Psalm Bird
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  Lenten Journey and Meditations
Copyright © Anne R. Coyle 2012

Day

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Day 16 -

Psalm 97 - The Lord is King; let the earth rejoice; let the many isles be glad.

Today we will return to the Penitential Psalms-

Psalm102 is called a Prayer of Distress.
It is divided into three parts, the first, the psalmist prays as a man who is very ill and abandoned- the second part he prays for the restoration of Zion, the third section is a meditation on the brevity of life.
Verse 1: O lord, hear my prayer, and let my cry come to you. Hide not your face from me in the day of distress. Obviously this man is in a tight spot, pleading with the Lord to hear him, verse 3: Incline your ear to me; in the day when I call, answer me speedily.
Have you ever felt like the lord doesn’t hear you?
When Daniel fasted it took three weeks for the angel to get to him.
Why? The angel was fighting with the King of Persia, these are the angel’s words. Daniel 10:12.
” Fear not, Daniel, from the first day you made up your mind to acquire understanding and humble yourself before God, your prayer was heard. Because of it I started out. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia stood in my way for 21 days until finally Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me. I left him there with the prince of the kings of Persia and came to make you understand what shall happen to your people in the days to come.”
Never fear your prayers are heard, everything is in God’s time, not ours. We want everything “right now” sometimes He says “wait”.
Father, help us to wait on You , be still and know that You are Lord and hear our prayers. You have a plan for us, fashion us into the image you desire.
Bless our families, our Nation, our Church and each other. Thank You for all your mercy to us.

Day 17 -

Psalm 104: Bless the lord, O my soul! O Lord, my God you are great indeed!

The 6th Penitential Psalm is Psalm 130
This is called the De Profundis used in the liturgy of the Church as a prayer for the faithful departed. In deep sorrow the psalmist cries to the lord begging pardon for his sins .
Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord, Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to my voice in supplication.
I love verse 3- If you, O lord, mark iniquities, Lord , who can stand? But with You is forgiveness, that you may be revered.
Again the psalmist cries to the lord, wait on the lord, trust in the Lord.
How about this?
More than sentinels wait for the dawn ,let Israel wait for the Lord.
I can imagine how the sentinels must have been looking hungrily for the dawn, after all they have stood guard all night with gun and shield waiting for an attack . Perhaps there are some soldiers and sailors reading this that could really tell us how that must feel.
I know I have stood by the bedside waiting for the dawn to appear, there is hope in the light.
Jesus said: I am the light of the World.
Father, we wait for you , rescue us from any darkness within us, we desire to see the light, the light of Jesus. In Him there is no darkness.
Bless our families, our Nation, our Church, our families and those who wait on the sea, near the hospital bed and in the prisons. Thank You Lord for Your Word which causes us to see the light and walk out of darkness.

 

Day 18 -

Psalm 128 : Happy are you who fear the lord, who walk in his ways!

The 7th and last Penitential Psalm is Psalm 143
It was written by David. Pleading for mercy despite his sinfulness the psalmist describes his external and internal afflictions as he longs for the help which God has always offered his faithful servants.
V.1-O lord, hear my prayer; hearken to my pleading in your faithfulness; in your justice answer me…my spirit is faint within me, my heart within me is appalled.
This sounds like a desperate man, he continues I meditate on all your doings, the works of your hands I ponder, hasten to answer me for my spirit fails me.
I love v.8 -show me the way in which I should walk, for to you I lift up my soul, teach me to do your will , for you are my God, he ends with “for I am your servant”.
David always prayed with the knowledge that God loved him and that God would answer his prayers.
“Show me”- that’s a common expression now days- “show me”- I don’t believe you in other words prove yourself to me.
David’s “show me” implies how should he walk in all Your ways through all this mess I am going through”. How does God want him to walk, how does God teach him.
How does God want us to walk? How does God teach us?
David says in verse 10: May your 1.good spirit guide me, 2.For Your name’s sake , 3.for Your justice, 4.in Your kindness.
Father, help us to walk after Your ways, not man’s. Renew our minds to focus on Your plan for each of us, we are all different yet You have a individual plan for each one. Incredible. Guide us to Your perfect plan .
Bless our families, our Nation, our Church, and guide those who are seeking after You with hungry hearts.
Cause us to walk in Your ways this Lent.

         

Day 19 -

In the booklet “Praise Him” the writer Victor M.Parachin says there are 16 reminders to tell why fasting is a good discipline to engage in periodically.

1. Fasting expands compassion. It’s easy to talk about the problem of world hunger but the physical impact and emotional awareness is heightened when we do without food. “My sensitivity to the plight of the poor increased, says one woman who fasted”
Eating one meal a day made me tired and resentful and mine was a voluntary fast. What was it like for those who were lucky to get one meal a day?

I couldn’t be indifferent to their suffering once I’d shared it”

It’s so true until we have experienced something it is so hard to identify with it. I wonder as I go through this Lenten fast about all the food I love and desire but the longer I am on the fast the less I desire all of it.
I seem to be so much closer to the Lord , my mind is clearer and I so often now think about Him and his desires and less of my own.

How about you? God does something to change us when we go humbly before Him and ask for His grace.
Father , today help us to focus on You and less on self desires. Cause us to turn towards You during the day and seek a stronger relationship .Bless our families, our Nation ,our Church and all those who hunger because of the circumstances of their lives.

 

  

Day 20 -

Here we are half way through Lent , the days fly by. The writer Victor Parachin says another way that fasting is good for us is

2.”Fasting is a way of preparing to meet a major challenge. People in the Bible who faced great trials and troubles often dealt with them through prayer and fasting, Whenever special courage, insight, strength, was needed, they turned to prayer combined with fasting. For example Queen Esther approached the king asking him to spare the Jews from destruction, she asked her people to spend three days in prayer and fasting.
She felt that such a difficult enterprise needed prayers fortified by fasting if her effort was to be successful. “When this is done, I will go the the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish” Consequently, Esther approached the king with confidence and boldness, persuading him to reverse an edict which called for the annihilation of the Jews.

A modern application would be to spend time in prayer and fasting whenever a personal or professional crisis looms.”

Perhaps we need three days of prayer and fasting for our Nation , our Families, our Churches. Call your own fast and go before the lord crying out for all your needs. He hears the cry of the poor.
Father, we adore you today. This is the day You have made, since You made it it’s good. Help us on our journey this Lent with hearts longing for you and pleading for the desires of our hearts. Bless our families, our Nation, our Church and all who look to You in their daily needs.
 
 
Day 21 -

Jesus fasted for forty days. Why? He had taken on human life ,such as ours. He was tired, He was weary and hot and sometimes cold. He battled the weather and all its elements. Israel has terrible sand and wind storms at various times of the year. He worked with his hands, did hard labor, ate, just as we do, cried sometimes, laughed often (I imagine) loved? Much. He was tempted in all the ways of a man yet He never sinned, He didn’t give into the thoughts that bombarded the thought process. He placed the words of scripture in his mind and conquered his arch enemy, Satan.

At the end of the 40 days fast remember Satan took Him up to the mountain and said (Matthew 4:8) “satan showed him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them. And said unto him, All these things will I give You , if You will fall down and worship me”
Jesus said to him” Be gone, Satan, for it is written, “Thou shalt worship the lord, they God and him only shall thou serve” then the devil left him.

If Jesus fasted , what about us?

Father, help us to fast and pray this Lent, change us by Your Word, teach how to walk in Your ways and not mans. We are so taken up with the kingdom of this world ,give us Your Word so we too may imitate Jesus and tell Satan, be gone from us by His Word.

Bless our families, our nation, our Church, and all who hunger and thirst for righteousness.

 

 

Day 22 -
Psalm 105:21- He made him Lord of his house and ruler of all his possessions.
From Presentations Ministry booklet
“One Bread, One Body”
“After Jesus fasted for forty days in the desert,
He” returned in the power of the Spirit” (Lk. 4:14)
Likewise ,we will emerge from this Lenten fast as great men and women of God, “filled with faith and the holy Spirit” (Acts 6:5) but only if we accept God’s grace to forgive those who have hurt us.
Joseph in Gen.37 became one of the greatest people in history and one of the most powerful men in the world, but he first had to forgive his brothers for planning to murder him and for eventually selling him into slavery (Gen 37:20-28)
Jesus, the greatest of all, God Himself, was the stone rejected by the builders (Mt.21:42) Jesus was rejected so viciously that He was nailed to a cross,. There he prayed: Father, forgive them , they do not know what they are doing”(Lk.23:34) The greatest people are the greatest forgivers.
Forgiveness is one of the major graces given in our fasting, Forgiveness is the road to greatness, the way of the cross, the vocation of every person. Forgive and be great.”
Father, forgive me and help me to forgive all others who have hurt me by words or actions. I desire to be holy as You have called each of us. You tell us “Be holy as I am holy” Help me. Bless our families, our Nation, our Church, and all who seek Your forgiveness or to forgive others.

      

Day 23 -

Lord Psalm 119:145; I cried with my whole heart. Hear me, O lord, I will keep Thy statutes

The following is from a booklet I wrote “Journey with Jesus and Mary” for Lent. It was written some years ago

In the book of the Prophet Isaiah there are four servant songs in which the servant is the Messiah. Remember Isaiah wrote nearly 700 years before Jesus was born. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he foretold the role of the suffering servant who would save Israel and all people from their sins. Isaiah 42:1-4 “Here is my
servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight, I will put my Spirit on Him and he will bring justice to the nations, He will not shout or cry out, or raise His voice in the streets, A bruised reed He will not break , and a smoldering wick He will not snuff out in faithfulness he will bring forth justice; He will not falter or be discouraged till He establishes justice on the earth, In his law the islands will put their hope”.
Do you think Jesus and Mary spoke of these verses? Remember Jesus was obedient to Mary and Joseph , and grew in wisdom and grace as a teenager (Luke 2:52) His role was to be the suffering servant and do the Father’s will .Mary ,I am sure, pondered these words over and over in her heart. It causes us to do likewise .In our own prayer closets to meditate on these verses and ask the Holy Spirit to shed more and more light on their meaning, This Lent, as we travel the road to Calvary, ask the Holy Spirit to bury deep in your heart a new awareness and appreciation of the Divinity and Humanity of Jesus, the Messiah and suffering servant.
Let us pray: Father thank You for sending Jesus to save us and set us free from the bondage of sin. Let your light shine in our hearts and dispel all darkness so that we may grow closer and closer to Your Fire and love.
Today as we travel the road , we desire to offer all that we do and say to You for Your Honor and Glory. Change us, inside and out , and turn us upside down, so that we may be Your light in the darkness to others.
Bless our families, our Nation, our Church and all who are looking and longing for the Messiah.

 

Day 24 -

Psalm 22:22 I will declare Your name to my brothers; in the congregation I will praise You.

Another meditation from the same booklet I wrote.
Isaiah 42:8- I am the lord; that is my Name. I will not give My glory to another or My praise to idols. See the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you.
God foretold the coming of the Messiah through Isaiah, He knows all things, is omnipresent and omniscient. There is nothing that comes to be except He has conceived it. He declares “He is the Lord” believe it. These verses refer to the lord, Jesus Christ, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He has opened the pathway to Heaven by the sacrifice of His Blood, He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Mary was there with Him in the beginning of His earthly life, she was given to us at the Cross as our Mother, she said “yes” to Him at the Annunciation, let us bow our knees and say “yes” to the Lord.
Let us pray: Father you are awesome and holy God. We humble ourselves before you in worship and repentance, cleanse us of known and unknown sin, we desire to be holy , as You have called us to be. Sanctify us by the Blood of the lamb of God. Strength us to touch others by the power of your Spirit so that many will be saved and enter into Heaven.
Bless our families, our Nation, our Church and bring many to Your Kingdom by Your Grace.

 
 
Day 25 -

Matthew 4:1 Then Jesus was led into the desert by the Spirit to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights and afterward was hungry.

Jesus wasn’t the first man to fast forty days and nights. In Exodus 24:18 it says “But Moses passed into the midst of the cloud as he went up on the mountain; and there he stayed for forty days and forty nights.
The Lord spoke to Moses at that time telling him all about the making of a sanctuary where God would dwell in the midst of His people. All things pertaining to the Ark, the Lampstand , the Tentcloth , the Lord God gave plans to him.

We see in Ch.31:18- When the Lord had finished speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two tablets of the commandments, the stone tablets inscribed by God’s own fingers.
There is a great grace connected to a fast for the lord. Moses’s face shone with such brilliance that he had to put a veil over it because the people were afraid of such brightness and beauty on the face of a man.

We probably won’t be shining lights to others because of our fast but we will have a inner joy, a peace that passes all understanding, a change of heart , something that only God knows each of us needs. He is waiting for us to enter into His presence and sit awhile with Him. Be changed , be joyful, be at peace.
Father , thank You for showing us through Moses and Jesus how to walk in these days of ours. Cause us to humble ourselves and worship only You. Today , right now, not tomorrow but NOW.
Bless our families, our nation, our Church, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.

 

Day 26 -

1 Kings 19:8 So he (Elijah) got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.

Elijah was fleeing from Queen Jezebel who had sent word to him saying “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely , if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them”.( the dead prophets of Baal)

Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. He came to Beersheba, he left his servant there and went on .Finally he cried out to the Lord ”I have had enough, Lord. take my life” Then he laid down to sleep. An angel touched him and said ”Get up and eat “ He saw a cake of bread and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then laid back down again.

The angel came back and touched him” Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you” So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. There he went into a cave and spent the night. The Lord spoke to him there and gave him instructions.

Elijah was sustained by the Lord for forty days and forty nights just as Moses had been. Horeb, the mountain of God, is probably an alternate name for Mount Sinai which is located in the desert apparently about 250 miles south of Beersheba. So it was quite a trek.

When the Lord spoke to Elijah at that time He told him to go and stand on the mountain in the presence of the lord for the Lord is about to pass by”. Then there was a great and powerful wind, but the lord was not in the wind; then an earthquake and next a fire but the lord wasn’t there either; then there was a gentle whisper, when Elijah heard it he went out and stood at the mouth of the cave, there it was that the Lord God spoke to him and gave him instructions.

What an important and powerful lesson for us. God works through so many ways, we can’t put Him in a box and think He only speaks to us is in one way, yet it seems so often it’s when we are still that we are able to hear His voice. He’s calling us but so many times we are running, fleeing, chattering, busy so we don’t hear Him. Take time today and sit and wait upon Him. There is power in the fast, try it.
Elijah went on to anoint prophets and kings for the Lord.

Father, we thank You for your Word which shows and leads us to Your ways. Cause us to be still and wait upon You. Bless our families, our Nation, our Church and all who seek Your Face.

 

Day 27-

Psalm 55:1-Hearken O God, to my prayer; turn not awsy from my pleading.

In the book of Joel the prophet calls the people to fast and repent. It seems the locusts have come and destroyed all the fields, then the grasshoppers came and devoured everything left. The people were weeping for everything was destroyed.
Joel calls he people to repent and return to the lord who they had strayed from with drinking .
Joel 2:15-:Blow the trumpet in Zion! Proclaim a fast. call an assembly. Gather the people, notify the congregation, gather the children. Cry out to the lord “Spare, O lord, your people, and make not your heritage a reproach. Then the lord was stirred to concern for his land and took pity on his people.

I wonder what would happen if all the Churches and Synagogues of our land would call a Fast unto the lord.
If we were called to fast and repent hopefully the lord would come and bless our Nation .
Joel in the Word of God is calling us anyway.

We too can call to the Lord-verse17-Spare ,O lord, your people .
The Lord is waiting for each of us to fast and cry out to Him, Mercy o Lord upon us .
Father, thank You for your Word, it gives light and understanding to us. We bow before You in humble adoration and plead for mercy for ourselves, our families and our nation.
Bless us Lord and all we love, those who live in poverty, in sickness and suffering famine in their lives.

 
 
Day 28 -

Psalm 57:2 In the shadow of your wings I take refuge till harm passes by.

A great man of God, John the Baptist, was another example of fasting. It says in Matthew 3:4-John was clothed in a garment of camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist. Grasshoppers and wild honey were his food” Elijah wore similar clothing (2 Kings 1:8)” Elijah was wearing a hairy garment , with a leather girdle about his loins”

I wonder when John first went into the desert?
As a teenager? Times were so different then, it is hard to relate ages and customs.
No doubt his mother and father had died since they were very old when he was born. I am sure they had told him of his own birth and the birth of his cousin Jesus.
He lived in the desert of Judea which is in the lower part of Judah.
He lived a fasted life.
Have you eaten grasshoppers ?
Of course wild honey doesn’t sound bad.

But to live on that? No doubt he was a man of prayer. He had a mission. He was called and chosen by God for a purpose. He was a herald in the desert proclaiming the coming of the lord (Isaiah 40:13)
It says “All Judea went out to see him,” his fame spread throughout the land, his call for repentance. Oh how I would love to hear him preaching.

We to are called and chosen to tell the good news of Jesus. We don’t eat locust and wild honey but we can fast from sweets and things we love. Fasting gives us more time to focus on the lord, instead of always wondering where is the nest McDonalds or Starbucks we are freer to hear the Lord.

Father, thank You for your Word which sets us free. Your Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our paths. Help us to take time in the day to see the things that are eternal .Bless our families, our Nation, our Church and all who hunger and thirst for righteousness.

 

    

Day 29 -

Matthew 4:- Then Jesus was led into the desert by the Spirit to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights and afterwards was hungry.
We have seen 40 days mentioned quite a few times in the Scripture- It is usually associated with “testing”.
Why did Jesus need testing? He was Son of God.
YET He was Son of Man also. He was dealing with the flesh not the spirit.

We are made of three parts;
body (flesh)
soul( memory, knowledge, emotions ,mind)
spirit (our spirit )–Paul says in 1 Thess.5:23- May the God of peace make you perfect in holiness. May he preserve you whole and entire, spirit, soul and body, irreproachable at the coming of our lord Jesus Christ.

The mind is the battleground; our thoughts, our judgments, our criticisms, our passions.
So Jesus was in the battle of the mind, of course His flesh suffered with hunger, it didn’t say He didn’t have water so I believe He had water during that time.
With us all the battlefield is the mind.

No doubt Jesus was the victor in this battle with Satan and the mind. He overcame. He quoted the Word of God as His weapon. He said “Not on bread alone is man to live but on every utterance that comes from the mouth of God. (Dt.8:3)

Then (Ps.91:11) He will bid his angels to take care of you; with their hands they will support you that you may never stumble on a stone.

Finally (Dt.6:16) You shall not put the lord your God to the test. We too have the Word of God to overcome our temptations. Try it. Put on the mind of Christ. Live n triumph over the enemy.

Father we worship You . Thank You for your Word which feeds us daily. Cause us to meditate daily on your words so we may cleanse our minds of any wrong doing.
Bless our families, our Nation, our Church and all who strive to be holy.

 
 
Day 30 -

Psalm 145:2 - My refuge, and my fortress ,my stronghold, my deliverer, My shield, in whom I trust, who subdues peoples under me.

When Moses came down from the mountain his face shone, it was so bright that the people were actually fearful. Moses put a veil over his face.

I wonder how Jesus looked when he came back from the desert. There was something different about him.
It says in Luke 4:14- Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and his reputation spread throughout the region.

Verse 22 –All who were present (in the Synagogue) spoke favorably of him , they marveled at the appealing discourse which came from his lips.

They said “Is not this Joseph’s son?” Before Jesus went and was baptized he was just a carpenter.
Now He was different, He had met the enemy and overcame Satan in the desert, he was filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. His life as Son of Man now took on the life of a man fully alive, spirit filled with power and wisdom. People followed him, they left everything behind, they wanted to be near him . He was a man full of joy and purpose.

The thirty years of his life were in preparation for what was His calling and purpose; to redeem mankind, to pay the price for all men, to die for us and take our place so that we might die ( all our sins) with him. He did this because of LOVE.

He shows us the way to follow Him, we too must die to self and to be His witnesses. Scripture says “I am crucified with Christ, not I that lives but Christ who lives in me.” Galatians 2:20

We too have a calling , a purpose, each one of us. He has a plan for each, my plan is different from yours. If we stay in His presence, study His Word, pray for His guidance, He will lead us in His path.

Father, we adore You today. This moment is Yours, help us to consecrate our days to You for your Glory. Thank You for showing us the path to take.

Bless our families, our Nation, our Church and all who love Your Word.

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