In a scene from the movie Gettysburg, General Robert E. Lee is walking early in the morning. He is praying, Blessed be the LORD, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle;...Bow your heavens, O LORD, and come down! (Psalm 144:1,5a).
|Martin Sheen as Robert E. Lee in Gettysburg|
King David knew trouble. He had enemies without and within and he learned to fight and to believe.
This morning I prayed through Psalm 144 and wrote down several points to remember:
1. Glorify God as the One Who Equips (1).
David blessed God for training his hands for war and his fingers for battle. Whatever our skill set, talents, abilities or vocation, it is God that is to be honored for equipping us for our calling in life. Yes, he used and is using means. Yes, he uses our diligent efforts, but it is ultimately God that provides the life, energy, clarity, opportunity (and everything else) necessary for us to be equipped to do all that he has called us to do.
2. Declare the Character of God (2).
Our love for God may appear weak and sometimes barely noticeable. However, God's love for us is steadfast and strong. He is our deliverer, protector and refuge. Meditate deeply on the character of God.
3. Be Humble Before God (3-4).
David said, ...what is man that you regard him...Man is like a breath; his days, are like a passing shadow. We are so fragile and our time on the earth so temporary. Our time here is passing so rapidly. Do you feel it? Whenever I feel pain I am reminded that life is brief. I am alive today but soon they will write my obituary. I prayed this morning, Lord teach me to redeem my days and to understand the brevity of life and the certainty of death and to rejoice that though I am weak you have regarded me.
4. Seek God in Prayer (5-11).
Prayer is a declaration of our dependence on God. Though we are low, fragile and dying; God is willing to bow down, touch, rescue, deliver and strengthen.
5. Sing (9-10).
Do you ever, while engaged in private bible reading and prayer--start singing? Is music a part of your regular devotion? Perhaps you cannot play a ten-stringed harp but you can play a CD and you can use your voice (untrained as it might be) to make a joyful noise to the Lord (Psalm 100). Singing reflects a joyful heart that is confident in God.
6. Vision (12-15).
Amidst high and powerful waters (7) and enemies (8), we must pray and sing. As the sword is thrust towards us and trouble is on every side we must not lose a God-centered vision (11-12). What does David ask for? He asks for mature sons, stable daughters, full provision, fruitful labor and peace.
Though these things will only be fully realized in heaven it is appropriate to ask for them now and to work for them.
I prayed today, Lord would you grant us mature young men, godly husbands for our daughters, strong men for our church and nation? Would you provide manly men to lead, protect and provide? Lord, would you grant our churches, homes and nation stable daughters that will not be swept away by the fads and fashions of our culture and who will have the strength to stand against evil men and false teaching directed towards women? Would you fill our pantries and give us sufficient financial resources so that we will not only be able to take care of our own needs but that we might be a blessing to others? Would you bless our labors, open doors of opportunity, protect and bring fruit from our investments? Would you give us peace in our homes, churches and communities? Would you make our every struggle, failure, pain and challenge drive us closer to Jesus and long more for heaven? Every good gift comes from you, Lord. You have blessed us. We are blessed. We are blessed because you are our God. Give us strong faith to trust that you will provide mature young men, stable daughters, sufficient and abundant resources, blessed labor, fruitful investments and peace, even as we look to Jesus and long for heaven. You are our God!