Teach Us To Number Our Days: A Prayer

Psalm 90

A prayer of Moses the man of God.

 1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place
       throughout all generations.

 2 Before the mountains were born
       or you brought forth the earth and the world,
       from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

 3 You turn men back to dust,
       saying, “Return to dust, O sons of men.”

 4 For a thousand years in your sight
       are like a day that has just gone by,
       or like a watch in the night.

 5 You sweep men away in the sleep of death;
       they are like the new grass of the morning-

 6 though in the morning it springs up new,
       by evening it is dry and withered.

 7 We are consumed by your anger
       and terrified by your indignation.

 8 You have set our iniquities before you,
       our secret sins in the light of your presence.

 9 All our days pass away under your wrath;
       we finish our years with a moan.

 10 The length of our days is seventy years—
       or eighty, if we have the strength;
       yet their span is but trouble and sorrow,
       for they quickly pass, and we fly away.

 11 Who knows the power of your anger?
       For your wrath is as great as the fear that is due you.

 12 Teach us to number our days aright,
       that we may gain a heart of wisdom
.

 13 Relent, O LORD! How long will it be?
       Have compassion on your servants.

 14 Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
       that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

 15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
       for as many years as we have seen trouble.

 16 May your deeds be shown to your servants,
       your splendor to their children.

 17 May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us;
       establish the work of our hands for us—
       yes, establish the work of our hands.

Quotation for Renovation

from The Discipline of Grace
by Jerry Bridges
(taken from one of the best chapters of any book I’ve ever read – Chapter 9:  The Discipline of Commitment)

“When we commit ourselves to the pursuit of holiness, we need to ensure that our commitment is actually to God, not simply to a holy lifestyle or a set of moral values. The people of my parents’ generation were generally honesty, chaste, sober, and thrifty. They were committed to those values, but they were not necessarily committed to God. Many of them were outstanding moralists and even church people, but they were not committed to God. They were committed to their values, not to God.”

“We can be committed to a set of Christian values or to a lifestyle of discipleship without being committed to God Himself.”

“Commitment to the pursuit of holiness, then, is first of all a commitment to God to pursue a way of life that is pleasing to Him. In short, it is a commitment to a life of obedience.”

“There is no point in praying for God’s help in the face of temptation if we have not made a commitment to obedience without exception.”

A Birthday Prayer

I wrote the following on my birthday this past December, when I turned the ripe old age of 44. As Psalm 90 exhorts us, it’s a good thing to number and take stock of our days, so that we might gain a heart of wisdom. May the Lord bless you with wisdom as you grow in his grace, knowledge, and eternal perspective.

The Lord bless you,
Dale

Lord, I thank you for the gift of life. I praise you for how you have directed my steps. And while my sins and mistakes and foibles were all mine, I do thank you for how you have led me these 44 years.

I thank you for Mom, Dad, and Nancy-Hart. It wasn’t always a perfect home, but I praise you that all four of us have come to know, love, and follow you. Much was good. Some was not. But you were faithful throughout it all and we are blessed beyond what we deserve. Thank you.

Father, I give you praise, worship, joyful thanks and adoration for Suzanne, Natalie, Dylan, Jake and Grant. They have brought me more joy and happiness than I ever thought possible. I know I am far from deserving them, but I thank you for each one of them. I know I am a better man because of each one of them being in my life.

Thank you Lord for, of course, not only redeeming me from sin, hell, and your wrath, but for your call in my life to be a pastor. When I look back and remember my aimlessness, laziness, etc., I become stunned in amazement that you have brought me so very far from where I once was. I have purpose, identity, meaning, joy, self-discipline, goals, focus, a calling larger than myself, opportunities, etc., – all in you, by you, for you, and through you. Thank you.

My life, my family, my calling as a pastor, and all the rest give me such a reason to get up in the morning – every morning – that I just can’t believe it’s real. I am so truly thankful to you Lord. Thank you for pouring out your amazing love and grace on me, one who is so undeserving. I’ll take it.

I don’t know how many more years you will give me, but I do pray that you will enable me to redeem every single second you give me. Please help me do more for you, your name, and your Kingdom than I have ever done in the past.

Help me Lord to be more intentional, consistent, motivated, focused, etc., in all I do. Help me prioritize what is most important and significant and not chase after things that aren’t pleasing to you. Please, please, please direct my steps, fill me with your Holy Spirit, give me greater revelation of your particular purposes and callings for me. Empower me, consecrate me, and sanctify me for your glory and purposes so that I may honor and please you with my life and bear as much good and lasting fruit as I can while I’m here.

Thank you Father for your faithfulness, your Word, your love, and your promises. Thank you for the Comforter and Counselor. Thank you for my Savior, Lord, King, and Friend. I give you all praise, worship, thanks, and adoration. In Christ I pray, Amen.