Psalm 119-8, (Chet, “wall”)

Here is today’s prayer from Psalm 119-8 (Chet, “wall”), verses 57-64:

God. Abba. Father.

Thank you for walls, Lord. Ones that surround us and protect us and keep the enemy from getting to us or prevent us from places we need not go. You are good to us in that way. Thank you!

Our hearts’ desire is to obey your word – every minute of every day. Forgive us when we put our desires ahead of your plans. Sometimes we get distracted and knocked off the path. Sometimes those distractors surround us. Yet, you give us the strength to stand, to break down walls that are meant to harm us, and follow you once again. Thank you for heaven-gifted breakthroughs!

The earth is filled with your love! Thank you for friends who love you. Give us allies who will encourage us and speak your truths to us. And allow us to be the same for our companions. Teach us how to follow your ways.

Through Jesus,


We’re reading through, and with intentionality, praying through the Psalms during this school year. There are 150 Psalms, divided into 180 different readings. See this post for more info.

(c) 2021. Rich Ronald.

Psalm 119-7 (Zayin, “tool”)

Here is today’s prayer from Psalm 119-7 (Zayin, “tool”), verses 49-56:

God. Abba. Father.

Thank you for your word. Like a trowel, may you plant your word deep in our hearts. Thank you for your promises of truth and life. We cling to your word every day for it brings us hope. Your promises keep us steady when the storms prevail. Yes, we are energized by your word!

Others may turn their backs to you, but we will press on. Others may mock our devotion to you, but our adventures with you affirm your love for us. Your precepts keep us on the right track. Your unending compassion guides us and keeps us safe.

We sing of your faithfulness day and night. For you are good to us. We are comforted by the peace of your word.

Jesus in the Word.

And it is in His name we pray.


We’re reading through, and with intentionality, praying through the Psalms during this school year. There are 150 Psalms, divided into 180 different readings. See this post for more info.

(c) 2021. Rich Ronald.

Psalm 119-6 (Vav, “connect”)

Here is today’s prayer from Psalm 119-6, verses 41-48:

God. Abba. Father.

Thank you for connections, those dear friends, people, places, and things that tie us together. We need connections.  They keep us safe and secure. Thank you for your Word which is a bridge between your heart and ours. Thank you for your unfailing love and your promises to us. We trust in you and we trust you, Lord.

Our hope is in you. When we feel defeated, we remember your word, your truth, which brings us freedom!

So, we will praise your name today! We sing aloud of the greatness of who you are and what you have done for us! You have bridged the gap between our hearts and yours via the nails which held the Messiah to the tree.

Thank you!

In Jesus’ name.


We’re reading through, and with intentionality, praying through the Psalms during this school year. There are 150 Psalms, divided into 180 different readings. See this post for more info.

(c) 2021. Rich Ronald.

Psalm 119-5 (Hey)

Here is today’s prayer from Psalm 119-5 (Hey), verses 33-40:

God. Abba. Father.

We lift up our hands in praise to you today! You are Yahweh, the LORD, the One True God.

Teach us. May your word be the first place we turn when we need advice and counsel on how to live in this world. Give us what we need to follow your ways — they are just and true.

May we understand your guidance, as well, making it simpler to obey your word. We know that we find joy in walking the path of right, for it is good. Give us a hunger for wisdom and to devour your word. Forgive us for valuing our things, our possessions, our stuff. They are worthless and will pass away. But your word lives forever. It is the most valuable treasure we can have.

Thank you for keeping your promises to us. They are our blessing. They are our very life!

We glorify your name today, God the Father, Jesus the Son, and Holy Spirit our comforter.


We’re reading through, and with intentionality, praying through the Psalms during this school year. There are 150 Psalms, divided into 180 different readings. See this post for more info.

(c) 2021. Rich Ronald.

Psalm 106

We’re reading through, and with intentionality, praying through the Psalms during this school year. There are 150 Psalms, divided into 180 different readings. See this post for more info.

Here is today’s prayer, preceded by the text from the Contemporary English Version, copyright 1995, by the America Bible Society:

We will celebrate and praise you, Lord! You are good to us, and your love never fails. No one can praise you enough for all of the mighty things you have done. You bless those people who are honest and fair in everything they do.

Remember me, Lord, when you show kindness by saving your people. Let me prosper with the rest of your chosen ones, as they celebrate with pride because they belong to you.

We and our ancestors have sinned terribly. When they were in Egypt, they paid no attention to your marvelous deeds or your wonderful love. And they turned against you at the Red Sea.

But you were true to your name, and you rescued them to prove how mighty you are. You said to the Red Sea, “Dry up!” Then you led your people across on land as dry as a desert. You saved all of them and drowned every one of their enemies. Then your people trusted you and sang your praises.

But they soon forgot what you had done and rejected your advice. They became greedy for food and tested you there in the desert.  So you gave them what they wanted, but later you destroyed them with a horrible disease.

Everyone in camp was jealous of Moses and of Aaron, your chosen priest.  Dathan and Abiram rebelled, and the earth opened up and swallowed them. Then fire broke out and destroyed all of their followers.

At Horeb your people made and worshiped the statue of a bull, instead of you, their glorious God.  You worked powerful miracles to save them from Egypt, but they forgot about you and the fearsome things you did at the Red Sea. You were angry and started to destroy them, but Moses, your chosen leader, begged you not to do it.

They would not trust you, Lord, and they did not like the promised land.  They would not obey you, and they grumbled in their tents. So you threatened them by saying, “I’ll kill you out here in the desert! I’ll scatter your children everywhere in the world.”

Your people became followers of a god named Baal Peor, and they ate sacrifices offered to the dead. They did such terrible things that you punished them with a deadly disease.  But Phinehas helped them, and the sickness stopped. Now he will always be highly honored.

At Meribah Spring they turned against you and made you furious. Then Moses got into trouble for speaking in anger.

Our Lord, they disobeyed you by refusing to destroy the nations. Instead they were friendly with those foreigners and followed their customs.  Then they fell into the trap of worshiping idols. They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons and to the gods of Canaan. Then they poured out the blood of these innocent children and made the land filthy.  By doing such gruesome things, they also became filthy.

Finally, Lord, you were angry and terribly disgusted with your people. So you put them in the power of nations that hated them. They were mistreated and abused by their enemies, but you saved them time after time. They were determined to rebel, and their sins caused their downfall.

You answered their prayers when they were in trouble.  You kept your agreement and were so merciful that their enemies had pity on them.

Save us, Lord God! Bring us back from among the nations. Let us celebrate and shout in praise of your holy name.

Lord God of Israel, you deserve to be praised forever and ever. Let everyone say, “Amen! Shout praises to the Lord!”

You answered their prayers when they were in trouble. You kept your agreement and were so merciful that their enemies had pity on them.

Psalm 106:44

Here is today’s prayer from Psalm 106.

God. Abba. Father.

We thank you for you are good, and your love endures forever. It never fails us. Ever. No one can praise you enough! You bless those who are honest and fair. Help us to be people where honesty and justice flow from our actions.

Thank you for showing us your kindness. We join the ranks of those who celebrate you, and those who follow you.

We confess our sin, and those of our ancestors, even those who turned their backs on you and your grace. We remember the true stories of the exodus of your chosen people. We see the circle of their actions: embracing your love, then complaining, then turning their verbal criticism into sin, before finally embracing your love once again. We confess that it is easy for us to repeat that same cycle. Help us to see your love and act accordingly every day. Help us to be strong and courageous, boldly believing who you are without a doubt. Let us be people of faith and people of action.

Save us! Thank you for answering our prayers, even when we are in trouble. Thank you for keeping your promises to us. We are undeserving of your great grace and love!

We sing praises to your name forever! You are our God. From everlasting to everlasting.

We sing Hallelujah!

In the name of Jesus.


(c) 2021. Rich Ronald.

Romans 9. Grace Means We Are God’s Children.

Earlier this year, we took a journey together through the Old Testament book of  Isaiah. Paul, as a learned rabbi and the author of the letter to the church at Rome, quoted regularly from the Prophet. So, let’s take the next few weeks together to look at the New Testament book of Romans.

You can listen to this devotional here:

Romans 9

We all have blind spots. Don’t you find it ironic when you can see something about someone else’s life but they cannot? That’s how Paul feels about the people of Israel. He notes that the Jews are God’s chosen people, but they are so strict at following the Law, they are often blind to see His grace.  We all can be that way.  Paul gives a couple of Old Testament examples. Here is one about Jacob, the second-born twin of Rebecca:

“What God did in this case made it perfectly plain that his purpose is not a hit-or-miss thing dependent on what we do or don’t do, but a sure thing determined by his decision, flowing steadily from his initiative.” (v 12, MSG).

God’s grace and mercy are not dependent on anything WE do. He loves us. Period. Just because we are His kids.

He’s in charge of compassion and mercy. I’m thankful for that. He extends His kindness and we can trust Him. He leads us and we can follow Him. He cares for us and we can rest in His arms. He protects us and we can be certain the enemy will not defeat us. He provides for us and we can be assured that we’ll always have more than what we need. Just because He’s that kind of Father. He’s that kind of God. The One True God. He keeps His promises. Always.

And no matter where we are or what we’ve done, that kindness, that mercy is ours. Yes, it’s that simple.

It’s such a good place to be on the receiving side of His grace! The emphasis here is that God is God. And it is a privilege to be called His children. Why? Like we read yesterday, God is crazy in love with us. After all, He created us.

He cares for us and we can rest in His arms.

Paul quotes one of the minor prophets next:

Hosea put it well:
I’ll call nobodies and make them somebodies;
’ll call the unloved and make them beloved.

In the place where they yelled out, “You’re nobody!”
they’re calling you “God’s living children.” (v 25, MSG). Hosea 2:23

Paul then quotes Isaiah:

Isaiah maintained this same emphasis:
If each grain of sand on the seashore were numbered
and the sum labeled “chosen of God,”
They’d be numbers still, not names;
salvation comes by personal selection.
God doesn’t count us; he calls us by name.
Arithmetic is not his focus. (v27-28, MSG). Isaiah 10:22-23.

And arithmetic need not be our focus either. Things don’t always add up in life. As long as we keep our focus on God and His grace, we don’t need to worry about anything else! We are His children. He’s got this!

Paul concludes his thoughts on the subject:

How can we sum this up? All those people who didn’t seem interested in what God was doing actually embraced what God was doing as he straightened out their lives. And Israel, who seemed so interested in reading and talking about what God was doing, missed it. How could they miss it? Because instead of trusting God, they took over. They were absorbed in what they themselves were doing. They were so absorbed in their “God projects” that they didn’t notice God right in front of them, like a huge rock in the middle of the road. And so they stumbled into him and went sprawling. Isaiah (again!) gives us the metaphor for pulling this together:

Careful! I’ve put a huge stone on the road to Mount Zion, a stone you can’t get around. But the stone is me! If you’re looking for me, you’ll find me on the way, not in the way. (v30-33, MSG).  Isaiah 8:14 and 28:16.

That’s a promise that I want to fully embrace! He is walking with us. Following Jesus is not a stumbling block! He doesn’t slow us down. Following Him is not an obstacle or wall to be climbed over. He is the stone that leads us along the path. I think when we fully embrace that He is with us “on the way,” we can have an amazing confidence that wherever we walk, we will be okay. We have nothing to fear.  In fact, we will be more than okay, because the very presence of God is with us! 

Remember this:

“At the place where they yelled out “You’re a nobody!” they are now calling you “Children of the living God!”

(c) 2020. Rich Ronald.

Today, I’m attaching this worship song from Bethel Worship because it mirrors our text.



Isaiah 25

Celebrate! God keeps His promises!

Because of the importance of Israel and its people, and my personal love for The Land, I’m inviting you to join me through the key Old Testament book of Isaiah.  Each day I’m posting some simple thoughts about this complex prophet.

Isaiah 25

Time to celebrate!

“God, you are my God. I celebrate you. I praise you. You’ve done your share of miracle-wonders, well-thought-out plans, solid and sure.” (v1, MSG).

So. Much. Joy! God keeps His promises. He is a place of safety for the poor and needy. He is our shelter.

And then there’s this:

“Here the Lord will strip away the burial clothes that cover the nations.   The Lord All-Powerful will destroy the power of death and wipe away all tears. No longer will his people be insulted everywhere. The Lord has spoken!” (v7-8, CEV).

John’s Revelation confirms this as well: “He will wipe all tears from their eyes, and there will be no more death, suffering, crying, or pain. These things of the past are gone forever.” (Revelation 21:4, CEV).

Where does this happen? On Mount Zion! The place where Abraham offered Isaac. The place where David purchased a threshing floor. The place where Solomon’s temple once stood. In Jerusalem!

“At that time, people will say, “The Lord has saved us! Let’s celebrate. We waited and hoped— now our God is here.”” (v9, CEV).

Our God offers us all such great hope! Our God is here! He’s here in the presence of Jesus, His Son. He’s here in the comfort and guidance of the Holy Spirit. He keeps His promises. We can trust Him. We can celebrate His miracles. He promises new wine. He promises a choice feast. (v6). Remember yesterday’s thoughts about wine and the joy it represents?

I’m reminded of a worship song with these lyrics:

“Where there is new wine, there is new power. There is new freedom. The Kingdom is here!” (New Wine, by Hillsong Worship, 2018).

The Kingdom IS here!

Celebrate with me!

If you’re new to this journey through Isaiah, you can start here.

(c) 2020. Rich Ronald.


Isaiah 15

Because of the importance of Israel and its people, and my personal love for The Land, I’m inviting you to join me through the key Old Testament book of Isaiah.  Each day I’m posting some simple thoughts about this complex prophet.

Isaiah 15

“Moab is left in ruins.” (v1, CEV). Even its people who flee the land will be attacked.

Moab was what is now mostly the country of Jordan. It is just on the other side of the Dead Sea where many tourists float in South Israel.  It, like so much of the lands from 1000 BC, are in ruins. As will likely our lands be in 3000 years, right?

But what stands the test of time? God’s word.  Jesus says in Matthew 24:35 that even the heavens and earth will pass away but not His words.

We can be assured that His love and His promises for us will never fail. We are why He came. We can always trust the truth of His words! They will never be like the ruins of Moab, Israel or even the future ruins of any town in the USA.

And indeed, Jesus is the Word. “In the beginning was the one who is called the Word. The Word was with God and was truly God. From the very beginning the Word was with God.” (John 1:1-2, CEV). He is the One who came from Bethlehem, the house of bread. He is the one who said, “I am the bread of life.” (John 6:35). He is our sustenance. He is our life. He lives forever!

The soldier of God, Joshua, proclaims: “Not one word failed from all the good words God spoke to the house of Israel. Everything came out right.” (Joshua 21:45, MSG). Everything will come out for you and me as well!

I’m thankful that His words of life are truth. His words will never fail. He keeps His promises. His words stand the test of time. His word is eternal.


(c) 2020. Rich Ronald.

God watches over you.

Isaiah 31 begins with the admonition to put our trust in God alone. Don’t trust in Egyptians or Americans or your boss or your favorite sports team. They will fail you. They are mere humans.

“You are in for trouble if you go to Egypt for help, or if you depend on an army of chariots or a powerful cavalry. Instead you should depend on and trust the holy Lord God of Israel.”
Isaiah 31:1 CEV

We’ve seen throughout Isaiah the encouragement to trust God! Why? Because as verse 2 reminds us: God does what He says. He keeps His promises.

And then there’s this:

“I, the Lord All-Powerful, will protect Jerusalem like a mother bird circling over her nest.”
Isaiah 31:5 CEV

One translation says “like a huge eagle…”

God has a special place in His heart for Jerusalem and its people. And for those who believe Jesus is the Messiah, we are those people, included in that group, thanks to His “grafting us in” via the cross and the empty tomb! So, we can say that God has a special place in His heart for you and me. And like an eagle or a mother bird, He will watch over us and protect us!

I’m reminded of this beautiful Psalm:

I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you— the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
Psalms 121:1‭-‬8 NIV

He is watching over you today! He sees your hopes, dreams, challenges and struggles. He will lead you to straight paths, meadows of rest and streams of living water.

He loves you and is proud of you. You can trust Him. We can trust Him together.

©️ 2019 Rich Ronald.