Journal Ps 72 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “May prayer be made for him continually, and blessings invoked for him all the day! May there be abundance of grain in the land; on the tops of the mountains may it wave; may its fruit be like Lebanon and my 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 people be blessed in him, (may) all nations call him blessed!
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things. Blessed is his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory!” Ps 72:15b-19
Observation: David is a great example to follow in prayer. Psalms points out that I don’t pray about God enough; my prayers seem to be more…pragmatic and about me and my concerns.
Analysis: I contend that the Psalms are the best example of personal, godly, conduct to imitate that we have in the Bible, and especially about prayer.
I examine and review my prayer life (what little of it is right now) and that word—pragmatic—seems to be the right word to describe it.
“Father, do this for me, do that for me, make (so and so) happen for me…oh, yeah…do the same for Jim, Joe, John, and Rachel’s family. Make them well. Please. In your name, AMEN.”
Nothing wrong with the above, but maybe plenty if after 5-10 years, that’s all I have—no progression in my prayer life. I get (and have observed) that my prayer life ebbs and flows in the duration of time. I can pinpoint things that negatively affect my prayers:
- Lack of frequent fellowship, especially making and pursuing fellowship that revolves around Jesus and His Word. Note: I must be developing genuine friendships to lubricate those relationships as well. This is hard and takes effort, determination, and sacrifice to achieve the objective.
- Lack of private worship. I must have music in my life; I need to cultivate a song in my soul. For me, the music that comes out of the world, no matter how attractive it sounds, must be decided that it is no match for Christian music that has lyrics that point resolutely to the Gospel. It could be that Christian top 40 doesn’t meet the criteria.
- Lack of reading on the side. Not everyone is like me. I want reading that causes me to think and think deeply—not necessarily to pump me up for action like some sort of self-help, management book—but something that will help me discover who, why, and what is the depth of God. I am partial to Piper, Bridges, Sproul, and some others—but not many others.
These are only 3 comments. There are at least 4 more, maybe 10 in total, that could be designated necessary for a Christian walk that is intentionally pursuing maturity.
Prayer: Father, may your Name be lifted high in all the Earth!
Goodness, I don’t pray like this and when I do these days, it sounds like so much rote. Guess I have to start (again) somewhere. Kindle my heart into flame, O God. Blow upon the fading embers of my soul and make them hot again.
I pray for revival, let it start in me.