Daily devotion

Praying Positive

Think about the dominant tone of your prayers. Is it more positive or negative? Why?

Psalm 20

Often our prayers focus on the negative situations of family and friends- a health problem, a strained relationship, the loss of a job, or worse. It’s both reassuring and true that God cares about the day-to-day problems of his people, but the refreshing thing in this psalm is that we find David ‘praying positive’ for the people around him. ‘May he give you the desire of your heart…may the Lord grant all your requests. We could all use some more of that kind of praying!
The prayer is based on David’s understanding of who God is and how he operates. Although we can’t know for sure, it seems that something happened between verses 5 and 6; David’s positive attitude has been energized by some specific divine intervention. As a result, he’s concluded that only God has the power to save. Have you come to that same conclusion? Most of us would agree in principle. My problem is living it out in real time, when I’m the one facing a problem. But our confidence in prayer comes not form getting what we want, or even feeling better: it comes from the conviction that God can and will do what’s best for us, whether we understand what he’s up to or not.
That leads David to a second conclusion: trust God and succeed; don’t trust God and fail.Maybe that sounds too simplistic. If so, perhaps it’s because we’ve defined success in the wrong way. Trusting God implies that he determines the outcome, not us. The psalm ends on a realistic note; there will always be a ‘next situation’ to cause us grief, but each time we call out to God it deepens our trust in his power
What situations do you face that tempt you to question God’s power to save? What action could you take to demonstrate your trust in God, regardless of how you feel?

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