Merciful Savior, I thank you for walking every step with me today. I know you lifted me up on the peaks and you were my strength in the valleys. Thank you for your continued presence in my life. Help me to remember those who struggle to recover from abuse and all forms of violence. Comfort those who mourn and grieve. Bless me with rest tonight so I may awake refreshed and eager to meet all challenges and opportunities of the new day. In the name of Jesus. Amen.
Daily Archives: January 15, 2021
Psalm 89:15-19 (ESV)
15 Blessed are the people who know the festal shout,
who walk, O Lord, in the light of your face,
16 who exult in your name all the day
and in your righteousness are exalted.
17 For you are the glory of their strength;
by your favor our horn is exalted.
18 For our shield belongs to the Lord,
our king to the Holy One of Israel.
19 Of old you spoke in a vision to your godly one, and said:
“I have granted help to one who is mighty;
I have exalted one chosen from the people.
1 Samuel 8:4-7, 10-22 (ESV)
4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah 5 and said to him, “Behold, you are old and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint for us a king to judge us like all the nations.” 6 But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the Lord. 7 And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them.
Samuel’s Warning Against Kings
10 So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking for a king from him. 11 He said, “These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen and to run before his chariots. 12 And he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his servants. 15 He will take the tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants. 16 He will take your male servants and female servants and the best of your young men and your donkeys, and put them to his work. 17 He will take the tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. 18 And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lordwill not answer you in that day.”
The Lord Grants Israel’s Request
19 But the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel. And they said, “No! But there shall be a king over us,20 that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.” 21 And when Samuel had heard all the words of the people, he repeated them in the ears of the Lord.22 And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey their voice and make them a king.” Samuel then said to the men of Israel, “Go every man to his city.”
“Samuel…prayed to the Lord” (1 Samuel 8:6)
Intercessory prayer, or praying with the real hope and intent that God will hear and respond, is not a new phenomenon. Abraham prayed and bargained with God over the fate of Sodom. Moses sought the favor of the Lord after the Israelites had made the golden calf. And today we read how Samuel sought the Lord for his people who wanted a king to rule them like other nations. Even Jesus, before he died, prayed to the Father for his disciples: “I do not ask that you take them out of the world but that you keep them from the evil one” (John 17:15).
God has not changed. He is the same today as he was in the days of Abraham and Moses. He still loves when his people pray – especially when we pray for someone else. We may not always like the answer we receive, but we can be sure that our Father hears and responds according to what is best for us.
Each of us can choose faith over worry, doubt, and fear. Why? Because faith is a gift from God. It’s not something that we have to conjure up ourselves. It’s a powerful grace that helps us hold our ground when the difficulties of life – sickness, loss of job, family problems – come at us. So bring your prayers of intercession to the Lord with complete trust in him. Ask him to increase your faith. And never give up praying. Persist, just as Moses and Abraham and even Jesus did, and see what the Lord does. He may give you an even greater gift – a whole new perspective on life or a healing far deeper than you could ever imagine.
Father, I am so grateful that you fulfill your promises. Teach me to pray with trust in your mercy and love. Amen.