Prayer Lesson for Sunday, May 24, 2020
Sunday, May 24, 2020
Prayer Ministries Leader: Abe Funk
Lesson: The Lord Surrounds His People
Welcome and Prayer:
Welcome to our prayer class. You may be alone or with a spouse, but you are never alone. Imagine Jesus sitting with you. Why not put a chair out for Him if you are alone, and talk to Him—He is with you, and just as real as if you could see Him physically.
Loving Father, thank you for your presence, and the presence of Jesus and the Holy Spirit to comfort, to guide and to bless this study and this time of fellowship. All for your glory, Amen
Bible Reading: Psalm 125
1 Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever.
2 As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people both now and forevermore.
3 The scepter [rod] of the wicked will not remain over the land allotted to the righteous, for then the righteous might use their hands to do evil.
4 Do good, O LORD, to those who are good, to those who are upright in heart.
5 But those who turn to crooked ways the LORD will banish with the evildoers. Peace be upon Israel.
Key Verses: “As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people both now and forevermore.” (2)
Background to Psalm 125
“As the mountains surround Jerusalem.”Jerusalem is situated on a rocky mountain and surrounded with other mountains. Mountains are generally viewed as strong and safe places, and so the psalmist declares, “…which cannot be shaken but endures forever.” That is how he describes the Lord and people who trust in the Lord…forever! That includes us in 2020, hibernating because of COVID-19.
King David chose Jerusalem for his headquarters because he saw the possibility of building a secure capital for the nation. When the powerful Roman army, 60,000 strong marched against Jerusalem in under Titus (AD ’67-’70) to put down the ongoing insurrections by the Jews, they found the City of Jerusalem almost unconquerable. Only after more than three years did they finally succeed, but with the loss of thousands of their own troops.
One possibility is that this Psalm was written during the time when Ezra was rebuilding the temple after the 70-year exile, and when Nehemiah was rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem. Surrounding enemies mocked the builders, they threatened, intimidated, but in the end were powerless because God was protecting His people.
Perhaps we need to look at the mountains around us, to remind us of God’s strength and protection. When death comes to a family member as it did this week for the Reimer family with Dorothy Penner’s homegoing; then we need God’s strength. We need to lean on the Lord’s mighty strength. He will not be moved or shaken. Look again at our Key Verse: “As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people both now and forevermore” (2). You and I are included in that “forever.” God assured Joshua as he was facing the greatest challenge of his life, “…I will never leave you or forsake you” (Joshua 1:5). Jesus promised, “I will be with you to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
“The Lord is round about his people”—He is above, beneath, around them; and while they keep within it, their fortress is impregnable, and they can suffer no evil.” –Adam Clarke’s Commentary.
We all have enemies that seek to take us down. Not the same enemies as the Psalmist described, or that Nehemiah faced, but mighty never-the-less. It may be health, discouragement, grief, financial problems, or family issues; they can all be very intimidating. Instead of focusing on our problems, let’s do what the Psalmist did—trust the Lord. “Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever.” Here is how God describes our security:
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39 (NIV)
Think About This
- What principle or lesson can you claim for your journey from Psalm 125 and this lesson?
- List the enemy or enemies who are seeking to take you down; then take a good look at them. How do they compare to promises God has for you? Now place your trust in the Lord again.
- Is there someone you could now encourage, someone who is going through a hard time who could be blessed and encouraged by your journey?
My Prayer for You
“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Loving Father, thank you for this blessing and all your promises we have read today. Thank you that you are with us on our journey, to the very end. We thank you for our sister Dorothy, whom you have called to your forever home in Heaven. Encourage and bless her family as they journey on without her. Bless also the family of Ravi Zacharias, your faithful servant you called home this week. Also, our friend Cam Taylor who said farewell to his dear wife Vicky. God of all comfort; bless all these dear people, loved by you! Bless everyone of our Abby Church Family: Pastor John, Sue, and the Leadership Team. Help us all to be faithful to you, encourage each other, and be open to serve when you prompt us or open a door for us. We pray this all Jesus wonderful name, and for your glory, Amen