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Kingdom of Heaven (ACAD: Matthew 5)

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him.

Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

“You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.

“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

“You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder’; and ‘whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, ‘You fool,’ you will be liable to the hell of fire. So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way to court with him, or your accuser may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Truly I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to go into hell.

“It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that anyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

“Again, you have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but carry out the vows you have made to the Lord.’ But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let your word be ‘Yes, Yes’ or ‘No, No’; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Matthew 5:1-48 – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Matthew%205:1-48&version=NRSV

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Kingdom of Heaven (ACAD: Matthew 6)

Concerning Almsgiving

Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.

“So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Concerning Prayer

“And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

“When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“Pray then in this way:

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one.

For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Concerning Fasting

And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Concerning Treasures

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Concerning Sound Eye

“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

Concerning Two Masters

“No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

Do Not Worry

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

“So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

New Revised Standard Version: Matthew 6:1-34 – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Matthew%206:1-34&version=NRSV

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Paint & Praise: Your Blessings Require Work

I’ve been in several transitions this year. All big deals. One transition is moving from New York City to Tucson, AZ. I began the process nearly two years ago and I’m now approaching the final curtain call on my time in NYC. This week I’ve been painting and prepping my Harlem apartment for viewing and sale.

I’ve been so busy this year that I have not focused on sitting at Jesus’s feet and soaking in the Word. I’ve been busy running here and there, doing this and that, thinking through scenarios, trying new things, letting go of everything that doesn’t work, quitting my job in NYC, moving across the country, looking for work in Tucson, returning to NYC to manage issues, taking a summer temp job in NYC, starting a national call for submissions for a new book project, launching a pro photographer career, etc. Just stuff. But this week, enclosed within the four walls of my East Harlem apartment in Manhattan, painting and prepping it for sale, the transition became a concrete change. This process is near completion. There’s very little else to do on my end. The to-do lists have stopped clamoring in my head. It was just me and the walls. And gospel music.

And God. He just came on in.

I’ve been assuring people there is nothing I will miss about NYC once I’m gone. I didn’t want to return. In fact I was quite despondent for a few weeks when I got back to the City. The peace of the desert was simply glorious. So no, I won’t be missing NYC. I don’t plan on looking back after I’m gone for good. Neither has leaving my apartment been necessarily sentimental because I didn’t think I had made any special memories here.

Over the last few days, God has reminded me why my time in NYC has been sacred. I’ve long considered my time in NYC to be on-the-job-training for whatever God has in store for me. This is the place He chose to bring me to an understanding of Who HE IS and Who I AM in HIM. He’s been romancing me this week. Gently walking me down memory lane.

Sometimes all we remember are the hardships or the sour taste difficulties leave in our mouth. I know I’m blessed, but I rarely think on the many ways God has blessed my life. He’s given me many hardships. I remember those. He’s brought me through them all. I praise Him for all that. But the intricacies and intimacies are forgotten. He reminded me that He doesn’t only perform His Word when I call on Him. His Word is performing in my life every moment of every day. He is present always. He wanted this time with me. He wanted to end this season the way we began – with me looking to Him, focusing on Him and His Word. Seeking His guidance and instruction every morning through each evening.

The last few days have been sprinkled with spontaneous worship and deeply moving intercessory prayer. I didn’t see any of it coming. But I know it has all been by His design.

The below video is one of the spontaneous praise moments. I knew it was time to share a portion of this process with the all-consuming goodness of God. Be blessed.

Your blessings require work. Please excuse the loud off-key contributions to the song playing in the background. 🙂 The message is worth the wait. Snippet of Trust in You by Anthony Brown & Group Therapy

 

Trust in You by Anthony Brown & Group Therapy

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Sermon: Standing In The Gap by Pastor Gary Ham

For those of you who thought the grass was greener on the other side and found that it was not, this message is for you. “The crisis you are facing is not one of money, is not a crisis of relationships, it is a crisis of faith. It is your faith. For with God all things shall be possible. Nothing shall be impossible. Will you open the door? Will you allow Him to come in. Will you allow Him to strengthen the relationship that’s He’s brought you into the world to have?” There have been strongholds that have held you back from stepping into what the Lord has for you. I say in the name of the Lord , those strongholds are broken. Today you are free!

Listen here: Standing In The Gap

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“God Will Save Me”

A terrible storm came into a town and local officials sent out an emergency warning that the riverbanks would soon overflow and flood the nearby homes. They ordered everyone in the town to evacuate immediately.

A faithful Christian man heard the warning and decided to stay, saying to himself, “I will trust God and if I am in danger, then God will send a divine miracle to save me.”

The neighbors came by his house and said to him, “We’re leaving and there is room for you in our car, please come with us!” But the man declined. “I have faith that God will save me.”

As the man stood on his porch watching the water rise up the steps, a man in a canoe paddled by and called to him, “Hurry and come into my canoe, the waters are rising quickly!” But the man again said, “No thanks, God will save me.”

The floodwaters rose higher pouring water into his living room and the man had to retreat to the second floor. A police motorboat came by and saw him at the window. “We will come up and rescue you!” they shouted. But the man refused, waving them off saying, “Use your time to save someone else! I have faith that God will save me!”

The flood waters rose higher and higher and the man had to climb up to his rooftop.

A helicopter spotted him and dropped a rope ladder. A rescue officer came down the ladder and pleaded with the man, “Grab my hand and I will pull you up!” But the man STILL refused, folding his arms tightly to his body. “No thank you! God will save me!” 

Shortly after, the house broke up and the floodwaters swept the man away and he drowned.

When in Heaven, the man stood before God and asked, “I put all of my faith in You. Why didn’t You come and save me?”

And God said, “Son, I sent you a warning. I sent you a car. I sent you a canoe. I sent you a motorboat. I sent you a helicopter. What more were you looking for?”

Source: epistle.us/inspiration/godwillsaveme.html

This cautionary tale has been on my mind for a couple of months. I am in the process of my own response to the reminder, but I feel compelled to share now rather than later.

Often we know what we need, but because of our preconceived notions of how we will receive it, we miss it when it’s right in front of us.

I’ve been ready to relocate since 2011. I arrived in New York City shortly after my thirtieth birthday in September 2005. It was a place I had always wanted to live. Since I hadn’t cultivated thoughts of other cities, I couldn’t envision myself anywhere else when I was ready to go. I began scouting cities as possible new homes in 2012. In September 2016, I visited Tucson for the first time. As I drove along the road leading to the first neighborhood on my list to visit, an incredible awe and peace came over me. My immediate internal response to the awe and peace was, “This is home.”

A couple if months later, in December I returned to put a deposit on a lot at the end of that road and began building my new home. I closed on it in June 2017 then returned to New York quietly excited but troubled.

There is no logical or mathematical way that I can explain my ability to purchase a second home – most certainly not one in a desert across the country. It was a very stressful year to say the least, but only because I chose to worry about money and my ability to to cover my debts. 🙂 It was blatantly obvious from the beginning of the process that God was leading. I was following. He wanted me to get some place and He wanted me to get moving now. Even while believing this, I still agonized over the details.

My spirit was willing but my flesh was weak.

Spiritually, I know everything that is happening in my life right now is God’s plan, positioning and timing. He’s about to perform His Word in my life and turbo boost me into my purpose. Spiritually, I know that the house and transcontinental move are not the “big thing.” Perhaps that’s the source of the underlining fear….

Physically, in my flesh, I can see myself barely staying above water with my current income spread across two mortgages and all associated expenses. My goal was to complete my move when all my ducks were in a row. Secure job in new city, secure renters and possible buyer for NYC apartment and perhaps a renter for the spare room in the new house. I wanted to be sure all my financial obligations were covered before I gave up my Big City job. I didn’t want to risk foreclosure after all the hard work and sweat equity I’ve put into acquiring what I have.

The missing detail is that I haven’t been able to secure a position in Tucson or a location-flexible (remote) role in the last fifteen months. As the months have passed following  my closing with no clear path to completing my move, I became despondent. I kept asking God to tell me what my next step was. My employment and NYC apartment concerns aren’t easy to disentangle from. These concerns overshadowed how much God had already glided me through.

My mental maneuvering immobilized me. I was gripped in a fear I didn’t recognize and therefore couldn’t acknowledge. My inability to secure employment on the other side of this move exposed the condition of my faith to me. This has humbled me greatly.

The rich young man grieved by the thought of selling all his possessions to follow Jesus has been on my mind lately (Matthew 19:16-26).  I’ve been ashamed much like Peter must have been when he realized that he did indeed deny Jesus three times before the rooster crowed.

I know that nothing I have is mine; that everything I’ve been blessed with has been received through grace. Even with that deep sure knowledge, I still thought I could pause what God has set in motion until I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish. Even with that deep sure knowledge, it’s a struggle to quit my job and go where I’ve been shown to go. Even with that deep sure knowledge, my salary keeps trying to trump my faith.

I wouldn’t have thought that my faith would ever be a weak link for me, but I should’ve known. How can we be strengthened if we aren’t tested?

A few weeks ago, I fell asleep in the middle of a prayer. My forlorn plea was, “Father, please tell me what my next step is.” For months, I had been asking Him to tell me what to do. I could see the big picture (or rather the mid-range picture), but I couldn’t see the strokes or the steps to get to that picture without losing ground. When I woke up the next morning, the answer in my spirit was a straight-forward, “I have already given you a way out.”

With that, I got up and went about my Father’s business.

#getupandgo

These things happened to them to serve as an example, and they were written down to instruct us, on whom the ends of the ages have come. So if you think you are standing, watch out that you do not fall. No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing He will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:11-13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thank You for Peewee

Woman Be Restored

Spending my day at the Woman Be Restored Conference at Times Square Church. This year it started with a two hour morning break out session. I chose the Relationship Restoration breakout teaching. I missed most of the first hour – I thought there would be a warm of singing before we got into the meat of the conference. My thinking was wrong. So was my attitude. I walked in on the teaching saying that our ability to forgive is based on our capacity to forgive. My listening walls immediately went up and I typed in my notes, “capacity vs. understanding.” Meaning we have the capacity to do everything God instructs us to do, we are limited only by our understanding of who God Is and the Power He has to Perform in our life. We have to understand that saying “yes” and “amen” to God will take us places (internally and externally, spiritually and physically) we can’t even  imagine or envision.

While my attitude was busy saying no to the teaching in the room by countering the points with my own, God broke in with a whisper, “Thank you for Peewee.”

Before I know it, I’m searching my phone for this post I wrote in October 2016. I shook my head slightly on the negative even as my hand was going in the air for permission to speak.

My hand played cat and mouse with the air several times before I was called on. I ended up being the last to speak before we closed the meeting in prayer. I think it was fitting to close on a cry of thanksgiving. I started by stating that forgiveness is an expression of love and I offered it to my dad, Peewee, as an offering of love for my deceased mother who loved him to her death. Forgiveness is a process and many people will try to dictate or force their interpretations on you about their idea of what forgiveness looks, feels or sounds like. Then I read the paragraph beginning with “So on to now.”

October 2, 2016

Thank You for Peewee.

My dad has been coming to mind strongly and often lately.

I wrote a piece about him a few years ago as a submission for a father/daughter project. Some time after his death, I had a series of dreams about him, disturbing dreams actually. Dreams where I was locked up and still a sexual object for him. The dreams didn’t stop until I forcibly removed myself from the home he had me locked up in and blew the home up from a helicopter with a rocket launcher.

I awoke from that final dream feeling quite bad ass and liberated.

Despite the effort I made following his release from prison to build a father/daughter relationship with him, most of my thoughts of him are devoid of fondness. My greatest sadness about him is that there is no longer any opportunity to reconcile with him again. Our relationship blew up after my brother died in 2007 because of Peewee’s decision to honor his own brother at my brother’s funeral. His brother had also sexually violated me in my youth. My brother was not fond of him. And even if they had been in communication as Peewee’s sister recently tried to tell me, Antione would not have approved of the way his sister’s rapist was given a place of honor to speak through a relative of his love for his nephew at his funeral as his unprepared sister realized too late what was going on.

Peewee and I fell out over that sneak attack. What I snapped at him outside the funeral home as we walked out was, “Even now, with the death of your son, you chose not to put your children before your brother and sister. When will you put us first?” Although he had no rights of fatherhood, I had already named him as legal next of kin for my brother in order to help with funeral preparations until I was able to arrive in Gary. I insisted in the street the day of my brother’s funeral that he put his grandchildren first and sign the paperwork to have my brother’s cremated ashes sent to his daughters. He agreed and we walked back into the funeral home to complete the paper work. After that I told him he and I were done.

He died three years later. To my knowledge he made no effort to mend our breach. When he knew he was dying he called his brother and sister. Even on his deathbed he didn’t ask for me. I saw that as a choice… as in he chose who he wanted to see and be with in the end. As in, he never did get around to putting his children first – before his brother and sister.

And for that ending, my thoughts of him are often filled with resentment and a deep sense of rejection. Wow. I hadn’t been able to follow my thoughts through to this revelation before. His sister and perhaps others thought that my feelings towards Peewee were based on his sexual abuse of me in my youth. When she finally spoke to me about it a few years ago, I told her what I shared here and added that he had been forgiven long ago for his abusive violation of me.

So on to now. I’m sitting in the sanctuary streaming silent tears. During service, after a phenomenal message on ethics, integrity, loyalty and righteousness by Elder Jerry  Hampton, I prayed during the singing of “You Are My Strength.” I began crying and thanking God for everything He has done for me. For my humbling and my affliction. “Thank you for hearing me. Thank you for responding! Thank you for the pastor. Thank You for this.” The word was phenomenal during that service and during the morning service also – the message flowed through both. The song took me to another level. “Thank you for keeping me. Thank you for everything You are in me. Thank you for forming me into the woman I am and for everything you’re doing to make me the woman I am becoming.” And before I knew what was coming up from the deep well of my soul, these words passed my lips, “Thank you for Peewee!” Perhaps I stunned myself for a millisecond, but almost immediately I affirmed my thanksgiving by repeating my thanks twice more. “Thank You for Peewee, Father! Thank you for Peewee.”

Perhaps this is the reconciliation my spirit, body and life needed: Acknowledgement that even Peewee has been a blessing to my life.

I then gave thanks for Anthony, the long forgiven uncle I want nothing to do with. I gave thanks for their sister who has a special place in my heart but holds none of my trust. I gave thanks for my mother who is always a blessing in my sight. I gave thanks for all the family God has blessed me with who has repeatedly and consistently rejected me or mocked me. They have all been my training ground. The rod of my affliction. Without them what would I know or understand of the true darkness of the human spirit? And by contrast, what would I appreciate in the pure light of God’s grace and mercy and redemptive powers?

Praise God. Thank You Father. Thank You Jesus. Thank You Holy Spirit.

Amen. Amen. Amen.

Recent thoughts re Peewee

I’m packing up my New York City apartment in anticipation of a cross country move. One medium size box is nearly full with stationery. I paused when I saw that.

The things I enjoy most in life were introduced to me my Peewee. My first box of stationery was powdery pink parchment he gave me for Christmas when I was 11 or so. He put together my first bike and let me help then took me outside to teach me how to ride. one of my remaining goals is to do long distance cycling across many different terrains. My live if sci-fi comes from watching Star Trek with him. it’s amazing to me that these are the memories that are dominating more and more as time passes.

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Praying for Refugees

Their plight is in the news–let’s pray for them

temporary ban on refugees being admitted to the U.S. has put the spotlight on their plight. Few of us know what it is to lose our homes, our friends, our land, our belongings, and any sense of security. To lose identity, and dignity. Let us pray for the refugees—men and women, boys and girls—wandering the earth…

A PRAYER FOR THE POOR AND DOWNTRODDEN (from Prayers for Our Lives: 95 Lifelines to God)

[download a PDF of this prayer here]

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Luke 4:18-19

Gracious Lord in heaven,

When we consider the misery and suffering of so many millions of people in the world today, we are overwhelmed

May we not turn away.

Help us to see these realities. Open our ears to the cries of the multitudes. Give us the courage to know the pain of others.

And so we pray, though with a great sense of our limitations.

We pray for the poor. May the battle against extreme poverty go on without pause.

We pray for the oppressed. Help them to survive the corruptions of governments and the evil of criminals who prey on them.

We pray for the enslaved. Bring them rescuers who will break them out of their bondage. Give them the hope for spiritual freedom.

We pray for those who suffer the indignity of discrimination in any form. Help them find justice, and protect their hearts from bitterness.

We pray for the courageous people who are bringing release and relief to the poor and downtrodden in our world. We pray they would have resources to do the job and that they would sense your wisdom to know what may be done.

We are overwhelmed by the needs of a suffering world, dear God. Protect us from paralysis. Help us to proclaim the liberating gospel of the Lord Jesus, and to live out that gospel.

In Christ’s name, Amen.


Source: http://www.thebrooknetwork.org/

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ACAD – Rejected: Psalm 108

Praise and Prayer for Victory

A Song. A Psalm of David.

My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast;[a]
    I will sing and make melody.
    Awake, my soul![b]
Awake, O harp and lyre!
    I will awake the dawn.
I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples,
    and I will sing praises to you among the nations.
For your steadfast love is higher than the heavens,
    and your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens,
    and let your glory be over all the earth.
Give victory with your right hand, and answer me,
    so that those whom you love may be rescued.

God has promised in his sanctuary:[c]
    “With exultation I will divide up Shechem,
    and portion out the Vale of Succoth.
Gilead is mine; Manasseh is mine;
    Ephraim is my helmet;
    Judah is my scepter.
Moab is my washbasin;
    on Edom I hurl my shoe;
    over Philistia I shout in triumph.”

Who will bring me to the fortified city?
    Who will lead me to Edom?
Have you not rejected us, O God?
    You do not go out, O God, with our armies.
O grant us help against the foe,
    for human help is worthless.
With God we shall do valiantly;
    it is he who will tread down our foes.


Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 108:1 Heb Mss Gk Syr: MT lacks my heart is steadfast
  2. Psalm 108:1 Compare 57.8: Heb also my soul
  3. Psalm 108:7 Or by his holiness


New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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ACAD – Rejection: Psalm 66

Praise for God’s Goodness to Israel

To the leader. A Song. A Psalm.

Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth;
    sing the glory of his name;
    give to him glorious praise.
Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!
    Because of your great power, your enemies cringe before you.
All the earth worships you;
    they sing praises to you,
    sing praises to your name.”Selah

Come and see what God has done:
    he is awesome in his deeds among mortals.
He turned the sea into dry land;
    they passed through the river on foot.
There we rejoiced in him,
     who rules by his might forever,
whose eyes keep watch on the nations—
    let the rebellious not exalt themselves.Selah

Bless our God, O peoples,
    let the sound of his praise be heard,
who has kept us among the living,
    and has not let our feet slip.
For you, O God, have tested us;
    you have tried us as silver is tried.
You brought us into the net;
    you laid burdens on our backs;
 you let people ride over our heads;
    we went through fire and through water;
yet you have brought us out to a spacious place.[a]

 I will come into your house with burnt offerings;
    I will pay you my vows,
 those that my lips uttered
    and my mouth promised when I was in trouble.
I will offer to you burnt offerings of fatlings,
    with the smoke of the sacrifice of rams;
I will make an offering of bulls and goats.Selah

Come and hear, all you who fear God,
    and I will tell what he has done for me.
I cried aloud to him,
    and he was extolled with my tongue.
If I had cherished iniquity in my heart,
    the Lord would not have listened.
But truly God has listened;
    he has given heed to the words of my prayer.

Blessed be God,
    because he has not rejected my prayer
    or removed his steadfast love from me.


Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 66:12 Cn Compare Gk Syr Jerome Tg: Heb to a saturation

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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ACAD – Rejection: Psalm 43

Prayer to God in Time of Trouble

Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause
    against an ungodly people;
from those who are deceitful and unjust
    deliver me!
For you are the God in whom I take refuge;
    why have you cast me off?
Why must I walk about mournfully
    because of the oppression of the enemy?

O send out your light and your truth;
    let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy hill
    and to your dwelling.
Then I will go to the altar of God,
    to God my exceeding joy;
and I will praise you with the harp,
    O God, my God.

Why are you cast down, O my soul,
    and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
    my help and my God.


New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.