Slow your breathing and become aware of the taking in and letting out of your breath. Focus on putting things aside so you will be open to what God is saying to you today.
Psalm 72 (NRSV)
Give the king your justice, O God,
and your righteousness to a king’s son.
May he judge your people with righteousness,
and your poor with justice.
May the mountains yield prosperity for the people,
and the hills, in righteousness.
May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,
give deliverance to the needy,
and crush the oppressor.
May he live while the sun endures,
and as long as the moon, throughout all generations.
May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass,
like showers that water the earth.
In his days may righteousness flourish
and peace abound, until the moon is no more.
May he have dominion from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
May his foes bow down before him,
and his enemies lick the dust.
May the kings of Tarshish and of the isles
render him tribute,
may the kings of Sheba and Seba
May all kings fall down before him,
all nations give him service.
For he delivers the needy when they call,
the poor and those who have no helper.
He has pity on the weak and the needy,
and saves the lives of the needy.
From oppression and violence he redeems their life;
and precious is their blood in his sight.
Long may he live!
May gold of Sheba be given to him.
May prayer be made for him continually,
and blessings invoked for him all day long.
May there be abundance of grain in the land;
may it wave on the tops of the mountains;
may its fruit be like Lebanon;
and may people blossom in the cities
like the grass of the field.
May his name endure forever,
his fame continue as long as the sun.
May all nations be blessed in him;
may they pronounce him happy.
Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel,
who alone does wondrous things.
Blessed be his glorious name forever;
may his glory fill the whole earth.
Amen and Amen.
The prayers of David son of Jesse are ended.
If you’re a fan of praying the psalms, I imagine sometimes you find a psalm that works great, and other times you find one that is rather difficult to use as a guide in prayer. Psalm 72 is one of the former, as it feels so natural. Honestly, I feel like I pray in a similar fashion quite often. I mean, how often do we pray for God to give us abstract things like strength, or patience, or courage, or righteousness? I find myself praying for things like that for myself or for others seemingly all the time! And, it’s all in the hopes of behaving more like Jesus, of acting in accordance with God. Essentially, they are ways of saying, “God, mold us and bend us to your will.”
I find it important to note that we, as people of faith, believe we receive such things from God. Perhaps, the ability to increase in those areas at all is the effect of having been created in God’s own image. We don’t develop those good qualities simply by our own efforts; God calls us and shapes us in those ways. Maybe asking for those things is evidence, in and of itself, that we are already listening for God’s call and wishing to respond. In this text, the psalmist is seeking God’s wisdom and guidance. How often do we do the same? May today’s psalm serve as a reminder to seek how God can use you as you navigate your world today, and may you respond accordingly.
O Lord, you choose us to be your hands and feet in the world today. Your Spirit and your Word empower us to extend your love to those around us. Teach us the importance of sharing your love with others and give us the tools we need to act more like you. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Go with God!