Hello, I’m Daniel Westfall on the channel “Pray with Me”.
In Psalm 83, the poet tells about a time of national crisis, when ten nations around Israel conspired to attack and destroy Israel and claim the land. The poet’s prayer is that God will consume these enemies like a California wildfire, that he will terrify them with hurricanes like those that menace the Gulf of Mexico, that he will make them whirling dust like the tornados that sweep south central Alberta.
But amazingly, the poet’s last petition is that the enemies will come to know God. He prays:
Let them know that you alone,
whose name is the Lord,
are most high over all the earth (v. 18).
Let’s pray against some of our enemies today.
Our father, we pray first against the enemies of the world you created. We pray about climate change, though some question whether it is a natural variation in temperatures or whether it is caused by pollution. Either way, it presents a challenge, as famines and water shortages ravage Africa, as uncontrolled fires consume Brazil, Siberia, and the Pacific Northwest, as hurricanes and cyclones become stronger and more damaging, and as Arctic ice melts away. O Lord, order or reorder your creation for the salvation of humankind.
We pray also against the raging of nations. You made us all of one blood, but you separated the people and the languages at Babel, and we have fought each other ever since. Each tribe and nation protects its turf, and uses race and culture and power to expand territory and diminish neighbors. Lord, still the raging nations.
A third enemy is religion. In your name, we implement crusades and jihads, killing and conquering, unrighteously building our vision of a righteous society, establishing unjust rule in your name. Lord, bring quickly the rule of your son, who will teach us true religion and just government.
We pray also against the enemies of your church.
We pray against divisiveness. Since the Reformation, churches and denominations have split unhappily on lines of doctrine, spiritual gifts, politics, and personality cults. O Lord, bring your church to unity of faith and baptism and purpose.
We pray against the rationalism that constricts your church. Too often, our Bible studies and sermons are mere intellectual exercises to develop a technical interpretation of scripture, to discover the precise meaning of Greek verbs, to find the most illuminating cultural explanation of obscure sayings. O Lord, lead us back to our plain duty, to love you instead of arguing about the Bible, to love people instead of using scripture to bludgeon them into good behavior.
We pray against complacency in the church and in our own lives. Fill us with yourself, fill us with the fire of your spirit that will refine us and fit us for your service. Fill us with a fire of love that will consume our heart and soul and mind and strength.
We pray against the enemies of our souls. Drive from our hearts every stronghold of the world, every lust of the flesh, every influence of the devil.
O Lord, help us to walk today as Jesus walked: to do the will of the father, to discern and denounce evil, to help and heal and pray.
I’m Daniel on the channel “Pray with Me”.