By Brooke Holt
"May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations. Let the peoples praise you, Oh God; let all the people praise you!" Psalm 67:1-3
If we need one thing in the world right now, it is the saving power of the Lord! Every person I speak with these days laments the direction our country has gone. It seems we have forgotten the Lord, disregarded his Word, and chosen to pursue earthly agendas instead of heavenly agendas. How has that worked for us?
The CDC reported 49,369 suicides in 2022. These tragic deaths have continued to climb since 2011. Depression has gone up affecting at least 10 % of the population with the biggest increase among teens and young adults. According to Renee Goodwin (professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Public Health and Policy), “Depression is extremely common in the U.S. and has reached epidemic levels” (US News). Beyond suicide and depression, addictions are also on the rise. Isn’t it obvious the world’s way is not working!
The Prayer of Psalm 67 could be our prayer. We need God’s grace to cover us, to bring us to conviction and repentance, and then to lead us back to his will and way. When we do things God’s way, we experience blessing. His face does shine upon us, and he is faithful to continue to lead us on his path of righteousness. We desperately need God’s saving power to intervene and set us free from the bondage of our rebellion, stubbornness, and hard-heartedness towards him.
What is the way forward for us? I believe it is the way of prayer, of lifting our voice in accordance with this Psalm and all of God’s Word. As God’s people, we must beseech the Lord on our behalf and on behalf of our families, our neighbors, our leaders, and our world. We must seek the grace of the Lord as well as the way of repentance and restoration. That way will lead us back to being people who praise the Lord.
That is the cry of our Psalmist for today. May it be our cry as well. It may look like all is doom and gloom in our world today, but God is gracious and merciful. He is quick to forgive and ready to restore. May the prayers and praises begin with us today – may we find ourselves walking in the way of the Lord!
Are you concerned about the ways of our world today? Bring those concerns and all your laments before God’s throne of mercy today. Beseech him to render grace to this world and continue to pray for repentance and revival. After you pray, take time to praise the Lord. While we have not been faithful, he has stayed true to his every word. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Follow the ancient way of the Psalms and find the life God has for you. A model for vibrant worship, the Psalms provide practical wisdom to traverse the circuitous path of life with trust and hope. Pilgrim’s Path: A Study of the Psalms traces our spiritual walk with God—from discovery and delight, through doubt and disappointment, into joyful confidence. Whether used for individual or group study, Pilgrim’s Path is for everyone who seeks to know and love God more and find life in him.
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