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A Leaf from our Church’s Prayer Guide—November 25, 2020

Psalm 7:1-9 (17 verses total)
O Lord my God, in you do I take refuge;
    save me from all my pursuers and deliver me,
lest like a lion they tear my soul apart,
    rending it in pieces, with none to deliver.
O Lord my God, if I have done this,
    if there is wrong in my hands,
if I have repaid my friend with evil
    or plundered my enemy without cause,
let the enemy pursue my soul and overtake it,
    and let him trample my life to the ground
    and lay my glory in the dust. Selah
Arise, O Lord, in your anger;
    lift yourself up against the fury of my enemies;
    awake for me; you have appointed a judgment.
Let the assembly of the peoples be gathered about you;
    over it return on high.
The Lord judges the peoples;
    judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness
    and according to the integrity that is in me.
Oh, let the evil of the wicked come to an end,
    and may you establish the righteous—
you who test the minds and hearts,
    O righteous God!

For our church:

Please pray for the members of our church that they would grow in confidence before God as a result of their consistent walking in love and growth in personal integrity. 

Our teaching moment:

Absurdly self-righteous statements are incompatible with genuine, mature prayer. So how do we account for David’s statement, “Judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness and according to the integrity that is in me.” (Psalm 7:8) David makes similar statements throughout his psalms. (Psalm 17:3-7; 18:20-24; 26:1-7) These types of statements are not a claim to sinlessness. David is not exalting himself above God. He is simply differentiating between himself and his adversaries with reference to his loving, covenantal relationship with God. He declares: “My steps have held fast to your paths;” “I have kept the ways of the Lord;” and, “Your steadfast love is before my eyes.” (Ps. 17:5; 18:21; 26:3) His integrity and his confidence are founded on the paths, the ways, and the steadfast love of God. Today, our boldness in prayer begins with the covenant that Christ has made with his church. For it is Jesus “in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.” (Ephesians 3:12) Our confidence in prayer continues because, we, like David, desire to keep his ways and hold fast to his paths. As the apostle John noted, “and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.” (1 John 3:22)   

A prayer from the past:

O God, the Light of every heart that sees Thee, the Life of every soul that loves Thee, the Strength of every mind that seeks Thee, grant me ever to continue steadfast in Thy holy love. Be Thou the joy of my heart; take it all to Thyself, and therein abide. The house of my soul is, I confess, too narrow for Thee; do Thou enlarge it, that Thou mayest enter in; it is ruinous, but do Thou repair it. It has that within which must offend Thine eyes; I confess and know it; but whose help shall I implore in cleansing it, but Thine alone? To Thee, therefore, I cry urgently, begging that Thou wilt cleanse me from my secret faults, and keep Thy servant from presumptuous sins, that they never get dominion over me, Amen.

[Augustine, cited in Mary W. Tileston ed., Great Souls at Prayer, 160.]