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A Leaf from our Church’s Prayer Guide—September 10, 2020

Psalm 5
Give ear to my words, O Lord;
    consider my groaning.
2 Give attention to the sound of my cry,
    my King and my God,
    for to you do I pray.
3 O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice;
    in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.
4 For you are not a God who delights in wickedness;
    evil may not dwell with you.
5 The boastful shall not stand before your eyes;
    you hate all evildoers.
6 You destroy those who speak lies;
    the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.
7 But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love,
    will enter your house.
I will bow down toward your holy temple
    in the fear of you.
8 Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness
    because of my enemies;
    make your way straight before me.
9 For there is no truth in their mouth;
    their inmost self is destruction;
their throat is an open grave;
    they flatter with their tongue.
10 Make them bear their guilt, O God;
    let them fall by their own counsels;
because of the abundance of their transgressions cast them out,
    for they have rebelled against you.
11 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
    let them ever sing for joy,
and spread your protection over them,
    that those who love your name may exult in you.
12 For you bless the righteous, O Lord;
    you cover him with favor as with a shield.
For our church:
Please pray that the members of our church would greet each morning with a spirit of expectation as they eagerly anticipate God’s protection, blessing, and favor throughout the day.
Our teaching moment:
David describes his pursuit of God in this manner, “in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.” (v.3b ESV) The phrase “I prepare a sacrifice for you” is difficult for those translating the Hebrew text. The English Standard Version (ESV) offers another alternative, a perfectly fine translation, “I direct my prayer to you.” The study notes are especially helpful, “the idea here is that the prayer comes in the context of the faithful worshiper who receives assurance and expresses personal consecration by way of these ordinances.” We can be sure that David’s mornings consisted of his willingness to place on the altar first his own life, his prayers, and any sacrifices that the Law called for. Today, we join David and the apostle Paul in “offering our bodies as living sacrifices” and in resting in Jesus Christ, the great sacrifice, who “by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.” (Romans 12:1-2; Hebrews 10:11-14) 
A prayer from the past:
O, LORD, lift up the light of Thy countenance upon us; let Thy peace rule in our hearts, and may it be our strength and our song, in the house of our pilgrimage. We commit ourselves to Thy care and keeping this day; let Thy grace be mighty in us and sufficient for us, and let it work in us both to will and to do of Thine own good pleasure, and grant us strength for all the duties of the day. Keep us from sin. Give us the rule over our own spirits and keep us from speaking unadvisedly with our lips. May we live together in peace and holy love, and do Thou command Thy blessing upon us, even life forevermore. Prepare us for all the events of the day, for we know not what a day may bring forth. Give us the grace to deny ourselves; to take up our cross daily, and to follow in the steps of our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
[Matthew Henry (1662-1714), cited in Fox, A Chain of Prayer Across the Ages, 45.]