ask God to teach you to pray. Ask Him to give you a love for prayer.

Text: Psalm 28

The LORD Is My Strength and My Shield

 

Of David.

 

[1] To you, O LORD, I call;

my rock, be not deaf to me,

lest, if you be silent to me,

I become like those who go down to the pit.

[2] Hear the voice of my pleas for mercy,

when I cry to you for help,

when I lift up my hands

toward your most holy sanctuary.

 

[3] Do not drag me off with the wicked,

with the workers of evil,

who speak peace with their neighbors

while evil is in their hearts.

[4] Give to them according to their work

and according to the evil of their deeds;

give to them according to the work of their hands;

render them their due reward.

[5] Because they do not regard the works of the LORD

or the work of his hands,

he will tear them down and build them up no more.

 

[6] Blessed be the LORD!

For he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy.

[7] The LORD is my strength and my shield;

in him my heart trusts, and I am helped;

my heart exults,

and with my song I give thanks to him.

 

[8] The LORD is the strength of his people;

he is the saving refuge of his anointed.

[9] Oh, save your people and bless your heritage!

Be their shepherd and carry them forever.

 

What a mess. The events of the past week are heartbreaking. Everyone is affected, but not in the same way. Some are overcome with complicated emotions; a mixture of anger, grief, hopelessness, and fear. Some are shocked and disgusted by the nastiness of human behavior. Some are numb, thinking “nothing is ever going to change.” Some don’t know what to think or feel, paralyzed by the fear of responding in an unhelpful or hurtful way. All of us probably have a fresh appreciation for John’s closing statement from Revelation 22:20, “Come, Lord Jesus!”

 

Amen. We long for His return. We don’t just long for it as an abstract theological concept. We feel our need for the renewal of all things. Aren’t you ready for the end of sin and death, racisim and injustice, murder and violence, hatred and division? Don’t you want to see everything made right today?

 

But it’s very likely that there will be many more days in this “already, not yet” between Christ’s first and second comings. What do we do, as believers, in the meantime? Thousands of things, of course! But there is one that applies across the board, to every single follower of Christ, everyday, no matter the circumstances. One that is so easy to neglect in times like these: Pray.

 

Why prayer? Because we need God to intervene in the present. Because we need Him to strengthen us and help us to walk in a way that is helpful, builds up, and commends the gospel. Because we do not hope in man, but in God. Because through prayer, God equips us to do good works which have lasting, and even eternal impact. Because prayer gets things done.

 

In the current distress, there are few better Psalms to guide us in our prayers than Psalm 28. Today, and perhaps everyday this week, pray through this Psalm. Make its words your words. Allow its longings to give voice to your longings. Meditate on it. Let it teach you how to pray for justice and mercy. Let it teach you how to pray for the judgment of the wicked. Let it remind you of how to pray for deliverance. Surrender to its invitation to find salvation, refuge, and strength in the Lord. This is the word of the Lord. Let it build you up, strengthen you, and make you fit for the day. Allow it to recenter your world around God, His power, sovereignty, righteousness, mercy, and grace. You will find that your soul is refreshed, your hope is restored, your heart is quieted, your grief is comforted, your anger is purified, your speech is sweetened, your resolve is renewed, and your steps are established.

 

For Thought/Discussion:

  1. Read and meditate on Psalm 28.

  2. Pray portions of the Psalm as your own prayer. Apply it to what you are thinking and feeling. Apply its words to specific circumstances.

  3. Pray for our country. Pray for the future to be different. Pray for the spread of the Gospel and the salvation of sinners. Pray for revival.