“I lift up my eyes to you, to you whose throne is in heaven. As the eyes of slaves took to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he shows us his mercy. Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us, for we have endured much contempt. We have endured much ridicule from the proud, much contempt from the arrogant.” (Psalm 123:1-4)
Psalms 120 through 134 are the “Songs of Ascents,” probably sung by pilgrims as they approached Mt. Zion in the annual feast. They are concerned with Jerusalem, the house of the Lord, and Zion. The series begins with a lament of a person stationed far from Jerusalem and being falsely condemned. Prayer is the path to God no matter where one lives.
Beloved, prayer is commitment of the servant of God to depend on and serve the Lord. Such commitment is an acknowledgment of dependence on His mercy. The alert servant is both obedient and dependent. The obedient servant can ask for the Master’s protection.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, commitment is something You are very aware of, and have offered a relationship based upon our commitment to You, as You are already committed to us. To be Your servants, we must first commit ourselves to Your service, and then make the commitment through our actions to be obedient to that commitment. Give us wisdom, Abba, to maintain our commitment and obedience to You alone. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Be quiet enough to hear God’s whisper.”
“He said to them, ‘You are the heads of the Levitical families; you and your fellow Levites are to consecrate yourselves and bring up the ark of the Lord, the God of Israel, to the place I have prepared for it. It was because you, the Levites, did not bring it up the first time that the Lord our God broke out in anger against us. We did not inquire of him about how to do it in the prescribed way.’ So the priests and Levies consecrated themselves in order to bring up the ark of the Lord, the God of Israel.” (1st Chronicles 15:12-14)
The first attempt to bring up the ark had failed. The people did not ask God how He wanted it done. They had not observed God’s regulations for handling the holy ark (2nd Samuel 6:6-7). Consciousness of the presence of God should demand strictest reverence and lead us to submissive prayer.
“Prayer, Commitment”: (Acts 9:11)
“The Lord told him, ‘Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for the is praying.” Talk about a time of obedience and commitment to prayer, can you imagine what was going through Ananias mind when told to go to a location in Damascus and ask for a man from Damascus named Saul? This is a name that would easily be recognized as one who was prolific at hunting down Jesus’ followers and having them stoned to death. Such is the task that Ananias was given. The Lord reported to Ananias that Saul, now Paul, was praying. It is His nature to know that. Saul was fasting and praying. Committing himself to God after his saving experience, Ananias supplied at least a portion of the answer to Saul’s prayer. A saving experience with Christ leads us to prayer.
Second Thought of the Day:
“When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, ‘Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord’), and to offer sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: ‘a pair of doves or two young pigeons.’” (Luke 2:22-24)
The firstborn was spared in the tenth plague of Egypt (Exodus 12:12-13); God then required that the firstborn be dedicated to Him (Exodus 13:1-2, 12-13). The Lord had allowed the tribe of Levi to become a substitute for the firstborn (Numbers 3:11-13).
The consecration of Jesus is important, for Hew would become the High Priest (Hebrews 4:14; 5:4-6). The sacrificial ritual symbolized commitment. Acts of worship can be symbolic prayers even without times and words of prayer.