I love David’s prayer in Psalm 25. “Show me your ways,” he says, “Teach me. Guide me.”
I love what David is asking for. And I love what he’s not. He’s not asking God to show him the way or the path or the truth. He’s asking God to show him his ways.
Because there’s a difference.
A lot of ways might appeal, a lot of paths might look good, a lot of what we see and hear might be convincing. But if we want to be confident that we’re on the right road or making the best decision, we need to let God direct our steps. Let’s make this psalm our Friday Prayer:
Show ____ your ways. Teach ____ your paths. Guide ____ in your truth. (Psalm 25:4-5)
To a lot of people, “righteousness” is a dirty word. It smacks of finger-pointing, judgment, and pride.
But it’s not, at least not in God’s lexicon. When he uses the word, it brims with refreshment – with things like honesty, justice, and grace. And when he calls us to pursue righteousness as a lifestyle, it is his invitation to let our lives line up with his commands – not so much for his sake, but for ours.
Because living like that – letting God’s righteousness shape our actions, as well as our attitudes – leads to good things! As the Bible puts it, “The result of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quiet confidence forever.” (HCSB)
If a life marked by peace and quiet confidence sounds good to you (and it sure does, to me), make this verse your Friday prayer. Pray it for yourself, or for someone you love:
Make your righteousness real in _____’s life; may it result in peace and quiet confidence forever. (Isaiah 32:17)
So Robbie and I have been working our way through the books, Lists to Love By, and guess what? I’m realizing afresh that what the Bible says about the words we speak (“The tongue has the power of life and death”) is really true!
And I need help.
I want my words to be helpful and encouraging. I want them to build people up. I want to be someone who gives life – not death – in the things that I say, whether I’m talking to Robbie, my kids, or anyone else.
If you want that too, why not join me in making Ephesians 4:29 your Friday prayer? Here it is. You can pray it for yourself, or for someone you love:
Let no unwholesome talk come out of my mouth, but only that which is helpful for building others up, that it might benefit those who listen. (Ephesians 4:29)
“In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help.”
If you’re using the Bible in One Year (a free reading app that comes with commentary; click here to get it), you read about David’s distress – and God’s incredible deliverance – in Psalm 18 this week. God hears David’s cry and, after an earth-shaking display of majesty and power, he reaches down – “all the way from sky to sea.”(MSG)
If you find yourself in David’s place (pursued by foes, feeling overwhelmed and entangled, or just needing to know that your Daddy is there, and that he hears you), take heart. “He rescued me,” David says, “because he delighted in me.” I like how the Message translation puts that line: “I stood there saved – surprised to be loved!”
God delights in you.
God delights in you! And he is ready to save.
So…ask for his help. Call on him. Make Psalm 18:16 your prayer, knowing that you (and your children, if you’re praying this prayer for them) are never out of God’s reach:
Reach down from on high and take hold of me; draw me out of deep waters. (Psalm 18:16)