Defender of the Needy (Psalm 72:12–14) - Radical
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Defender of the Needy (Psalm 72:12–14)

For he delivers the needy when he calls, the poor and him who has no helper. He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy. From oppression and violence, he redeems their life and precious is their blood in his sight.
– Psalm 72:12–14

Now, when you just initially hear these verses, you probably think they’re talking about God, which in a indirect sense they are but this psalm is a prayer about the king.

Psalm 72:12–14 Encourages Us to Ask for Leaders that Reflect God’s Character

It’s a Psalm of Solomon. From the very beginning starts with a prayer, “God give your king your justice and your righteousness to the royal son.” That it begins to pray, “May he judge your people with righteousness and your poor with justice.” And then it goes on to talk about the king of Israel and how people will respond to him and now the nations will respond to him.

And then you get to verse 12, it talks about how the king delivers the needy when he calls and the poor and him who has no helper. And the king has pity on the weak and the needy and saves the lives of the needy and redeems their life from oppression and violence and precious is the blood of the needy in the king’s sight. So when I read this, my mind goes in two directions and I want to encourage us to pray in both directions.

One, to pray for leaders like this, to pray for leaders who reflect the character of God when it comes specifically to God’s care for the needy, for the poor, for him who has no helper, for the oppressed, and those who have violence committed against them, that God would raise up leaders in our country, whatever country we live in, in our cities, in the world around us who lead with this kind of care for people who are in need, the poor, the weak, those who have no help, the oppressed, and those against whom of violence is committed.

Psalm 72:12–14 Encourages Us to be a People that Reflect God’s Character

We should pray for leaders like this. At the same time to realize that God has called all of us to do justice and to work on behalf of those who are in need, on behalf of the poor and others who have no help. So pray for our own lives that we would be this kind of reflection of the character of God. So we pray Psalm 72:12–14 over other leaders and over our lives. God, we want to be a reflection of your character.

And really, oh God, as we pray, that’s where we start. We praise you that you deliver the needy when they call to you, that you work on behalf of the poor and those who have no helper, that you have pity on the weak and the needy, and you ultimately save the lives of the needy, you redeem their lives, precious is their blood in your sight.

All glory be to your name, oh God, for your love, for those in need. And so God, we pray. We pray for leaders in our country and other countries to reflect this. God, we pray for leaders, lawmakers, politicians, presidents, prime ministers, governors, mayors in the world who work on behalf of the needy. We pray for the ones whose names come to our mind right now that we know in our cities or states or countries, God, please help them to lead well today on behalf of people who are in need.

And God, we pray that you would help us to be a reflection of your character in this way in our lives and in our families and in our churches. God, we pray that we would work well and wisely, compassionately on behalf of those who are in need around us in our communities. God, may their blood be precious in our sight.

Praying for the Deaf of Turkmenistan

And God, as we pray for unreached people around the world, we pray specifically today for the Deaf of Turkmenistan, 48,000 of them who in many ways are in need and oppressed. God, we pray for your salvation among them to be made known. God cause the gospel to spread to the Deaf of Turkmenistan specifically, we pray. Even as we pray this for Deaf, unreached people, groups all around the world, millions upon millions of them who need the gospel, who need the good news of your love for those in need, ultimately in Jesus, precious is their blood in your sight. You gave your blood for them, for their salvation.

God, please cause the gospel to spread to the Deaf of Turkmenistan, for deaf, unreached people groups around the world, for deaf men and women and children right around us. God, we pray, help us to work well in our lives and families and churches for the spread of the gospel among the deaf. And in all of this, we pray that you would glorify yourself, your character through the way we live and lead our lives and through the leaders and the places where we live. In Jesus’ name, we pray according to your word in Psalm 72. Amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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