God’s Word of Prayer
Psalm 85: The first Friday in March is observed as World Day of Prayer. This psalm is a prayer for reconciliation with God. The psalmist recounts God’s blessings and asks God to forgive the sins of the people. The psalmist promises to listen to God and envisions a future in which the land will be fruitful, and goodness and peace will unite in justice.
A Prayer for the Nation’s Welfare
1Lord, you have been merciful to your land;
you have made Israel prosperous again.
2You have forgiven your people’s sins
and pardoned all their wrongs.
3You stopped being angry with them
and held back your furious rage.
4Bring us back, O God our savior,
and stop being displeased with us!
5Will you be angry with us forever?
Will your anger never cease?
6Make us strong again,
and we, your people, will praise you.
7Show us your constant love, O Lord,
and give us your saving help.
8I am listening to what the Lord God is saying;
he promises peace to us, his own people,
if we do not go back to our foolish ways.
9Surely he is ready to save those who honor him,
and his saving presence will remain in our land.
10Love and faithfulness will meet;
righteousness and peace will embrace.
11Human loyalty will reach up from the earth,
and God’s righteousness will look down from heaven.
12The Lord will make us prosperous,
and our land will produce rich harvests.
13Righteousness will go before the Lord
and prepare the path for him.
Today’s Key Verse: Psalm 85:11
Human loyalty will reach up from the earth, and God’s righteousness will look down from heaven.
Reread verses 1-5. These verses suggest that the psalm was written about the time the people of Israel returned home to Judah from exile in Babylon (after 539 B.C.). After they returned from exile, new problems developed, and the people once again needed to pray for deliverance. At what points in your life have you prayed for God’s deliverance? How did God respond to your prayers?
Loving God, thank you for delivering me from darkness into light. Forgive me for the times I have failed to do your will. Help me to live in your ways of peace, justice, and mercy, and to be a faithful disciple of Christ. Amen.
Psalm 86: A prayer for God’s help.