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Encourage Someone Today
Series 2004—"prayer-starters"Part 4

THE HOLY SPIRIT Series

Praying with Men of
the Old Covenant


Discovering the Depth of Understanding and Praying that Existed in the Men of the Old Covenant

THE VISION AND THE HEART CRY in God’s people under the Old Covenant was that their Messiah would come—in Glory. A clear voice regarding this could be heard in David, precious bumbling man that he was. He was in Covenant with the Lord God, he had a heart that loved the Lord, he sought earnestly after a Dwelling Place for the Lord, he was a man who knew to worship the Lord and who honored Him. But—he was also a man who let carnality overtake him. What grief! What pain! What remorse! What discovery! What a help for us who are too much like him—and yet, who love the One Who did come! Our Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ!

We follow the cry of David, plus some others, through these “prayer starters.
They were men from the Old Covenant who lived with in anticipation that the Glory of the Lord would be revealed.

 

DAY 1First, we listen to Malachi, the last Prophet who spoke from the Old Testament.

•Malachi 3:1,2"Look! I'm sending My Messenger on ahead to clear the way for Me. Suddenly, out of the blue, the Leader you've been looking for will enter his Temple—yes, the Messenger of the Covenant, the One you've been waiting for. Look! He's on his way!" A Message from the mouth of GOD-of-the- Angel-Armies. But who will be able to stand up to that Coming? Who can survive His appearance? He'll be like white-hot fire from the smelter's furnace. He'll be like the strongest lye soap at the laundry. [MSG]

•Haggai 2:6,7 This is what the LORD Almighty says: “In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all nations, and the Desired (One) of all nations will come, and I will fill this House with Glory,” says the LORD Almighty. [NIV]

LORD, I am coming to know how You desire to dwell in the midst of Your people. This comforts my heart. But, oh, it makes me know how we must be pure for Your Dwelling! Please let Your Spirit search me, and these I hold before You. Make us ready for the Day of Your glorious appearing.

Moses exhorts the people to remember God’s dealings with them.—Deuteronomy 8:1-18

 

DAY 2Mankinds’s gravest problem is sin.

•Psalm 25:11 (David:) For the honor of Your Name, O LORD, forgive my many, many sins. [NLT]

Psalm 79:9 (Asaph, a man who lived under the Babylonian Captivity:) You're famous for helping; God, give us a break. Your reputation is on the line. Pull us out of this mess, forgive us our sins—do what You're famous for doing! [MSG]

FATHER of mercies, I lay my life open for Your Spirit to search me. Please find every thing in me that grieves You. Bring my soul under conviction. For these I hold before You: put in them—and in me—a desire for Your righteous judgments. Bring our hidden sin to the light of Your mercy.

A Powerful Example from Daniel—Daniel 9:3-17

 

DAY 3It was revealed to David that nations would reject the promised Messiah.

Psalm 2:1-3 (from David:) Why the big noise, nations? Why the mean plots, peoples? Earth-leaders push for position. Demagogues and delegates meet for summit talks. The God-deniers, the Messiah-defiers: "Let's get free of God! Cast loose from Messiah!" [MSG]

•Exodus 34:6-9 (from Moses:) GOD passed in front of him and called out, "GOD, GOD, a God of mercy and grace, endlessly patient—so much love, so deeply true—loyal in love for a thousand generations, forgiving iniquity, rebellion, and sin. Still, he doesn't ignore sin. He holds sons and grandsons responsible for a father's sins to the third and even fourth generation." At once, Moses fell to the ground and worshiped, saying, "Please, O Master, if you see anything good in me, please Master, travel with us, hardheaded as these people are. Forgive our iniquity and sin. Own us, possess us." [MSG]

MASTER, like Moses, I am crying out today with the plea that You travel with us. The journey has been difficult. There have been times when we all have failed. We have failed You. We have failed one another. How we—as a nation—need Your tender loving kindness! I simply say, Help us!

A New Discovery of God’s mercy—Psalm 25:1-11

 

DAY 4From the beginning God has offered to cleanse His people from their sin.

Psalm 51:1 (David:) Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. [NLT]

•Ezekiel 36:24-26 (Ezekiel prophesies:) For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. [NIV]

FATHER, I am beginning to gain a glimpse of Your merciful determination to have a people in the earth who are clean and pure—a people in whom You can dwell. While I don’t understand all prophecies, I do at least see this much: Your mercy will prevail in bringing this people into being!

The Gathering of God’s People—Genesis 49:10; Psalm 107:1-8

 

DAY 5David knew the miracle of a clean heart could take place. We discover this in Jesus.

Psalm 51:10 (David:) Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right, persevering, and steadfast spirit within me. [AMP]

•Mathew 5:8 (Jesus:) You're blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world. [MSG]

•Ephesians 2:2 Now because of Christ—dying that death, shedding that blood—you who were once out of it altogether are in on everything.

LORD GOD, the inside of me has been torn up. I’ve really been a mess. I want to thank You today for what You have been doing in me. It’s all because of Your love and Your Son Jesus! Please continue putting my life together. Put it together in a way that will make me useful for Your Kingdom.

We Learn about Becoming Clean—Psalm 119:9-11

 

 

DAY 6Basking in the Joy of Sins Forgiven

Psalm 51:12,13 (David:) Let the joy of Your saving power return to me. And give me a willing spirit to obey you. Then I will teach wrongdoers Your ways. And sinners will turn to You. [NLV]

•Isaiah 61:10 (Isaiah saw the future awaiting God’s redeemed people.) I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. [NIV]

•Revelation 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice and honor Him. For the time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb, and His Bride has prepared herself. [NLT]

O, LORD, what joy to know that my sins are forgiven! How I praise You that these in my own family also have a heart of joy for You. Please draw us all in. Now, I name before You these who seem sluggish in their devotion to you. Oh, let our greatest joy be that of knowing You and serving You! A New Day with a New Joy—Isaiah 35:1-10

 

IN PREPARATION for that Day, we give our hearts over to the searching power of the Holy Spirit. Still, we follow the cry of those men of old.

 

 

DAY 7Coming through with a Testimony

•Psalm 88:1-3 (From one of the *MASCHIL Psalms, giving guidance to one in deep trouble:) O LORD God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before Thee: Let my prayer come before thee: incline thine ear unto my cry; for my soul is full of troubles: and my life draweth nigh unto the grave. [KJV]

Psalm 51:14 (David:) Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. [KJV]

FATHER, I’ve learned I cannot bear my guilt any longer. There has been too much wrong in my life. I’ve caused too many people pain. All I can do now is turn it all over to You. Please take this guilt from me. Make me into a new person in Your Son Christ Jesus. Set me free to become a person who brings redemption and healing to others—and joy to You.

Another MASCHIL Psalm, Giving Instruction for the Depressed Soul Finding Hope—Psalm 42:1-11

 

DAY 8Learning to Praise the Lord even When Times Are Very Difficult

•Psalm 34:1-3 (From a Psalm of David, when he pretended to be insane before Abimelech, “who drove him out, and he went away”—I Samuel 21) I will bless the LORD at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble (the “meek” of the earth) shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His Name together. [KJV]

Psalm 145:1,2 (David:) I will praise You, my God and King, and bless Your Name forever and ever. I will bless You every day, and I will praise You forever.[NLT]

FATHER, teach me to live a life of praise. Set me free from grumbling and complaining. Give me a thankful heart. Forgive me for looking too much on the negative side of matters, even when troubles increase. Make me into a person, positive and sure for Your Kingdom.

Even to old age we will continue praising the Lord.—Psalm 71:9-18

 

DAY 9Giving Testimony of Things Learned in a Very Difficult Situation

•Psalm 34:4 (A continuing testimony of David when he was delivered from a very bad situation with Abimelech:) I looked for the Lord, and He answered me. And He took away all my fears. [NLV]

Psalm 22:23,24 (David:) Shout Hallelujah, you Godworshipers; give glory, you sons of Jacob; adore Him, you daughters of Israel. He has never let you down, never looked the other way when you were being kicked around. He has never wandered off to do his own thing; He has been right there, listening. [MSG]

DEAR LORD, help me—and these I hold before You—to learn good things from this trial we’re going through. Others have meant it for evil, but I confess You are working good into our lives from all of it. I praise You for every day of it.

A Cry to God when Others Oppose Us—Psalm 56:1-13

 

DAY 10A Testimony of a Powerful Lesson Learned

•Psalm 34:6,7 (A continuing testimony from David after he was delivered from the situation with

Abimelech:) I cried out to the LORD in my suffering, and He heard me. He set me free from all my fears. For the Angel of the LORD guards all who fear Him, and He rescues them. [NLT]

Psalm 66:16-20 (Probably a Psalm celebrating the restoration from the Babylonian captivity:) All believers, come here and listen, let me tell you what God did for me. I called out to Him with my mouth, my tongue shaped the sounds of music. If I had been cozy with evil, the Lord would never have listened. But He most surely did listen, He came on the double when He heard my prayer. [MSG]

FATHER, we are learning that Your faithfulness continues from generation to generation. Please help me pass on the understanding of Your faithfulness and love to those who follow after me. Some of them are going through painful trials. Let Your grace and love reach through to them.

God’s Determination to Help the Humble (the meek)Who Shall Inherit the Earth—Psalm 10:1-18

 

DAY 11A Cry to the Lord when Trouble Returns—as It Is Prone to Do

•Psalm 31:1-9,14, 19 (The Psalmist, with strong confidence in God while going through distress, prays earnestly for deliverance.) I run to you, GOD; I run for dear life. Don't let me down! Take me seriously this time! Get down on my level and listen, and please—no procrastination! … You're my cave to hide in, my cliff to climb. Be my safe Leader, be my true Mountain Guide. Free me from hidden traps; I want to hide in You. I've put my life in Your hands. You won't drop me, You'll never let me down. I hate all this silly religion, but You, GOD, I trust. I'm leaping and singing in the circle of Your love; You saw my pain, You disarmed my tormentors, You didn't leave me in their clutches but gave me room to breathe. Be kind to me, GOD—I'm in deep, deep trouble again. I've cried my eyes out; I feel hollow inside.… Desperate, I throw myself on You: You are my God! ……What a stack of blessing You have piled up for those who worship You, ready and waiting for all who run to You to escape an unkind world. [MSG]

FATHER, my prayer is above. Whoever the Psalmist was expressed the cry of my own heart.

God’s Mercies Reaching for Those Who Have Failed Him—Psalm 106:45; Daniel 9:9

 

DAY 12The mercy of the Lord has been, and always is, our hope.

•Psalm 69:13-16 (This is a cry unto the Lord from one caught in deep trouble, knowing there is but one answer: God’s mercy!) …I keep right on praying to You, LORD hoping this is the time You will show me favor. In Your unfailing love, O God, answer my prayer with Your sure salvation. Pull me out of the mud; don't let me sink any deeper! Rescue me from those (even the demonic forces) who hate me, and pull me from these deep waters. Don't let the floods overwhelm me, or the deep waters swallow me, or the pit of death devour me. Answer my prayers, O LORD, for Your unfailing love is wonderful. Turn and take care of me, for Your mercy is so plentiful. [MSG]

MERCIFUL HIGH PRIEST, Lamb of Calvary. You are the One Who died for me. Compassionate High Priest, mighty Intercessor! Complete Your work in me. Bring all of us here to the place where we won’t keep on falling into the pit of despair. Oh, our love for You is growing! Even today!

The LORD hears the poor, and despises not his prisoners.—Psalm 69:17-36

 

DAY 13The mercy of the Lord reaches us—even when friends fail us.

•Psalm 41:4-9 (This is a cry unto the Lord from David when he had been betrayed by his own friends.) …I said, GOD, be gracious! Put me together again—my sins have torn me to pieces. My enemies are wishing the worst for me; they make bets on what day I will die. If someone comes to see me, he mouths empty platitudes, all the while gathering gossip about me to entertain the street-corner crowd. These "friends" who hate me whisper slanders all over town. They form committees to plan misery for me. The rumor goes out, "He's got some dirty, deadly disease. The doctors have given up on him." Even my best friend, the one I always told everything—he ate meals at my house all the time!—Has bitten my hand. [MSG]

DEAR LORD, the “friends” I felt I could trust have let me down. I feel betrayed and violated. So, here I am again, in need of the mercy only You can give. Please bathe me in that mercy tonight so I can sleep and wake up tomorrow to a new day. I let all this anger go as I lay down in peace to sleep.

Our anger should not remain from one day to the next.—Psalm 4:1-12; Ephesians 4:26

 

DAY 14Opening Ourselves to God’s Mercy when Misfortune Comes

•Psalm 57:1 (This is a Golden Psalm of David, when he fled from Saul and hid in a cave.) …Show me lovingkindness, O God, show me lovingkindness. For my soul goes to You to be safe. And I will be safe in the shadow of Your wings until the trouble has passed. [NLV]

•Psalm 142:1-5 (A Prayer of David while hiding from Saul in the Cave) I cry out to the LORD; I plead for the LORD's mercy. I pour out my complaints before Him and tell Him all my troubles. For I am overwhelmed, and You alone know the way I should turn. Wherever I go my enemies have set traps for me. I look for someone to come and help me, but no one gives me a passing thought! No one will help me; no one cares a bit what happens to me. Then I pray to You, O LORD. I say, "You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life.” [NLT]

FATHER, indeed I am coming to the place where all I really want is what You have to offer me. That is my life. From this day forward please help me live before my family and my friends in a way that lets them see the reality of Your grace and peace. Help me become a vessel of mercy to them. Make me sensitive to their needs, even when they have not been sensitive to mine.

David refuses to harm God’s anointed.—I Samuel 24:1-10

 

•WITH THIS ARTICLE on the Glory of the Lord and in these “prayer starters” we have made use of several translations of the Bible. Here are keys to let you know what each one is: [KJV] King James Version; [MSG] Eugene Peterson’s The Message; [NLT] the New Living Translation; [NIV] the New International Version; [NLT] the New Living Translation; [AMP] the Amplified Bible; [ASV] the American Standard Version; [NLV] the New Life Version.

 

Berean Ministries

 

 

 

 

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