‘My God be gracious to us and bless us…’ (Psalm 67:1)
Read Psalm 67
If we stopped to consider our prayer lives we would probably realise that when we pray we adopt a particular ‘format’ in the way we come before God. For example, we might speak of our need to give thanks to God for all He has given us, of our need to acknowledge our faults before Him and seek His forgiveness, and then we would petition Him for the needs of the world around us, the Church of His Son, our own communities and families and finally ourselves. This may of course vary from time to time, but just pause to think about how you pray and whilst it may not adhere to this structure, how often do we begin by praying for ourselves.
Psalm 67 is all about the blessings of God and our praise of Him and it is one of these Psalms that brings so much comfort to us. It begins with words very similar to the Blessing bestowed upon someone during the Sacrament of Baptism, the only difference being that here we are asking for those blessings to be poured upon us. And perhaps that is why many find this Psalm so comforting, knowing that we can petition God in this way knowing that He will look upon us, that He will make His face shine upon us and bless us. However, although it is comforting and reassuring to know that God will bless us in this way, when we read the Psalm in its entirety we see that to pray for ourselves in this way isn’t simply about being selfish, it’s also about making the Lord known to others through us.
Through blessing us in this way, the Lord’s salvation is made known to all people. All too often today people ask the question, where is God? As Christians we claim to know, to love and to follow our Lord and if through receiving these blessings from God we are able to make God known more to others and enable them to see the difference He does make in our lives, then perhaps they too will seek to know the Lord and find salvation. Yet we need to look beyond even that because our ultimate hope should be that not only will others come to know the Lord and His salvation, but through this come to worship and praise God. The greatest incentive in any evangelism is to make known the glory and honour of God that in so doing others make come to salvation and worship God.
Lord, we give You thanks for all the many blessings You pour upon us day after day and for Your continued goodness towards us. Help us to share these in all we do that through our witness others may come to know and worship You. All this we ask in Jesus name…Amen.
Question Of The Day: Who owned the barley field where Ruth gleaned each day?