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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Prayer's Foundation (Psalm 85:4, 6)

"Restore us again, O God our Savior, and put away your displeasure toward us . . . Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?"

Upon what basis or foundation are prayers formed, heard and answered?  The Psalmist bases his prayers on the promises of God (You said) and the past redemptive activity of God (You did).
  • You showed favor to your land (85:1)
  • You restored the fortunes of Jacob (85:1)
  • You forgave the iniquity of your people (85:2)
  • You covered all their sins (85:2) -- Death has already occurred, sacrificial blood has already been offered. (See 1 Corinthians 5:7)
  • You set aside all your wrath (85:3)
  • You have turned from your fierce anger (8:3)
Once he establishes the basis of his prayer he begins to pray:
  • Restore us
  • Put away your displeasure toward us
  • Revive us again
  • Show us your unfailing love
  • Grant us your salvation
Well-grounded prayers always begin with a correct view of God. Petitions center around man's need of restoration, forgiveness, mercy, and salvation. Well-grounded prayers evoke joy and peace in the heart of the pray-er. Well-grounded prayer assure the pray-er of God's goodness and guidance.

Sylvia Gunter offers a weekly prayer devotional e-mail that I have found encouraging and instructional. You can subscribe to it by going to:

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading: Jeremiah 52:1-30; Psalm 74; Psalm 79; Psalm 85
  • What does Zedekiah's hardness of heart cost him? Review Jeremiah 7:23-24
  • What happens to the leading priests and royal advisers?
Psalm 74
  • What does the Psalmist ask God to remember?
  • What do the Babylonians think they are doing when they destroy the temple?
  • Upon what basis did the Psalmist base his appeal to God?
  • How does he describe Israel? the enemy?
Psalm 79
  • What question does the Psalmist ask God?
  • What does he ask God to do? Why? 
  • Upon what does the writer base his prayerful appeal?
  • What analogy does the writer use to describe the Israelites?
Psalm 85
  • What causes God to turn away from expressing His wrath?
  • Make a list of the Psalmist requests.
  • What heart attitude characterizes this Psalm?
Turning truth into prayer
Ask the Lord to help us, as individuals and as a nation, recognize our absolute dependency on Him. Thank Him for covering our sins by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Plead the blood of Jesus Christ over our nation. We, as a nation, deserve the outpouring of God's wrath just as Israel deserved God's judgment. Pray for revival in our midst. That is our only hope.