“When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream that our mouth was filled with laughter and our tongue with shouts of joy. Then they sat them on the nations, the Lord has done great things for them. The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad.”
Ah, I love this psalm. It’s written in a time where things are not going well, but then it celebrates the fact that the Lord is the One who restores. And it says, “When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. Our mouth was filled with laughter, our tongue with shouts of joy.” And then the rest of the song goes on just to say, “Restore our fortunes, Oh God restore our fortunes, oh God, those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy.”
O God, we pray today that You would restore jobs that we might make Your praise known in all sectors of society among all the nations.
Isn’t that an awesome picture to read, particularly in the middle of a really difficult time in the middle of a global pandemic and all of its effects around us? To know that the struggles and challenges of these days will not last forever, that the Lord will restore. Now, obviously I don’t know when that is or what that will look like, and neither did the Psalmist in Psalm 126, but the Psalmist knew that in the end, those who are sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy, all who trust in the Lord.
And so as we’re praying for each other in the middle of this pandemic, and people are sending in specific prayer requests in light of this pandemic to radical.net/prayerrequest. I read this from Rachel who shares, “My husband, Ben, lost his job last week due to layoffs.” And as I read that, I know that, okay, Rachel and Ben’s story is echoed among so many stories, so many people who have lost jobs or been furloughed due to this pandemic.
But then Rachel goes on to talk about how they have been asking God to open up opportunities for work that give them avenues for proclaiming the gospel in really hard places. They’ve said, “God, are you leading us to look for work in a place like New York City or other cities in the country, where there is less gospel presence? Or God are you leading us to other countries? Are you leading us to look for a job in another place in the world, where there is little access to the gospel?”
And as I read that and then read Psalm 126 verse two, “Our mouths was filled with laughter, our tongue with shouts of joy, and they said among the nations, the Lord has done great things for them.” So I just want to pray Psalm 126 over Rachel and Ben, and over everyone who has lost or might lose jobs during these times.
God, we confess that this is not easy. And just think about people who are in this circumstance that I know as I read what Rachel and Ben are walking through. God, we pray for your mercy, for your help, for your provision, for those who are without jobs right now and in the future. And God, we don’t know exactly what that provision will look like, but we praise you for your promises that your mercies are new every day, that you give today’s mercies for today’s troubles and tomorrow’s mercies for tomorrow’s troubles. We praise you that you promise to provide all of our needs, according to your glorious riches in Christ Jesus. God, we praise you for this hope.
And so we pray, we pray that you would make us like those who dream. God, especially during these days where it is so overwhelming in so many ways. God, we pray that you would restore, you would restore jobs. We pray that you would restore health. God, only you can bring an end to this pandemic. God, only you can bring vaccines, remedies, treatments. God, only you can restore economies. God, only you can provide food, only you can provide the things we need, so we look to you. You’re the only one who can restore us. And all of our trust we say in prayer right now is in you. And we pray that you would restore us in a way that we might say among the nations, “The Lord has done great things.”
God, we pray for Rachel and Ben specifically. We pray that you would open up avenues for employment wherever, however they can most faithfully make disciples of the nations. Wherever, however they can most faithfully point people to you, even as you provide for them. Whether that’s staying in the United States or moving to another place in the world, we pray that you would lead and guide their path. Give them grace to dream during these days, as they trust in provision. That you might lead them to a place where your provision might not just be made known to them, but be made known through them in others lives.
And God, I pray that over every single person who is as either lost job, is facing potential loss of job or may lose their jobs in the days to come. God, we pray that you would restore fortunes in this way. God, that you would restore employment, you’d restore opportunities to work to your glory, that you would lead, guide, direct men and women to jobs, where they might be able to say to those around them, “The Lord has done great things for us.” Where, Oh God, your people might be scattered in all domains of society, all kinds of different work as salt and light, for the spread of your glory, for the adorning of the gospel. Oh God, for the adorning of the gospel that the nations might know you, the Lord, are good. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.