Please read the first blog post entitled “Why Fast?” This explains what fasting is and why we follow Jesus in this spiritual discipline as together we seek the heart of God.
Each day during our 21 Days, we will focus on one part of the ACTS prayer acronym – Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication. We will spend between 3-5 days on each part of the ACTS prayer acronym. Each devotion will take less than ten minutes of your time.
Supplication simply means “a humble request for help or mercy from someone in authority.” In our application, it means a humble request of God.
Engage the Word
Read Psalm 143:8-12 A Psalm of David.
8 Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love,
for in you I trust.
Make me know the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul.
9 Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord!
I have fled to you for refuge.
10 Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God!
Let your good Spirit lead me
on level ground!
11 For your name’s sake, O Lord, preserve my life!
In your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble!
12 And in your steadfast love you will cut off my enemies,
and you will destroy all the adversaries of my soul,
for I am your servant.
We continue today in David’s prayer of supplication and request in Psalm 143 as he continues to petition his sovereign God. Three times in verses 8–10 the psalmist David prays for guidance; and each request has its own nuance. The way I should go (8b) gives a nod to the reality of our personal destiny – that each of us is uniquely placed and called by God. Teach me to do your will (10a) clarifies the priorities, making the ultimate goal clearly not self-fulfillment but pleasing God, doing His will and finishing the works for which He has created us. The words lead me (10b) speak with the humility of one who acknowledges his need of shepherding, not merely of having the right way pointed out to him. David teaches us to look to God’s good Spirit for this leading; in other words, for an inward work of inclining the will and awakening the mind. The plea for level ground implies the admission that each of us is prone to stumble, not only to stray. May we know the Lord’s leading as we each seek Him and trust Him for His way and His will.
Reflect on the Truth
- Read Psalm 143 slowly, stopping to pause and reflect when it seems the Holy Spirit prompts you to do so.
- Is there a question right now regarding the “way” you should go? Ask the Lord for clarity and confidence to know the way He would lead you.
- In verse 11, the psalmist pleads “For your name’s sake, O Lord, preserve my life!” This is the force of his appeal to God’s name. If God cared nothing for His name, for the cause of his covenant, we might have reason to doubt or worry. But He does, so we don’t. Ask Him to guide you “for His name’s sake.” He is a God who hears.
Depend on the Spirit
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you see the deeper longings, desires or motives in your heart that those thoughts are pointing to. (For example: you may write down, “I long to walk in your way, O Lord. Show me. Teach me. Guide me. Lead me in your way.”) The Lord can help us discern the path forward – through His word, His Spirit, His people.
Today, pray for those hurting and suffering at Ascent Church – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Pray that they each would know the way they should go, and that they would be led by the Spirit of God to level ground “for His name’s sake.”
Content from these devotionals has been adapted from various resources, including The Bible Speaks Today commentary series by John Stott, Psalms: An Introduction and Commentary by Derek Kidner, Psalms: An Introduction and Commentary by Tremper Longman and others.