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Monday, July 4, 2016
Join the Cry - Our Daily Bread Ministries daily devotional 4 July Monday
I urge . . . that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people. 1 Timothy 2:1
A women’s prayer group in my country holds regular monthly prayer sessions for Ghana and other African countries. When asked why they pray so incessantly for the nations, their leader, Gifty Dadzie, remarked, “Look around, listen to and watch the news. Our nations are hurting: war, disaster, diseases, and violence threaten to overshadow God’s love for humanity and His blessing upon us. We believe God intervenes in the affairs of nations, so we praise Him for His blessings and cry for His intervention.”
The Bible reveals that God indeed intervenes in the affairs of nations (2 Chron. 7:14). And when God intervenes, He uses ordinary people. We may not be assigned huge tasks, but we can play our part to help bring about peace and the righteousness that exalts a nation (Prov. 14:34). We can do that through prayer. The apostle Paul wrote, “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (1 Tim. 2:1–2).
As the psalmist exhorted the ancient Israelites to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Ps. 122:6), so may we pray for the peace and healing of our nations. When we pray in humility, turn from wickedness, and seek God, He hears us.
Lord, we pray today for the peace of our nations. We ask for Your intervention as we turn to You in confession and repentance. We praise You for Your blessing and Your provision.
Prayer for those in authority is both a privilege and a duty.
Jewish pilgrims sang Psalms 120–134, known collectively as the Pilgrim Psalms, as they made their way to Jerusalem to celebrate the annual festivals of Unleavened Bread (including Passover), Harvest (Weeks or Pentecost), and Ingathering (Booths or Tabernacles) (Ex. 23:14–16). Since Jerusalem sits on a mountainous area (Mount Zion is used synonymously with Jerusalem in the Bible), pilgrims are said to “ascend” to Jerusalem. Therefore, scholars designate each of these fifteen songs as “A song of ascents.” In Psalm 122, David celebrates Jerusalem as the “house of the Lord” (vv. 1, 9). He is elated (v. 1) that he is in the place of safety, security, and peace (vv. 6–9).