God’s Saving Word: Faith
Psalm 85: Today is being observed as National Day of Prayer. Psalm 85 is a prayer for reconciliation with God. The psalmist recounts God’s blessings and asks God’s forgiveness for the sins of the people. The psalmist promises to listen to God, and envisions a future in which the land will be fruitful; and love, faithfulness, righteousness, and peace will prevail.
A Prayer for the Nation’s Welfare
85 Lord, you have been merciful to your land;
you have made Israel prosperous again.
2 You have forgiven your people’s sins
and pardoned all their wrongs.
3 You stopped being angry with them
and held back your furious rage.
4 Bring us back, O God our savior,
and stop being displeased with us!
5 Will you be angry with us forever?
Will your anger never cease?
6 Make us strong again,
and we, your people, will praise you.
7 Show us your constant love, O Lord,
and give us your saving help.
8 I 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.
9 Surely he is ready to save those who honor him,
and his saving presence will remain in our land.
10 Love and faithfulness will meet;
righteousness and peace will embrace.
11 Human loyalty will reach up from the earth,
and God’s righteousness will look down from heaven.
12 The Lord will make us prosperous,
and our land will produce rich harvests.
13 Righteousness 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 1-7. 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. Have you ever prayed for God’s deliverance? If so, how did God respond to your prayers? On this National Day of Prayer, for what will you pray today?
Loving God, forgive me for those times when I have failed to do your will. Help me live according to your ways of peace, justice, and mercy. I thank and praise you for your constant love and saving help. Amen.
Psalm 86: A prayer for God’s help.