Do we find ourselves more prayerful when there is trouble? Do we see the need to draw closer when we face mighty foes or obstacles?
In Psalm 77, Asaph recalled how God worked during the time of Moses.
In Psalm 78, he exalted God for His works of the past, but Israel still became unfaithful.
Psalm 79 is a prayer for forgiveness, because by this time God’s hand of judgment had gone out against the Israelites and they were in exile.
How faithful are we? Is it possible that someday our hearts will cry out with this same kind of prayer for our nation?
“O God, the nations have invaded your inheritance; they have defiled your holy temple, they have reduced Jerusalem to rubble. They have left the dead bodies of your servants as food for the birds of the sky, the flesh of your own people for the animals of the wild. They have poured out blood like water all around Jerusalem, and there is no one to bury the dead. We are objects of contempt to our neighbors, of scorn and derision to those around us. How long, Lord? Will you be angry forever? How long will your jealousy burn like fire? Pour out your wrath on the nations that do not acknowledge you, on the kingdoms that do not call on your name; for they have devoured Jacob and devastated his homeland. Do not hold against us the sins of past generations; may your mercy come quickly to meet us, for we are in desperate need. Help us, God our Savior, for the glory of your name; deliver us and forgive our sins for your name’s sake. Why should the nations say, ‘Where is their God?’ Before our eyes, make known among the nations that you avenge the outpoured blood of your servants. May the groans of the prisoners come before you; with your strong arm preserve those condemned to die. Pay back into the laps of our neighbors seven times the contempt they have hurled at you, Lord. Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will praise you forever; from generation to generation we will proclaim your praise.” Psalm 79:1-13
The time to pray these prayers is now before God’s hand turns against us. If God’s chosen people were not immune to judgment, what makes us think that we will be? God is God. He is worthy of our praise and our worship.
Father, today we pray this prayer of repentance. Please be merciful to us as a people and help our lips to be filled with praise.