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Praying for Blessing

Devotions

Have you ever felt like your prayer was one long wish list? “Help Aunt Katie to heal from her hip surgery. Help my daughter to do well in math this year. Help. Help. Help.” Are these kinds of prayers selfish? Today’s reading will encourage you that bringing your requests to God is not selfish when done from the right perspective.

The Psalmist begins by asking for God’s blessing (v. 1). God’s blessing can be best understood by reading Deuteronomy 28:1–6. In that passage, Moses describes the blessings of obedience to the covenant as resulting in children, abundant crops, large herds, and full pantries. Notice that this is not a prayer for a lavish lifestyle or excess. Rather it is a prayer that there will be plenty of food, healthy relationships, and the peace to enjoy them. We too can pray with the Psalmist, “May God be gracious to us and bless us” (Ps. 67:1).

Beginning in verse 2, with the word so, the Psalmist expresses why God should bless us. “So that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations” (v. 2). The Psalmist’s desire is not merely for his own wellbeing or for Israel, but for the nations around Israel to know God and praise Him (vv. 3–5). God’s promise to Abraham would benefit all people (Gen. 12:3). By witnessing God’s hand of blessing on Israel, others would be drawn to God. True peace and justice would only be possible when all people come under the rule of God (v. 4). The hope of this Psalm will be fulfilled in Jesus. In His death, He “purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Rev. 5:9).

BY Ryan Cook

Dr. Ryan Cook has taught at Moody Bible Institute since 2012. He earned his bachelor of arts in Bible and Theology from Moody and his master of arts in Old Testament from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. He has worked in Christian education and served as a pastor in Michigan for seven years. During his time as a professor at Moody, he earned his doctorate from Asbury Theological Seminary. He now lives with his wife, Ashley, and their three children in the Chicagoland area.

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