God of all Nations :: Worldwide Prayer

Psalm 50.1-6
The Mighty One, God, the Lord,
   speaks and summons the earth
   from the rising of the sun to where it sets.
From Zion, perfect in beauty,
   God shines forth.
Our God comes
   and will not be silent;
a fire devours before him,
   and around him a tempest rages.
He summons the heavens above,
   and the earth, that he may judge his people:
“Gather to me this consecrated people,
   who made a covenant with me by sacrifice.”
And the heavens proclaim his righteousness,
   for he is a God of justice.

Reflection: God of all Nations :: Worldwide Prayer
By John Tillman

The Bible consistently shows God as a god of justice to all people who calls to himself people from every nation and race.

To serious students of scripture, it seems ludicrous that we must keep repeating that the God of the Bible is not American, not White, and not partial to any race.

But repeat it, we must.

Poway asks us to repeat it. Pittsburgh asks us to repeat it. Christchurch asks us to repeat it. Charleston asks us to repeat it. Charlottesville asks us to repeat it.

God is not the god of the white man and he does not show favoritism to any race, any class, any people, any blood, or any nation.

No country ever overcame racism or slavery without the explicit influence of Christianity. May the church in every nation work to prevent the darkness of racism in our countries, but most especially may we eliminate it from our churches.

We pray for all our nations this week using words from brothers and sisters in Christ from India.

Prayer for my nation from India

Eternal God,

Thank you for my country. By your Holy Spirit help national leadership in my country to see and experience your great light. Please show my people the wonders of your divine grace that many may come from darkness into the light of Christ.

Lord, grant me the grace to be an instrument in your great design for my people. May my personal life so reflect the beauty of Jesus that people will see the difference that true faith can make.

You, O God, are the only God; Creator; Master; Savior. By your grace, I cry out to you for peace and for the salvation of my people. I offer this prayer in the matchless Name that is far above all other names.

*Prayer from Hallowed be Your Name: A collection of prayers from around the world, Dr. Tony Cupit, Editor.

Prayer: The Refrain for the Morning Lessons
God looks down from heaven upon us all, to see if there is any who is wise, if there is one who seeks after God. — Psalm 53.2

– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime by Phyllis Tickle.

Today’s Readings
Numbers 14 (Listen – 6:15) 
Psalm 50 (Listen – 2:26)

Thank You!
Thank you for reading and a huge thank you to those who donate to our ministry, keeping The Park Forum ad-free and enabling us to continue to produce fresh content. Every year our donors help us produce over 100,000 words of free devotionals. Follow this link to support our readers.

Read more about Racism Wears a Mask
The church was the first entity in history to directly attack racism and the Holy Spirit is the only way its burden can truly be put down.

Read more about Slavery, Racism, and a Lone Christian Voice
In the late fourth century a lone Christian voice spoke out against the oppressive institution of slavery in a way that none had before. Gregory of Nyssa (c. 335-394)

Ever Present Help

Psalm 46.1
God is our refuge and strength,
   an ever-present help in trouble.

Reflection: Ever Present Help
By John Tillman

The “ever-present” help that most people are used to, is the technology platforms we have attached to our hands and wrists.

These platforms were designed for profit. That profitability hinges on addiction and ubiquity. To continue their financial growth curve, the most powerful corporations ever to exist on the planet must make their products increasingly addictive and ingrained in our day to day life. Technology, it seems, is a jealous god.

In an article for the New Yorker, Jia Tolentino wrote about the difficulties of putting down one’s phone, when it is filled with technologies that, from the start, were designed to keep us from doing so:

“Sean Parker, the first president of Facebook, has called the platform a “social-validation feedback loop” built around “exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology.” Tristan Harris, who worked as a “design ethicist” at Google, has said that smartphones are engineered to be addictive.

Technology promises freedom of movement and ease of work, but, more often than not technology chains our hands to a borderless, invasive, all-encompassing workday that never ends. Workers clock in, but they can’t clock out.

Technology promises emotional fulfillment and freedom of expression, but often we find ourselves chained to the emotional highs and lows of reactions, comments, and likes on social media. All of this is numbing to the connection and community that we truly need.

The technology that we have designed to help us connect has had disastrous, unexpected consequences. Our world is one of shattered relationships and loneliness despite more “connectedness” than ever.

We aren’t the first to think this. In a recent interview with Kris Boyd on Think, author, Jenny Odell, discussed how 400 years before the time of Christ, Epicurus started a garden school outside the city because he thought life in the Greek empire was becoming too hectic and people were disconnected from what was important.

The solution of cultivation, retreat, and pursuit of community is one we can apply toward our spiritual pursuits. Walking in a park is the key metaphor we use to refer to exploring God’s word, and cultivation is how we picture the growth of the seed of the gospel in our lives.

Technology is capable of aiding us in these things. May we use technology to tie God’s Word on our hands and integrate it into our lives. The Park Forum is dedicated to encouraging this kind of usage. For in connection to the gospel, we find freedom, fulfillment, and community that technology can’t deliver.

Prayer: The Request for Presence
I call with my whole heart; answer me, O Lord, that I may keep your statutes. — Psalm 119.145

– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime by Phyllis Tickle.

Today’s Readings
Numbers 10 (Listen – 4:11) 
Psalm 46-47 (Listen – 2:15)

Today’s Readings
Numbers 11 (Listen – 5:22) Psalm 48 (Listen – 1:28)
Numbers 12 (Listen – 2:12) Psalm 49 (Listen – 2:10)

Thank You!
Thank you for reading and a huge thank you to those who donate to our ministry, keeping The Park Forum ad-free and enabling us to continue to produce fresh content. Every year our donors help us produce over 100,000 words of free devotionals. Follow this link to support our readers.

Read more about Where Our Hearts Are
Our devices can be tools to lead us to God’s heart, not away from it. This ministry’s mission believes in that. But there is danger.

Read more about A Restoring Sabbath
Think and pray about ways in which you can abstain from technology’s addictive elements, while still using its powerful tools to spur your spiritual growth.

When Nations Pray :: Worldwide Prayer

Psalm 45.17
I will perpetuate your memory through all generations;
   therefore the nations will praise you for ever and ever.

Reflection: When Nations Pray :: Worldwide Prayer
By John Tillman

God hears all prayers, no matter how quiet, even our inner thoughts. And even one faithful individual’s prayer can change the course of the world. But when nations pray, humbling themselves before him, great moves of God are more than possible—they are likely.

Religious leaders, communities, and individuals across the United States today participate together in a National Day of Prayer. May it be one in which we humble rather than exalt ourselves. Rather than puffing ourselves up as a great nation, may we bow heads and hearts meekly in confession of our failings before the only ruler who is worthy of our trust, Jesus Christ, the King of Kings.

Being in a country where people can be free to pray openly, much more be called to pray openly, according to our faiths and our consciences, by our government is a great and precious freedom that is worthy of recognition and honor.

May this day of prayer be one in which many people have ears to hear what the Spirit of God would say to them today, and the daring to act.

We join in prayer today with this prayer from the USA

Prayer of Intercession from the USA
All praise and thanksgiving to you, our loving and liberating Lord God. We desire to worship you in Spirit and in Truth, most intimately through your Son Jesus Christ.

May your Holy Spirit empower us to serve as your ambassadors wherever we go, beginning at home, then reaching to the outer limits of our sphere of influence.

Help us to incarnate a gospel that evangelizes and emancipates those in need as a real and relevant demonstration of our living Christ.

Grant our aim to glorify you as we worship and work for you in the Name of our crucified and resurrected Savior.

Prayer: The Call to Prayer
Know this: The Lord himself is God; he himself has made us, and we are his; we are his people and the sheep of his pasture. — Psalm 100.2

– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime by Phyllis Tickle.

Today’s Readings
Numbers 9 (Listen – 3:20) 
Psalm 45 (Listen – 2:17)

Thank You!
Thank you for reading and a huge thank you to those who donate to our ministry, keeping The Park Forum ad-free and enabling us to continue to produce fresh content. Every year our donors help us produce over 100,000 words of free devotionals. Follow this link to support our readers.

Read more about Good and Pleasant Unity? A Prayer for Election Week
Change our hearts, Lord. Arouse our compassion. Help us abandon anger. Lead us to be for our cities, not against them. May we be united in humility, in confession, and in service to those around us.

Read more about Who is Your King?
Whatever kings and princes we wake up to today, one thing Christians can be assured of—they will not save us. The more we grasp at their power, hoping for protection and salvation, the further we lurch away from Christ’s example.

A Generational Lament

Psalm 44.25-26
We are brought down to the dust;
   our bodies cling to the ground.
Rise up and help us;
   rescue us because of your unfailing love.

Reflection: A Generational Lament
By John Tillman

Psalm 44, attributed to the Sons of Korah, seems to be written by a generation who knows the tales of the miracles of God but hasn’t experienced them. The bright and inspiring victories of the previous generation have faded into stories. In their world there is no prosperity. In their world there is little security. In their world they experience only danger and disappointment.

Young Christians today can identify with the crisis of faith portrayed in this pleading psalm. For many Millennials and those in Gen Z, prior generations of prosperity and ease have melted into a constant fear of scarcity. They are threatened by things no one wants to address. They experience dangers that they didn’t create which threaten their lives and livelihoods.

Mike Rutherford and B.A. Robertson wrote poignantly in 1989 that, “Every generation blames the one before,” but then as now, blame is hurled at every generation by every generation. Old and young scoff at each other’s sufferings, separating into camps of division and bias.

Instead of dividing, Christians can choose to unite in lament for our various sufferings. Those who take their complaints to the Lord in faith will not be turned away or scoffed at by our God. God accepts the prayer of the despairing and the cries of the frustrated and broken more quickly than the prayers of the proud and the self-assured requests of those who think themselves worthy.

Prayers of lament and complaint are a healthy and fulfilling spiritual practice that can be entered into by individuals and communities. Lament is more than complaining. It is an act of faith undertaken in the belief that God will hear and God will act.

We can see the fruit of faithful, complaining prayer in the other psalms of the Sons of Korah. Later in Psalm 48, the Sons of Korah will proclaim that they have both heard and seen good things from the Lord:

As we have heard,
   so we have seen
in the city of the Lord Almighty,
   in the city of our God:
God makes her secure
   Forever.
Within your temple, O God,
   we meditate on your unfailing love…
For this God is our God for ever and ever;
   he will be our guide even to the end.
 — Psalm 48.8-9, 14

Lamenting together for our sufferings lifts us into the presence of God and acknowledges that those we share this world with matter to God and to us.

Prayer: The Call to Prayer
Cast your burden upon the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous stumble. — Psalm 55.24

– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime by Phyllis Tickle.

Today’s Readings
Numbers 8 (Listen – 3:27) 
Psalm 44 (Listen – 2:44)

Thank You!
Thank you for reading and a huge thank you to those who donate to our ministry, keeping The Park Forum ad-free and enabling us to continue to produce fresh content. Every year our donors help us produce over 100,000 words of free devotionals. Follow this link to support our readers.

Read more about Lamenting Materialism :: A Guided Prayer
We confess that we equate security and safety with the accumulation of wealth. We store up for many years and say to ourselves, “I am secure.”

Read more about Lamenting Our Detestable Things
Just as ancients made idols from their environment—the sun in the sky, a stone from the ground, a tree from the forest—we make idols from our environment. Ours are less likely to be made of durable goods.

Prayer, Our Tent of Meeting

Psalm 42.2
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
   When can I go and meet with God?

Numbers 7.89
When Moses entered the tent of meeting to speak with the Lord, he heard the voice speaking to him from between the two cherubim above the atonement cover on the ark of the covenant law. In this way the Lord spoke to him.

Reflection: Prayer, Our Tent of Meeting
By John Tillman

In today’s reading from Numbers, we get a description of Moses talking with God in the Tent of Meeting. The Tent of meeting described here is not the first tent of meeting, but the one that replaced it, in the newly finished tabernacle. There in the Holy of Holies, Moses hears the voice of God from between the cherubim above the place of atonement.

Scripture tells us that the conversations of Moses with God were intimate. God spoke to Moses as a man speaks to his friend. But this communication was not only personal—it was communal.

Moses entering the Tent of Meeting was a communitywide event. When Moses entered, the entire community would come and stand at the entrances to their own tents as Moses spoke with God on their behalf.

The design of the Tabernacle and the Tent of Meeting was a tool for community prayer and connection. Prayer—even individual prayer—is an act of community, because God is a God of community.

At the center of this community are the symbols of the atonement that God has set in motion. It is through the atonement that Moses heard God’s voice. The voice from between the cherubim came from the spot where the blood of the atonement sacrifices were placed by the high priest.

For us, prayer is our tent of meeting, where the deepest thirsts of our souls may be satisfied. When we pray as Jesus taught, we enter into God’s presence through the torn curtain of the Tent of Meeting, and hear his voice because of his atoning sacrifice.

This week, on Thursday, The United States will observe a National Day of Prayer. As you pray this week, be reminded that you are entering the tent of meeting in priestly capacity and carry the ability to bring before God the sins and concerns of your nation.

May we all be empowered to pray beyond a personal conversation and approach God on behalf of our communities and our world.

Like Moses, we approach prayer as an individual, speaking to God through the atoning sacrifice of Christ. But we bring with us all the concerns and cares of our communities and our world. As we pray, the world stands at our backs waiting for us to exit the tent of prayer, and act.

Prayer: The Morning Psalm
Look upon me and answer me, O Lord my God; give light to my eyes, lest I sleep in death… — Psalm 13.3

– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime by Phyllis Tickle.

Today’s Readings
Numbers 7 (Listen – 12:50) 
Psalm 42-43 (Listen – 2:32)

Thank You!
Thank you for reading and a huge thank you to those who donate to our ministry, keeping The Park Forum ad-free and enabling us to continue to produce fresh content. Every year our donors help us produce over 100,000 words of free devotionals. Follow this link to support our readers.

Read more about Sewing up the Veil
The scriptures tell us that the veil of the temple was torn in two. Mark and Matthew add the helpful detail that it tore “From top to bottom” implying heavenly agency in its destruction.

Read more about Praying as Priests
Blessing others may go beyond simple kindness as we take on our role as a royal priesthood. Just as the family of Aaron were priests under Aaron, we are priests under Jesus, our high priest.

https://theparkforum.org/843-acres/praying-as-priests/

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