God’s Word of Prayer
Psalm 79: Today’s reading is a communal lament occasioned by the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B.C. The psalm includes a plea for God to end the destruction, forgive the sins of the people, and avenge Israel’s enemies.
A Prayer for the Nation’s Deliverance
1 O God, the heathen have invaded your land.
They have desecrated your holy Temple
and left Jerusalem in ruins.
2They left the bodies of your people for the vultures,
the bodies of your servants for wild animals to eat.
3They shed your people’s blood like water;
blood flowed like water all through Jerusalem,
and no one was left to bury the dead.
4The surrounding nations insult us;
they laugh at us and mock us.
5Lord, will you be angry with us forever?
Will your anger continue to burn like fire?
6Turn your anger on the nations that do not worship you,
on the people who do not pray to you.
7For they have killed your people;
they have ruined your country.
8Do not punish us for the sins of our ancestors.
Have mercy on us now;
we have lost all hope.
9Help us, O God, and save us;
rescue us and forgive our sins
for the sake of your own honor.
10Why should the nations ask us,
“Where is your God?”
Let us see you punish the nations
for shedding the blood of your servants.
11Listen to the groans of the prisoners,
and by your great power free those who are condemned to die.
12Lord, pay the other nations back seven times
for all the insults they have hurled at you.
13Then we, your people, the sheep of your flock,
will thank you forever
and praise you for all time to come.
Today’s Key Verse: Psalm 79:9
Help us, O God, and save us; rescue us and forgive our sins for the sake of your own honor.
How is the destruction of Jerusalem described (verses 1-4)? What is being asked of God? What will you ask of God today?
Help me, O God, and save me; rescue me and forgive my sins. I come to you in prayer, trusting in your mercy. Today I lift up in prayer ________________. I thank and praise you forever for your steadfast love. Amen.
Psalm 80: A prayer for the nation’s restoration.