Scripture: Psalms 80:
1 Hear us, Shepherd of Israel,
you who lead Joseph like a flock.
You who sit enthroned between the cherubim,
shine forth 2 before Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh.
Awaken your might;
come and save us.
3 Restore us, O God;
make your face shine on us,
that we may be saved.
Observation: The Lord hears the prayers of those who through their obedience call out to Him.
Application: Our scripture today is a cry to God to hear and restore Israel, and it is one of many such Psalms. We to sing out to God in our despair and ask the same questions as we see in the scripture time and time again. “Why have you forsaken us God?” And the answer is that God had not forsaken Israel, nor has He forsaken us, rather Israel had forsaken God, and so do we. Repeatedly they had been disobedient and followed after their own passions, which is why they are good representations of our own situation.
God is always merciful when we come before him in obedience and submission to His will. If we act out of selfishness and pride, we are being disobedient to God, and are removing ourselves from the place of protection and favor that He desires us to dwell in.
We may cry out “Lord hear our prayer!”, but if we pray for our own glory, for our pride to be validated, for our own will to be done rather than the will of The Father, then we can’t expect our prayers to be answered in those ways. We must be attendants of His grace, participators in His love, sharing the gospel of Christ with the world. For God to work in our lives, His Spirit, His Grace, His truth must be at work through us.
Let us then take up the commission that we have been charged with to love our enemies, pray for them who despitefully use us, and reach out to those who have no love in their hearts with the love God has placed within our own. As we strive to show forth His grace, love, kindness and mercy, we will experience it more in our own lives and our nation, our church, our family will be restored and healed by His presence.
Lord Hear Our Prayer!
Prayer: Almighty Father,
Help me to walk in obedience to you. Grant me the strength to be loving in the face of hatred, to be forgiving in the face of prejudice, to be kind in the face of malice and to be light in the face of darkness. I thank you for the great love you have given to me, help me to exhibit it to the world around me more and more every day.
Yield: I give up thinking God is not hearing my prayers, and look within to see where I’m not following his command of love.