Daily Devotional: Psalms 20:1-5
1 May the LORD answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. 2 May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion. 3 May he remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings. Selah 4 May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. 5 We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the LORD grant all your requests.
2 Thess 3:16
16 Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.
We cannot measure the power of prayer. Prayer that is pleasing to God is prayer that comes from a heart that is devoted to him and is prompted by faith. Paul tells us that we are to make all our requests known to God with thanksgiving. God knows what we need before we ask but Jesus instructs us to ask anyway. It is by expressing our desires that we show our dependence on God.
Manasseh was one of the most wicked kings to rule over Judah. In his wickedness, he built idols, offered his sons as burnt offerings to these false gods and led the people into idolatry. God punished him by sending a foreign king against him who put a hook in his nose and led him as an animal into captivity. It is then said: “In his distress he sought the favor of the LORD his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. And when he prayed to him, the LORD was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD is God.”
The key to effective prayer is knowing that the Lord is God. James says the prayer offered in faith is powerful. This does not mean that God will always give us that for which we ask but will give us what is best for us. However, as with Solomon, God often gives us much more than that for which we ask.
We need to pray for each other. When we see others (or ourselves) in some great spiritual battle, we need to pray for them and their ability to overcome. We need to pray for our enemies, for our friends, the church and our nation.
Lord, help me be a more prayerful person. Make me more mindful of others and of their needs and use me to do all I can do for them but help me not forget to pray for them also. I know your power is often limited by my lack of faith and so I ask that you increase my faith and help me trust you in every situation I face in my life. I know you raise up and bring down nations, so I ask your favor on our country and our leaders. Bless your church and help us do more to reach those who are lost in sin and to help the weak. I pray in the name of Jesus.