The Missionary Prayer -- Psalm 67
Christian Mission -- to make disciples of Jesus Christ -- is a Mission of Mercy. Whether by “Christian Mission” we mean evangelizing the lost or we are referring to believers becoming more like Jesus, both the sinner and the saint needs God’s Mercy (vs. 1). Spurgeon said it better, “The best saints and the worst sinners may unite in this petition [for mercy].” And so, via the “Selah” between verse 1 and verse 2, the psalmist invites us to take a moment and think about how mercy, blessing, and God’s favor are necessary to live out our calling as “His Witnesses”. Reflect on how each of the following requests aids us in our mission to make disciples...
God is merciful and we need His mercy.
We ask for mercy, now we ask for Him to bless us.
There is no greater gift than the smiling face of God shining on us.
Why should we ask for these and meditate on our great need for and want of them??? Not purely for Christian experience but for Christian Mission…”that your way may be known on the earth, your saving power among the nations”. The world will see Christ in you and me as we experience His mercy, receive His blessing, and radiate with gladness that God is for us and not against us. Let’s use these three requests from vs. 1 to guide our Missions Prayer.
“God, be merciful to us” -- God, you see our misery and you hear our distress. The unbelieving believe their personal misery and our societal hardships as a product of education and environment, we know that it stems from sinful hearts clashing and waring. We beg you, Father, as a Love of the Miserable and Suffering and Oppressed, to pour out your mercy on us that we might shine the light of hope to our unbelieving neighbor. Use us as a lantern: we have no intrinsic hope but put the light of your mercy in side of us and magnify your love to the nations. Father, we ask that you would open the eyes of the blind through the power of your Spirit, working through the Scriptures and through your words.” Pray something like this with me.
“God, bless us” -- Father, in our misery, we ask for your help, but we also ask for so much more...your blessing. We ask that you do a great work in us and through us. We ask that you would direct us in your will. We ask that you make the way clear and obvious. We ask for the gift of faith to trust as you lead. We ask for a certain, unique work that we may do on your behalf. WE ASK FOR YOUR BLESSING! Why??? So, in seeing you do more than relieve our tortured soul, you would pour out your storehouses of goodness upon us that the world might see clearly that you are a great, good, holy, and generous Father...A Father worthy of Worship!!! Pray this with me.
“God, make your face shine upon us” -- Father, your approval is all I want and need. Help me to know and experience your warmth and tenderness toward me. We take by faith in our position in Christ that you are always “for us” but we yearn to do more than act on faith. We so deeply desire to feel the warmth of your warm countenance, your smile that “creates a deep, delightful calm within [our] soul (Spurgeon)”. Pray this with me.