Blessed Are You, O God, Our Strength: A Family Prayer From J. R. Miller
Prayer from Morning and Evening Prayers: Family Prayers For 13 Weeks by J. R. Miller, Eleventh Week, Sunday Morning.
Blessed are You, O God, our strength, who teaches our hands to war, and our fingers to fight. Teach us to war against all wickedness. You are our goodness and our fortress and our high tower, our deliverer, our shield, and the God in whom we trust. You are our refuge and our strength, our keeper in the midst of trouble, and our deliverer.
Lord, what is man, that You take knowledge of him. Man is like to vanity; his days are as a shadow that passes away. Yet we rejoice in Your love and thought for Your redeemed children. Though we are so frail, like a flower, like the reed, bruised and broken — still You do indeed make account of us. You have put Your image upon us. You have put Your Spirit within us. You have made us Your own children. We are dearer to You than all other things in the universe, because we are Your own children and You are our Father, and because You have redeemed us at the price of the blood of Your own Son. In the person of Your Son, we are as dear to You as He is. Help us to realize our nearness and dearness to You.
We would rejoice as a family in Your goodness and Your grace. Rid us and deliver us from the hand of evil men, whose mouth speaks vanity and whose right hands are right hands of falsehood. May our sons be as plants grown up in their youth. May our daughters be as corner-stones polished after the similitude of a palace. May our garners be full, that we may feed the hungry. May we all honor You by holy and beautiful lives.
Fill our home today with Your love, and may all of us receive from You grace, mercy, and truth,
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
A Note On Psalm 144
Blessed be the LORD, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle; 2 he is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and he in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me. 3 O LORD, what is man that you regard him, or the son of man that you think of him? Psalm 144:1-3
When reading Psalm 144, it’s easy to say, “Oh yeah, of course God gave King David military might and victory, subduing peoples (“making nations submit,” in some versions) under him.”
However, we must understand, and believe, that this promise belongs to Christians today, just as it has belonged to all of God’s people since David first wrote the words. We may not be king of a nation like David was, yet, both our defensive and offensive weapons of warfare are as powerful as any he ever wielded (Ephesians 6:10-18). We can subdue peoples, not us alone, but God working through our prayers made in faith.
All Christians can, and must, appropriate to themselves what OT scholar, Willem A. VanGemeren, writes in regard to Psalm 144:1-2:
The jubilant praise (vv.1-2), confessing God as the Redeemer-King motivates an ephemeral human being to rouse the Divine Warrior to action! The psalmist does not present his petition before the Lord timidly but with boldness. He knows his God; and despite human shortcomings, he is convinced that the Lord does “care for him” and “think of him” (v.3). [O LORD, what is man that you regard him, or the son of man that you think of him? (Psalm 144:3).]¹
Let’s rouse the Divine Warrior to action on behalf of the United States. He hears our prayers and He will act.
¹Willem A. VanGemeren, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary Volume 5, Frank E. Gaebelein General Editor (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1991), 856-857.