Psalm 102

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.

I pray to you, Lord! Please listen.  Don’t hide from me in my time of trouble. Pay attention to my prayer and quickly give an answer.

My days disappear like smoke, and my bones are burning as though in a furnace. I am wasting away like grass, and my appetite is gone. My groaning never stops, and my bones can be seen through my skin. I am like a lonely owl in the desert or a restless sparrow alone on a roof.

My enemies insult me all day, and they use my name for a curse word. Instead of food, I have ashes to eat and tears to drink, because you are furious and have thrown me aside. My life fades like a shadow at the end of the day and withers like grass.

Our Lord, you are King forever and will always be famous. You will show pity to Zion because the time has come. We, your servants, love each stone in the city, and we are sad to see them lying in the dirt.

Our Lord, the nations will honor you, and all kings on earth will praise your glory. You will rebuild the city of Zion. Your glory will be seen, and the prayers of the homeless will be answered.

Future generations must also praise the Lord, so write this for them: “From his holy temple, the Lord looked down at the earth.  He listened to the groans of prisoners, and he rescued everyone who was doomed to die.”

All Jerusalem should praise you, our Lord, when people from every nation meet to worship you. I should still be strong, but you, Lord, have made an old person of me. You will live forever! Years mean nothing to you. Don’t cut my life in half!

In the beginning, Lord, you laid the earth’s foundation and created the heavens. They will all disappear and wear out like clothes. You change them, as you would a coat, but you last forever. You are always the same. Years cannot change you. Every generation of those who serve you will live in your presence.

We worship you today knowing that you will continue to show us how much you love us.

Psalm 102

Here is today’s prayer from Psalm 102:

God. Abba. Father.

We cry out to you today. We ask that you will turn your ear to our voices and hear our prayers. There are some days when we are weak beyond weak, when our bodies, spirits, and hearts are broken. We sometimes feel like we are on the verge of withering away. We hurt.

When those days occur, help us to remember that you are still sovereign. You are our great King! You always have been. You always will be. And we can trust in your perfect timing. Your word says you will arise and show us your great compassion. And indeed, at that moment when Jesus sat up from that cold slab in the tomb, you showed us your great and unending grace and mercy. We worship you today knowing that you will continue to show us how much you love us. You will show us your favor and your glory! Thank you.

Thank you for ordaining that future generations will continue to praise you as we praise you today. For you have rescued us! Yes, you have set each one of us free from those things that hold us back. You have given us sight to see your beauty and how you make all things new. You have healed our broken hearts. No matter our age nor our circumstances in life, you continue to bring us freedom, sight and healing. Thank you.

For you are the One True God. You set the cornerstone on earth. You are the same, you remain true through all generations. We thank you for keeping your promises. Our sons and daughters will be at home with you, as we are.

All because Jesus sat up from that cold slab in the tomb! Rise in our hearts today, Jesus. Rise again.

Thank you!

We love you. Amen.

(c) 2021. Rich Ronald.

Isaiah 61. Chosen to Proclaim the Good News and Heal the Brokenhearted!

The ruins of a synagogue from Jesus’ day. This one is in Capernaum, about 20 miles northeast of Nazareth.

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 61.

I love this chapter! Before we look at today’s text we must start in the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 4. Jesus has just spent 40 days in the desert, being tempted by the enemy. He kicks the devil to the curb each time He is tested. Now, filled with the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:14), with a sense of true victory, and preparation for the ministry that is ahead He walks into the synagogue in his Nazareth hometown. Cue the epic music score.

In each synagogue, there were weekly, scheduled readings of the Torah and the Prophets. At that time it was called the “Haftarah.” These were preassigned for a given date. Jesus is so incredible! Because He grew up in this synagogue, He entered the house of worship knowing that a specific text would be the scripture reading of the day! And, He knew He would be chosen to read from the ancient parchments. What scrolls was He handed to read at His hometown synagogue that day? Isaiah 61!

“The Spirit of the LORD God has taken control of me! The LORD has chosen and sent me to tell the oppressed the good news, to heal the brokenhearted, and to announce freedom for prisoners and captives. This is the year when the LORD God will show kindness to us and punish our enemies. The LORD has sent me to comfort those who mourn, especially in Jerusalem. He sent me to give them flowers in place of their sorrow, olive oil in place of tears, and joyous praise in place of broken hearts. They will be called “Trees of Justice,” planted by the LORD to honor his name.” (v1-3, CEV).

What usually happened following the reading of the Prophets is that the reader would talk, or preach, giving His interpretation of the text He just read. What was Jesus’ sermon after reading Isaiah 61?

“He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue looked at him intently. Then he began to speak to them. “The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!” (Luke 4:20-21, NLT).

God sent Jesus to preach, to heal, to bring freedom, to pardon, to announce His grace, to comfort, to care, to bring flowers and messages of great joy!

And He continues to do so. Thankfully, He is no longer confined to a synagogue of unbelievers in His hometown. His offer of joy is available to us all. No matter our geography, race, culture or moment in time.

What is our response? To receive this beautiful gift of healing and freedom! And to offer Him praise!

If you’re new to this journey through Isaiah, you can start here.
(c) 2020. Rich Ronald.