Psalm 119:17-24 (NIV)
17 Be good to your servant while I live,
that I may obey your word.
18 Open my eyes that I may see
wonderful things in your law.
19 I am a stranger on earth;
do not hide your commands from me.
20 My soul is consumed with longing
for your laws at all times.
21 You rebuke the arrogant, who are accursed,
those who stray from your commands.
22 Remove from me their scorn and contempt,
for I keep your statutes.
23 Though rulers sit together and slander me,
your servant will meditate on your decrees.
24 Your statutes are my delight;
they are my counselors.
An exhortation on the tightly woven partnership of Scripture and prayer. In our daily prayer, we ought to ask God to help us:
17. Obey God’s Word. A Prayer of worship that goodness and life come from God, and that only by God’s goodness are we able to obey His Word.
18. Understand God’s Word. A Prayer for help since, apart from God, we are unable to see God’s purpose for us in His Word.
19. Receive His presence in God’s Word. A Prayer for understanding of Scripture so that we would not be alone in this world. God gave us His Word to be our counsel and our companion.
20. Cultivate a desire for God’s Word. As we grow in obedience and in prayer, our desire for Scripture increases. God puts in us a desire for His Word.
21. Intercede for those who reject God’s Word. Walking away from Scripture is rooted in pride — in our fallen hearts that believe we are able to earn righteousness on our own merit. God will ultimately rebuke — turn away — from those who reject his Word. In our love for God and for others, this should break our hearts and fill our prayers. God wishes that none would perish, but that all would be saved. (2 Peter 3:9) May the whole world know Him, know His joy, know His peace. Amen.
22. Confess how I also ignore God’s Word. There is a distinct connection between keeping God’s Word and being accepted by Him. As we seek to keep God’s Word, the Holy Spirit reveals to us when and where we fall short. Confessing our failings helps us to continue to keep God’s Word.
23. In the midst of persecution, focus on God’s Word. We will be persecuted for being obedient to Scripture. We may be mocked. We may be ostracized. We may be criticized. We may suffer. We may lose relationships. We will go through trials. This is actually a mark of God’s LOVE for us … (Oh, there is so much I could write about this) and God gives us His Word to sustain us. Our rescue, our hope, our endurance is strengthened by keeping our focus on Scripture.
24. Take counsel from God’s Word. God has given us Scripture to counsel us so we will know Him and know His way for us (and His way for us is rooted in his goodness and His love for us). As we grow in Him, obedience is not a burden; it is a delight!
17. Am I praying daily that, by His goodness, God would enable me to obey His Word?
18. Am I praying daily that God would enable me to see and understand His Word?
19. Am I praying daily that God would give me His presence through His Word?
20. Am I praying daily for an increasing desire for His Word?
21. Am I praying daily for those who reject God’s Word?
22. Am I praying daily a confession of how I turn away from Scripture?
23. Am I praying daily for the ability to focus on God’s Word in the midst of trials and persecution?