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Praying Psalm 90


Each week we’ll be providing prompts for praying the psalm preached the previous Sunday. Start with Pastor Josh’s blog post covering Three Ways to Pray the Psalms.

In 2016, the memoir When Breath Becomes Air was at the top of the New York Times Best Seller list. It is the memoir of Paul Kalanithi, a young neurosurgeon. As he reflects on a terminal illness that eventually takes his life, he writes, “I began to realize that coming in such close contact with my own mortality had changed both nothing and everything... The fact of death is unsettling. Yet there is no other way to live.” 

The realities of death break down the illusions of a life we can control, but there is no other way to really live. Understanding our mortality should rightly lead us to the God who is enthroned from everlasting to everlasting (vv. 1-2). For in him we find our refuge from strife and in him we find the place we long to dwell forevermore. 

In this time of uncertainty let’s pray together as a church family. As you read Psalm 90, use the following prompts to springboard your prayer. Don’t rush. Don’t feel like you have to pray through the whole psalm today. While it might seem difficult or awkward at first, the most important thing is that we allow the psalm to shape our prayers.

Psalm 90:7-8
For we are brought to an end by your anger;
   by your wrath we are dismayed.
You have set our iniquities before you,
   our secret sins in the light of your presence. 

Psalm 90:11
Who considers the power of your anger,
   and your wrath according to the fear of you?

Pray that you would be convicted of your sin. Know that God’s wrath is not a vengeful anger, but a justified and holy anger toward sin. Confess your sins before God. 

Psalm 90:12
So teach us to number our days
   that we may get a heart of wisdom.

They say the best way to manage your home finances is to use cash. In doing so, you recognize each dollar spent. Your finances are finite, and so is your time on earth. Thank God for the time given to you. Pray that God would give you a heart that cherishes the days given to you. Pray that this sobering reality would lead you to the one who exists from eternity to eternity. Praise God for the hope of eternal life found in him; our refuge and our dwelling place.

Psalm 90:13
Return, O LORD! How long?
   Have pity on your servants!

Cry out to God for mercy, for yourself and for others. Name the challenges and struggles you face and those faced around the world in the wake of this coronavirus pandemic. May God have mercy and compassion on us in this life and may we long for his return in glory. 

Psalm 90:14-15
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
   that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
   and for as many years as we have seen evil.

Pray for God’s healing. May God heal those afflicted by COVID-19 and bring healing to our economy. In the midst of our present situation may we know the satisfaction found in God’s steadfast love. May we not waste our days in despair, but seek the joy found in our everlasting God.  

Psalm 90:16-17
Let your work be shown to your servants,
   and your glorious power to their children.
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
   and establish the work of our hands upon us;
   yes, establish the work of our hands! 

Disruptions to our normal way of life are often the seeds of revival. Pray that God would give you eyes to seek his work. Pray that God would give you a heart to love his work. Pray that God would bless the work of your hands with his sustaining grace.