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As we enter 2024, we face a divisive presidential election, a discouraging economy, a spiritually bankrupt society and endless personal tragedies, struggles and disappointments.
How do we prepare for all that God has for us this year?
In the midst of all we are facing in our nation and personal lives in 2024, I believe God is calling Church of the Open Door to prayerful, passionate, and Spirit-filled worship as we learn what it means to take refuge in Him. What we need and this world needs more than anything is a Messiah whose person and promises transcend this broken world, heal our aching hearts and allow us to make disciples in the midst of the uncertainty.
As a result, the elders are asking us as a church to pray this prayer together as we go through the book of Psalms, “Father, give us hearts of prayerful worship.”
The Psalms can be divided this way:
- Psalms 1-2—Delight in God’s law and the coming Messiah in prayerful worship
- Psalms 3-41—Refuge for the faithful in God’s covenant
- Psalms 42-72—Hope in the Messiah
- Psalms 73-89—Hope in the Messiah for exiles
- Psalms 90-106—Worship the king of creation
- Psalms 107-50—Delight in God’s law and the coming Messiah in prayerful worship
The Psalms are 150 ancient Hebrew prayers and songs of thanksgiving, lament, kingship and wisdom:
- 73 are from King David
- 50 are anonymous
- 37 are from Asaph (David’s worship leader), sons of Korah, Solomon, Heman, Ethan and Moses
Jesus used the Psalms as His personal prayer book in the gospels, and the Psalms are quoted nine times more in the New Testament than any other book in the Old Testament. The Psalms lead us through the whole spectrum of the human experience and possible responses to God:
- The Psalms give us words for what is going on in our hearts, and are real life patterns of prayerful worship in the midst of joy and suffering, praise and lament.
- The Psalms teach us how to worship God in deep abiding prayer when life has “bottomed out” by significant adversity, despair or fear.
- The Psalms give us the words to worship and glorify God in all of His blessings.
Ultimately, the Psalms reaffirm the character of God; He is holy, just, faithful, forgiving, fierce and glorious.
King David urges us in Psalm 34:8, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” We are praying that we will taste and see the goodness of the Lord as we find refuge in Him in 2024.