Monday 7th September 2020
A PRAYER FOR YOU
Pastor Soong Kok Kee
Psalm 20: 1-4
Psalm 20 is a prayer the Israelites sang before their King went forth to battle. They sang this prayer for his safety and victory. It was not just a nice custom on their part but a genuine prayer, an expression of their faith and trust in the power of the living God to keep their King and army safe as they go forth into battle.
May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. (v.1).
With the pandemic still rearing its ugly head and no vaccine in sight, it is indeed a time of distress all over the world. Thousands have died and no one knows how many more will follow before a vaccine is found. It is indeed a time of “distress” for humankind the world over. Many have lost their jobs or endured pay cuts and business are badly affected. No one in this world has not been affected, one way or another.
This verse reminds us that our refuge lies in the name of the God of Jacob. Only God knows what lies ahead and only He has the wisdom and foresight to steer a course through all the various perils ahead of us. No one in the whole wide world knows what’s going to happen and when the virus will be conquered. No one knows how long this distress will lasts. If we are not resting upon the God of Jacob, we will never make it. May the God of Jacob be our refuge and protect us from all harm.
May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion. (v.2).
Isn’t that wonderful? – “help from the sanctuary”! The sanctuary is always a picture of the place where we meet with God. In Israel it was the temple, the place where an Israelite would come to get his thoughts straightened out. There he met with God, there he heard the word of God, the mind and the thoughts of God.
For us the sanctuary, obviously, is the Scriptures. There is where we get help. It is there that our minds are illuminated, that we begin to see the world the way it is, not the way it appears to be. Doesn’t your heart cry for somebody to tell you the truth, to tell you the way things really are, to open your eyes to what is going on? That is what the Bible is for. A quotation from the twenty-sixth president of the United States, Woodrow Wilson says “I am sorry for men who do not read the Bible every day. I wonder why they deprive themselves of the strength and of the pleasure? It is one of the most singular books in the world, for every time you open it some old text that you have read a score of times suddenly beams with new meaning. There is no other book that I know of, of which this is true. There is no other book that yield its meaning so personally, that seems to fit itself so intimately to the very spirit that is seeking its guidance.” So my dear brothers and sisters – please read the Word of God as often as you can find time to do so, for that’s where our help comes from.
May he remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings. Selah. (v.3)
The offerings of Israel were the meal offerings, the cereal offerings, and the sacrifices of bulls, goats, lambs, calves, pigeons, and other animals. For us, our Lord Jesus Christ is the great sacrifice offered once for all for us. We know for sure that God will help us in the reading of Scripture and in prayer because of the sacrifice of the Son of God. He has given himself in order to remove any hindrance of God’s love towards us. In the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus our sins and our guilt were taken care of completely, no more to be remembered. When we come to God in prayer “In Jesus’ name” we are praying on the basis of his sacrifice. We are resting on the finished work of our Lord Jesus Christ, and that is why we expect God to answer our prayers. That is why the psalmist says, “May he remember those sacrifices!”
May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. (v.4)
After our hearts have been cleansed by the Word of God and by prayer, what are the desires and plans of your heart? Isn’t it to please God with everything we do the rest of our lives? That’s what Paul says in 2 Cor 5:9-10 “So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” May these 4 verses be the prayer of our hearts from this day on.
PRAYER: Dear Lord, we pray for each and every one of us that you will answer our prayers and protect us in these times of distress and uncertainty. May we find help as we come to you daily in prayer and in the reading of your Word. We know for sure you will do that because of the sacrifice of your son Jesus Christ who died that we may have forgiveness of sin and eternal life. May you grant us the desire of our heart which is to please you with everything we do the rest of our lives. In Jesus precious name we pray AMEN.
诗篇20是以色列人在国王上阵前唱的祷告。 以色列人为国王的安全和胜利歌唱。 这不仅是他们的风俗习惯，更是真诚的祈祷，是他们信靠这位永生神的能力会在争战中保护国王和军队安全的信心表达。
由于这新冠状病毒疫情仍然 肆虐和仍不见疫苗，这确实是世界的一个艰难时刻。 成千上万的人已死亡，没有人知道在找到疫苗之前还会有多少人会死亡。确实，这是全球人类的“苦难”时期。 许多人失业或忍受减薪，生意受到严重影响。没有任何人不在某种程度上受到影响的。
这节经文提醒我们，我们的避难所在于雅各之上帝的名下。只有上帝知道未来会如何，也只有祂才有智慧和远见，能够引导我们克服前方所有各种危险。 全世界没有人知道什么将会发生，以及何时能征服这病毒。 没有人知道这种困扰会持续多久。 如果我们不倚靠雅各的上帝，我们将永远无法应付。 愿雅各的上帝成为我们的避难所，保护我们免受一切伤害。
很奇妙吧？“来自圣所的帮助”！ 圣所永远是一幅我们与上帝相遇之处的图画。 在以色列，圣所是以色列人前来理清思想的地方。 在那儿他遇见了上帝，在那儿他听到了上帝的话语、上帝的心意和想法。
对我们来说，圣所显然是圣经。 在那里，我们可以得到帮助。 在那里，我们的心思被光照，我们开始看见世界的实况而不是表面的状况。您的心岂不呼喊人告诉您事实、告诉您事情的真相、睁开眼睛看看所发生的事吗？
那就是圣经的目的。美国第二十六届总统伍德罗·威尔逊（Woodrow Wilson）语录：“我为那些每天不读圣经的人感到遗憾。 我想知道为什么他们剥夺了自己的力量和乐趣？ 这是世界上最奇特的书籍之一；每次打开它时，您曾阅读了数十次的一些经文，突然间会有了新的含义。在我所知的书籍中，除了圣经，没有任何一本是如此的。 没有任何一本其他的书籍能如此个人性地表达其含义，是如此切合 向它寻求指引的心灵。” 因此，我亲爱的兄弟姐妹们-请尽你所能常常阅读上帝的话语，因为这是我们的帮助的来源。
以色列的祭品是素祭，谷类祭以及公牛、山羊、羊羔、牛犊、鸽子和其他动物。 对我们而言，主耶稣基督是一次性地为我们献上伟大的祭。 我们确信，由于上帝儿子的献上，上帝会在阅读圣经和祷告的事上帮助我们。上帝的儿子献上自己，挪去一切拦阻上帝对我们的爱之任何障碍。主耶稣的献上也完全除去我们的罪孽和罪咎，不再被记念。 当我们“奉耶稣的名”向上帝祈祷时，我们是在祂的献上为祭之基础上祈祷。 我们是安息在主耶稣基督已完成的工作上，这就是为什么我们期望上帝应允我们的祈祷。 这就是为什么诗人说：“愿祂记念一切祭物！”
亲爱的主，为着我们每一位，我们祈祷，求祢 应允 我们的祷告，在这个苦难和不确定的时刻，保护我们。 愿我们每天祈祷和读经时都寻得祢的帮助。我们确信，因祢的儿子耶稣基督的献上，为我们牺牲，让我们的罪可以得赦免和让我们得永生，祢会帮助我们。愿您赋予我们内心的渴望，即用我们余生在一切事上为讨祢喜悦而活。奉耶稣的宝贵名祷告，阿们。