After what happened in Israel on Oct. 7, 2023, you may be at a loss for words in how to pray for Israel. God has the answer. Simply, pray the Psalms. God loves it when you pray His words back to Him! Incidentally, that’s why I try to publish a psalm every Sunday. Because of illness, I was unable to for the last few weeks. But I’m back! Interestingly enough, Psalm 69 is not only a prayer of hope, but a Messianic Psalm to boot! Let’s dig in…
For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be sung to the tune “Lilies.”
1 Save me, O God,
for the floodwaters are up to my neck.
2 Deeper and deeper I sink into the mire;
I can’t find a foothold.
I am in deep water,
and the floods overwhelm me.
3 I am exhausted from crying for help;
my throat is parched.
My eyes are swollen with weeping,
waiting for my God to help me.
4 Those who hate me without cause
outnumber the hairs on my head.
Many enemies try to destroy me with lies,
demanding that I give back what I didn’t steal.
5 O God, you know how foolish I am;
my sins cannot be hidden from you.
6 Don’t let those who trust in you be ashamed because of me,
O Sovereign Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
Don’t let me cause them to be humiliated,
O God of Israel.
7 For I endure insults for your sake;
humiliation is written all over my face.
8 Even my own brothers pretend they don’t know me;
they treat me like a stranger.
9 Passion for your house has consumed me,
and the insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.
10 When I weep and fast,
they scoff at me.
11 When I dress in burlap to show sorrow,
they make fun of me.
12 I am the favorite topic of town gossip,
and all the drunks sing about me.
13 But I keep praying to you, Lord,
hoping this time you will show me favor.
In your unfailing love, O God,
answer my prayer with your sure salvation.
14 Rescue me from the mud;
don’t let me sink any deeper!
Save me from those who hate me,
and pull me from these deep waters.
15 Don’t let the floods overwhelm me,
or the deep waters swallow me,
or the pit of death devour me.
16 Answer my prayers, O Lord,
for your unfailing love is wonderful.
Take care of me,
for your mercy is so plentiful.
17 Don’t hide from your servant;
answer me quickly, for I am in deep trouble!
18 Come and redeem me;
free me from my enemies.
19 You know of my shame, scorn, and disgrace.
You see all that my enemies are doing.
20 Their insults have broken my heart,
and I am in despair.
If only one person would show some pity;
if only one would turn and comfort me.
21 But instead, they give me poison for food;
they offer me sour wine for my thirst.
22 Let the bountiful table set before them become a snare
and their prosperity become a trap.
23 Let their eyes go blind so they cannot see,
and make their bodies shake continually.
24 Pour out your fury on them;
consume them with your burning anger.
25 Let their homes become desolate
and their tents be deserted.
26 To the one you have punished, they add insult to injury;
they add to the pain of those you have hurt.
27 Pile their sins up high,
and don’t let them go free.
28 Erase their names from the Book of Life;
don’t let them be counted among the righteous.
29 I am suffering and in pain.
Rescue me, O God, by your saving power.
30 Then I will praise God’s name with singing,
and I will honor him with thanksgiving.
31 For this will please the Lord more than sacrificing cattle,
more than presenting a bull with its horns and hooves.
32 The humble will see their God at work and be glad.
Let all who seek God’s help be encouraged.
33 For the Lord hears the cries of the needy;
he does not despise his imprisoned people.
34 Praise him, O heaven and earth,Psalm 69 NLT
the seas and all that move in them.
35 For God will save Jerusalem
and rebuild the towns of Judah.
His people will live there
and settle in their own land.
36 The descendants of those who obey him will inherit the land,
and those who love him will live there in safety.
Dig Deeper into this Prayer…
Psalm 69 divides into 3 sections. Pastor Sandy Adams explains…
Verses 1-21 are cries of the victim. They focus on David himself. You’ll see his use of the personal pronouns – I, me, and my. Verses 22-28 are cries for vengeance. The focus is on David’s enemies. He uses third person pronouns – they, them, and their. Verses 29-36 are cries of victory. The focus is on the Lord. And David employs the pronouns – He, Him, and His.
Remember David is not only a poet, but also a prophet. There are times in this psalm (as in others) where his speech transcends his own feelings and become prophetic of Jesus. The victim’s cries are those of the Crucified One hanging from a cross. The cries of vengeance are those of the Victor at the final battle. And the cries of victory are those of the King of kings on His throne.Pastor Sandy Adams
Hated Without Cause
Undeniably, that is what Israel and Jews are facing right now — not just in Israel, but all over the world. Antisemitism is rampant everywhere. Additionally, we find Psalm 69 quoted throughout the New Testament describing what Jesus went through. The folks at Spoken Gospel elaborate…
Like David, Jesus is hated without cause by his Jewish brothers and countrymen. In a public display of his zeal for God, Jesus turns over the tables of a market set up inside God’s house (John 2:17). But in a sham trial, his Jewish brothers falsely accuse him of blasphemy and demand a punishment they think proportionate (Matthew 26:65; Romans 15:3). Angry at God, they crucify the innocent Jesus. In cruelty, they give him bile and vinegar to drink (Matthew 27:34, 48; John 19:28). Similar to David, Jesus asks why God hides his face from his sufferings (Mark 15:34).
In David’s deepest moments of pain, he prays that God’s love would move him to enact justice against those who falsely accuse him. But in Jesus’ final moments on the cross, he asks God to forgive those who crucified him (Luke 23:34). Jesus willingly accepts punishment disproportionate to his innocence so that the guilty can be forgiven (1 Peter 3:18).
Shockingly, Jesus dies like David wanted his accusers to die: food poisoned with bile, eyes blinded by blood, and damned to three days among the dead. This means David’s demands for justice begin to come to pass in Jesus’ own body. In Jesus, innocent sufferers are given their first taste of proportional justice for the crimes done against them. Jesus doesn’t just die for our sins, but demonstrates what justice will look like for the sins done against us. God will poison, blind, and damn those who falsely accuse and abuse the sons and daughters of God.
So wholeheartedly trust, not in sacrifices of hooves or horns, but in the sacrifice of Jesus. In him the guilty are forgiven since their punishment is taken by Jesus. And in him, the innocent are given a down payment and demonstration of the final justice guaranteed to their enemies.
See for Yourself
I pray that the Holy Spirit will open your eyes to see the God who both forgives and judges. And may you see Jesus as the one who answers in himself both God’s and our demands for justice.Spoken Gospel
A Prayer for Israel
Have you ever been stuck in the mud. I have. It’s not fun or easy to get out of. The mire just sucks you in and it seems the more you try to get out, the deeper you go. Therefore, you need help. Obviously, you have sunk so low that the only way to go is up!
Many times we get ourselves into tough situations and sometimes tough situations are thrust upon us when we least expect them.
Undoubtedly, what Israel is going through right now, they didn’t ask for it. Yet, they find themselves in the middle of war.
Here’s my prayer for them…
God of all creation, you alone are the God of all the kingdoms of the earth and you are still in control.
Your children in Israel must feel like they are sinking into miry depths. They are grieving and traumatized. Their enemies surround them.
Nothing is hidden from you, the Lord Almighty. Rescue your children from the mire, deliver them from those who hate them. Do not let the flood of the evil armies engulf them.
Protect your children in Israel, those who seek you will be glad. Open doors for the lost — both Jew and Muslim — to know Jesus as Yeshua Hamashiach.
The Lord hears the needy and does not despise his captive people.
Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and all that move in them, for God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah. Then people will settle there and possess it; the children of his servants will inherit it, and those who love his name will dwell there.Paraphrase of Psalm 69 by Giselle Aguiar