Day 24: January 24, 2014

Today's Reading(s)

Psalm 65
1 Praise is rightfully Yours, God, in Zion; vows to You will be fulfilled. 2 All humanity will come to You, the One who hears prayer. 3 Iniquities overwhelm me; only You can atone for our rebellions. 4 How happy is the one You choose and bring near to live in Your courts! We will be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, the holiness of Your temple. 5 You answer us in righteousness, with awe-inspiring works, God of our salvation, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the distant seas. 6 You establish the mountains by Your power, robed with strength. 7 You silence the roar of the seas, the roar of their waves, and the tumult of the nations. 8 Those who live far away are awed by Your signs; You make east and west shout for joy. 9 You visit the earth and water it abundantly, enriching it greatly. God’s stream is filled with water, for You prepare the earth in this way, providing people with grain. 10 You soften it with showers and bless its growth, soaking its furrows and leveling its ridges. 11 You crown the year with Your goodness; Your ways overflow with plenty. 12 The wilderness pastures overflow, and the hills are robed with joy. 13 The pastures are clothed with flocks and the valleys covered with grain. They shout in triumph; indeed, they sing.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.



Want to share today's reading with your friends? Pick a platform below

Coming to the One Who Hears Prayers
by Gayle Haywood, Senior Adult/Congregational Care Minister, Brentwood Campus

This three-part hymn of praise and thanksgiving was the people’s grateful prayer response to God’s great goodness to His people. This psalm of praise was perhaps offered at the end of a drought, at a Harvest Feast or Feast of Tabernacles, or certainly at a time of reflecting upon God’s great beneficence.

Verse two reminds us these choice blessings are answers to prayers the people have made, and their praise is the fulfillment of their vow or promise to praise God for His answers to their prayer.   

The Psalmist recalls the mighty acts of God and praises Him for His grace in atoning for our sins, His greatness in creating the world and calming nations, and His goodness in watering the land and blessing the crops. God is revealed as the source of all good things in life, and as divine blessings flow from heaven’s throne we are reminded that thankful worship should flow from our hearts to God.

In verse one the Psalmist wrote, “…to You our vows will be fulfilled.” A vow was a binding promise, which was taken seriously and not to be broken. The people of Zion had “vowed” to praise God for answering their prayers. In this Psalm, they fulfilled their vow.

Gratitude is not something which comes naturally to us, either. As children, we must be taught to express appreciation for gifts and acts of kindness we receive and to acknowledge our Heavenly Father as the source of all good things in life. Let every prayer, from boys and girls, or from men and women, begin with praise and adoration for God’s grace, greatness, and goodness.

An early morning walk is a great time not only to get much needed exercise, but also to pray and meditate. On my early morning walks I will sometimes pray through the alphabet. I will use each letter as a prayer prompter to identify something for which to praise God. For example: L – I thank God for the gift of life and for His love, or I praise God that He is Lord of Lords, the Light of the World, and the Lamb of glory, etc.

Praxis

  • Make three columns on a sheet of paper. Label them God’s grace, God’s greatness, God’s goodness, respectively. Reread Psalm 65 and under each section list examples for each category.
  • Think about God’s grace, greatness, and goodness. For the next week, keep a running list of His blessings to you.
  • Along the left margin of a sheet of paper, write the letters A to Z. Beside each letter of the alphabet write a praise to correspond with that letter. For instance: A – I praise God for the ability to work with my hands. 

About JourneyOn Today

Today's devotional series accompanies the Spiritual Practices Foundations Curriculum which deals with 24 different spiritual disciplines. We will break for an Advent series in December and continue the second half of Spiritual Practices during the first quarter of 2015.