What do parents want most for their children? A good education, a sports scholarship, or a successful career? Those all require a time investment on the parents’ part. Helping children with homework, driving them to sports practices, and teaching proper behavior are some of the things parents do to help prepare their children for life.
It’s even more important that children grow into grateful people aware of God’s loving presence. This requires parental effort too, as they speak Scripture into their children’s lives and provide godly examples of living joyfully in God’s presence themselves.
The children of your servants will live in your presence; their descendants will be established before you (Psalm 102:28).
Making God part of children’s lives doesn’t happen just because a family says grace at the table and attends church. Parents need to take time helping children’s faith grow by explaining Scripture to them, praying with them about their concerns, and encouraging them to memorize God’s Word. As adults model godliness, they will see the fruit in the lives of their children.
Prayer Suggestion: Father, help me be faithful as a godly parent or mentor of children.
Quicklook: Psalm 102:23–28.
Mark and his friends gathered for an informal worship service at a shady spot in a state park. As they began singing, the setting was quiet. When they continued singing praise choruses and hymns, they became aware of a choir of birds, high in the treetops. It was as though they were joining in praising God. When the song time ended, the birds ceased singing. The forest once again hushed. Mark and his friends continued their service, talking of God and the ways in which He shows His presence.
The writers of the psalms spoke about worshipping and singing praises to the Lord.
Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation (Psalm 95:1).
Often, they wrote about the beauty and uniqueness of nature: thundering waterfalls, flaming sunsets, and colorful flowers and trees. Other times, they saw God’s presence and felt His blessings in the everyday things of life.
When Christians walk through the day with an awareness of God’s presence, they can see and hear creation praising God in a variety of ways.
Challenge for Today: Be alert to the ways God is present in your life and in your world.
Quicklook: Psalm 95:1–7
Colleen’s husband died suddenly of a heart attack. She struggled to meet her financial obligations with the low-paying salary she received.
Her car payment was coming due, and she realized she could not pay it. She prayed, pleading with God for a way to make the $147 payment.
A few days later a man knocked at her door and asked to buy a walnut tree on her property. Colleen was happy to give him permission to take it. When she returned from work the next day, the man had cut the tree and neatly cleared the area where it once stood. The man gave Colleen $150 for the tree. God had provided the money for her payment with an extra three dollars. Like Colleen, the writer of Psalm 91 knew to look to God for help.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust” (Psalm 91:2).
The writer of Psalm 91 was confident he could trust the Lord in every situation, and you can have that same confidence in any circumstance you face.
Challenge for Today: Release your burdens, and rest in the presence of the Almighty God.
Quicklook: Psalm 91:1–4
Darkness was quietly slipping in as Judy sat on the porch swing in her back yard. Across the street, miniature booms and loud pops filled the air as youngsters celebrated on the eve of Independence Day. Colorful sparkles of shimmering light exploded in the air and then disappeared into the darkness. Once again, Americans were visibly and audibly celebrating their freedom.
Psalm 85 is about Israel, but it also can pertain to any nation. Verse 9 has a promise, but there is also a condition.
Surely his salvation is near those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land (Psalm 85:9).
God’s glory dwells in the land through His people. A nation’s greatness isn’t based on economic or military strength, but on the righteous lives of her people. Any nation whose people lack a reverent fear of God will be unable to dwell with God’s glory.
As you pray for your nation and thank God for its blessings, remember to also pray for God to establish righteous people who carry His glory in the land.
Prayer Suggestion: Thank God for your country, and pray for its salvation.
Quicklook: Psalm 85:1–9
Jason couldn’t sleep. He tossed and turned, changed positions from one side to the other, and fluffed his pillow, but still sleep refused to come.
His anxiety was overwhelming. So many things in his life were going wrong, and he didn’t know what to do about it. He felt as though God had abandoned him.
When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands, and I would not be comforted (Psalm 77:2).
Psalm 77 was written for people like Jason, who feel forgotten by God and remember better times. The Psalmist remembered times when his heart was filled with joy. Instead of tossing all night, he sang songs in the midnight hours. They were songs of praise and thankfulness for God’s mercy.
The author made a decision in verse 12 to remember all the Lord had done. He chose to focus on the blessings instead of dwelling on the problems.
Prayer Suggestion: When anxieties flood your mind and sleep will not come, release your worries and remember God’s faithfulness.
Quicklook: Psalm 77:1–12
Wayne was in his eighties, and his only grandson was a drug addict. Wayne had started praying for his grandson, John, even before John was born. John was nearing forty and had been an addict for much of his life, yet Wayne never stopped praying for John and the other members of his family who were not yet Christians.
Wayne asked God to give him strength to proclaim salvation to his family. Wayne may be older, but he still had an assignment from the Lord for his life.
David might have been in the final stage of his life when he wrote Psalm 71. David pleaded with God not to forsake him. He still had important work to do. He wanted to tell the next generation about God and to encourage them to follow God.
Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come” (Psalm 71:18).
Regardless of your age or situation in life, God can use you to share His good news with others. He has an assignment for you today.
Challenge for Today: Accept and fulfill God’s assignment for your day.
Quicklook: Psalm 71:14–19