Praying Psalm 28
Has there been a time when it seemed that God was not listening to you? Did you feel as if He was far away? Be encouraged that God sees and hears you. He will renew your sense of intimacy with him, for he has not moved. Take your eyes off the problems and raise them to praise Him for His loving care. The psalmist said, "It is pleasant and fitting to praise the Lord" (Ps. 147:1).
1 To you I call, O LORD my Rock; do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you remain silent, I will be like those who have gone down to the pit.
I run to you when things get tough. I desperately need help. Hear me, and don't be silent. Don't turn me away. I am crying from an honest heart. I am struggling and in pain. My trust is fractured, and my feelings are hanging by a thread. I want with all my being to trust that you are my Lord and my Rock of safety. If you don't evidently intervene, I am not going to make it.
2 Hear my cry for mercy as I call to you for help, as I lift up my hands toward your Most Holy Place.
I earnestly throw myself on your mercy. I call to you as desperately as I ever have in all my life. By faith I lift my hands to your holy throne of grace. Answer me, and let me hear your voice. I need you to be there for me. I need to know you are close. I need your answer to be clear, swift, effective, and tailor-made for my desperation.
3 Do not drag me away with the wicked, with those who do evil, who speak cordially with their neighbors but harbor malice in their hearts.
Don't let me be ignorant of the enemy's devices. The people I see are not the real adversary. Don't let me fight according to flesh and blood. The workers of iniquity hide themselves behind smooth words intended to deceive and destroy me. Don't let their destructive intent have its way against me.
4 Repay them for their deeds and for their evil work; repay them for what their hands have done and bring back upon them what they deserve. 5 Since they show no regard for the works of the LORD and what his hands have done, he will tear them down and never build them up again.
I choose to bless the people who are being used to come against me, but I beg you to take your rightful authority over the invisible powers behind their visible actions. They have set themselves primarily against you and secondarily against me, the work of your hands. They are on the wrong side of you, Lord, so it's your battle.
6 Praise be to the LORD, for he has heard my cry for mercy.
I praise you for who you are to me. Thank you for your work in my life. Because of your character as a committed covenantal Father, you are gracious, compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in loving-kindness, desiring to bless me. I thank you that in your mercy you hear the cry of my heart when I plead your promises.
7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.
You are my strength, or I have no strength to withstand. I hide myself and still my soul in your impenetrable shield. The habit structures of self-protection do not serve me. You are my refuge, my fortress, my protector, my help, my hope, my high tower to which I run and am safe. Renew my broken trust in the innermost parts of my heart. Enable my heart to lean confidently into you and shout for joy because of the joy of the Lord. I will choose now to give you an offering of songs of thanksgiving.
8 The LORD is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.
Abba, I belong to you. You committed yourself to protecting me. You alone are my unyielding strength and my sure salvation. On Christ the solid Rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand. I stand still in your fortress to see your salvation. I will hide my soul deep in the Rock. I am your special treasure, chosen, anointed, appointed, sealed by your Holy Spirit.
9 Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever.
Save me and nurture me, and let me enter into all my inheritance of your blessings. You are my good Shepherd. You will lift me up onto your shoulders and carry me all the days of my life. So Lord, for today... give me this day the Bread of life that is my rightful portion. You alone are my Victory!
Write your own personal paraphrase of Psalm 28, as you find aspects of God's character and works that exactly fit your need: He is your rock, mercy, holiness, justice, strength, shield from every danger, faithfulness, help, saving refuge, protection, and shepherding presence. Does your heart fill with joy and thanksgiving over who he is? Do you see how you can turn dire circumstances into a showcase for our praise-worthy God? Always "It is pleasant and fitting to praise the Lord" (Ps. 147:1).
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