podcast

#961 – The Joy and Peace of God’s Presence (Psalm 87:7)

Pray The Word
Psalms
87
7
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“Singers and dancers alike say, ‘All my springs are in you.'”
(Psalm 87:7)

Oh, I love this verse. Just a reminder, we are praying each day during this pandemic for prayer requests that different people are sending in, just taking one way we can be praying for someone specifically, knowing that person likely represents many others. If you have something you want to send in, send it into radical.net/prayerrequest. Again, radical.net/prayerrequest.

Today, we pray for those who feel anxious and alone. Lord, help them to find comfort and rest in You. May Your church find ways to minister to those who are struggling during this time.

Today, I want to read what Linda sent in. Linda said, “I have bipolar and Asperger’s, but I’m also in a vulnerable category because I had the lower right lobe of my lung removed two years ago.” So, physically in the more vulnerable category, but Linda writes, “I’m struggling with anxiety due to my mental illness and I need prayer for focusing on the peace that’s found in God’s grace. I feel isolated because I can’t be with my church family right now, so please pray for me and others afflicted with mental illness that we might seek God during these days. Pray that Christians would reach out to those suffering with mental illness so they can know God’s grace through Christ.”

I am so thankful for Linda’s willingness to share this on so many different levels, and I know Linda is not alone and there are many people like Linda all around us in our church communities that we are scattered from, but even our neighborhoods, just right around us. I want to lead us to pray for Linda and many others like Linda and for all of us that we would be sensitive to ways that we can encourage men and women like Linda who are struggling in different ways right now, particularly due to mental illness, and I just want to bring Psalm 87:7 to bear on this picture of the soul.

This whole Psalm is basically a song about the dwelling place of God in the city of Jerusalem, in Zion, and just the significance of that place because that’s where God had chosen for His glory to dwell among His people. Obviously, we know based on New Testament, the gospel, that we don’t have to go to a physical place, a temple, in the city of Jerusalem to encounter the glory of God now. All who trust in Jesus have access to the presence of God. We dwell in God’s presence. We are His temples. Our bodies are His temple, the place where His glory dwells, His spirit dwells in us. The Psalmist says, “Singers and dancers alike say, ‘All my springs are in you.'”

You’ve got this picture of people singing and dancing, and the whole reason they are singing and dancing, the fountain from which all their singing and dancing is flowing, is from the presence of God, that there is joy that flows from His presence, that there is celebration that flows from His presence, that there’s peace that flows from His presence. There’s life, there’s singing, there’s dancing that flows from His presence.

And I, as I read this today, was just thinking about Linda and others like her who need prayer for focusing on God, His peace, His grace, His joy, especially when isolated from church family. I think that’s part of the picture we see in the Psalms. They Just have this longing for Jerusalem because there’s a separation from the presence of God in that place, but based on what we just walked through in the gospel, we’re never separated from the presence of God. I just want to pray over Linda and others like Linda right now.

God, we pray that you would by your presence with Linda right now be her joy, be her peace, be her strength, be her source of singing, if I could be so bold, God, a source of singing and dancing, that kind of joy that’s supernatural, that’s unexplainable apart from your presence. God, I pray that Linda would know that you are with her, that you would, in a Philippians 4 kind of way, just remove anxiety and cause your peace, supernatural peace that passes all understanding, to guard her heart and mind in Christ Jesus.

God, I pray that over Linda and all sorts of others right now who struggle already with mental illness, who find themselves now in the midst of a global pandemic, maybe separated from others who are encouragement and support. Lord, as they’re in a room, in a home, maybe even alone, may they know they’re not alone. May they know that you are with them. May they know in a palpable way your presence with them right now, and we pray that they would know your peace, your joy, your life, your grace through Christ. God, I pray that you would give them grace to look to you. I pray that you would give them faith on days and moments when faith is hard to come by and that you would remind them of all your promises that are for them, your presence that is with them, your protection that is over them.

God, I pray that you would draw them to yourself, and we pray that you would use your church family in any way we can during these days. Give us a particular sensitivity to ways that we can, even if we are distancing ourselves physically, not to distance ourselves spiritually, socially, relationally, to reach out to those who are in similar situations as Linda is. God, we pray that you would help us to be the church to one another. Even in these unique days where we can’t maybe be with each other physically, help us to be the church in every way we possibly can, that we might be a reminder to each other of God’s peace and God’s grace and God’s strength.

Oh, God, we pray together right now for Linda and multitudes of others like her. May they say, like the singers and dancers in Psalm 87:7, “All my springs are in you.” We say that together. Oh, God, all of our springs are in you. You are the source of all of our joy. You’re the source of all of our peace. You’re the source of our life, and we look to you and we praise you that you are the source of our springs through the grace of Jesus, who made this kind of communion possible with you, this kind of satisfaction and joy and peace and these kinds of springs possible directly through what He did on the cross for us. We pray these things in Jesus name. Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.
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