A Prayer for Righteous People Living in a Wicked World…

Crying out to God in prayer

I am continually impressed with how the words of the Psalms “take the words right out of my mouth” of my prayers! Better yet, when I read the Psalms I find the inspired words forming my prayers!

We live in a world that seems to be dominated and controlled by evil and those who practice and advocate it! How often those who seen evil, faced its influence, experienced persecution or struggled with temptation have cried out to God with words like David, the psalmist…

“O Lord, I am calling to you. Please hurry! Listen when I cry to you for help! … Take control of what I say, O Lord, and guard my lips. Don’t let me drift toward evil or take part in acts of wickedness. Don’t let me share in the delicacies of those who do wrong.

“Let the godly strike me! It will be a kindness! If they correct me, it is soothing medicine. Don’t let me refuse it.

“But I pray constantly against the wicked and their deeds… I look to you for help, O Sovereign Lord! You are my refuge! … Keep me from the traps they have set for me, from the snares of those who do wrong!“ (From Psalm 141 The New Living Translation)

If David’s words express your sentiments and struggles today, I encourage you to make them your words of prayer to God! I did this morning during my time of “coffee with the Lord!

A Prayer to the One Who Knows You Best!

Who Knows You Best

Who would you say knows you better than anyone else?

I would say God does!

I read a well-known and wonderful passage of Scripture this morning and decided to do a kind of personal “Cliff Notes” version of it.  It’s a Psalm – Psalm 139 – and you owe it to yourself to read the whole thing (only 24 verses), reflect deeply on every profound phrase, and even memorize it…  Here’s the title I’ve given it…

Psalm 139:  A Prayer to the One Who Knows You Best!

Oh Lord…

  • You know EVERYTHING about me – EVERYTHING! Past, present and future! (Vss. 1-6)
  • You are ALWAYS with me – I can NEVER get away from your presence! (Vss. 7-12)
  • You SAW ME before I was born – You MADE ME! (Vss. 13-16)
  • You CONTINUALLY think about me – I am ALWAYS in Your thoughts! (Vss. 17-18)
  • Oh Lord, please deal with the wicked – those who are Your enemies (and mine)! (Vss. 19-22)
  • So here’s my sincere response – my heartfelt prayer to a God like you…

“Search me, O God, and know my heart!  Test me and know my anxious thoughts!  Point out ANYTHING in my life that offends you!  And lead me along the path of everlasting life! (Vss. 23-24)

I want to be pleasing to the Lord “Inside > Out!”

Attitudes

OK, it’s confession time… The Lord has been dealing with me about my “attitudes!”

As a Christian I try to be careful about what I say (the things that come out of my mouth) and what I do (my actions and behavior). I want both of those dimensions of my life to be consistent with my claim to be a follower of Christ! And I guess I am more or less successful at that (but I have to admit it is the “less successful” times that bother me!).

You know what I’ve discovered? It is my “heart” (i.e. my “attitudes”) that are the root of the times, places, and ways I’ve spoken and acted in ways that are displeasing to the Lord! And isn’t that just what the Bible says is the issue! Here it is…

“Keep your HEART with all vigilance for from it are all the issues of life!” (Proverbs 4:23)

“Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks! The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.” (Matthew 12:34-35)

“But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person!” (Matthew 15:18-20)

In fact, just the other day, I was priding myself in not having “popped off” with a bitter, biting, angry retort when the Holy Spirit “nudged” me real hard and reminded me, “You didn’t say it LeRoy, but you really FELT those thoughts! When are you going to start dealing with your unholy attitudes? That’s sin, too, you know!”

OUCH!

So here’s the prayer I’m “reviving” on a more regular basis in my life… “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! … Let the words of my mouth AND THE MEDITATION OF MY HEART be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer!” (Psalm 139:23-24; 19:14)

Hear me… I want to be pleasing to the Lord… INSIDE > OUT!

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