READ: Psalms 142-145
THINK: Are you ready for battle? David, both before and after becoming king, waged war for Israel. Even so, you're called to battle for God's kingdom. Since this warfare is against spiritual powers, it must be waged with spiritual weapons God provides, including the primary weapons of His Word and prayer. Related to these is a weapon often overlooked, yet obvious throughout the Psalms. Praise is a powerful weapon because it honors God as our Source of strength, building faith as it takes our focus off our opposition and puts it on God who can overcome any opposition. When spiritual battles remind us to praise God, Satan loses his greatest tactics of pride, fear and discouragement. This enables us to overcome evil influence and effectively advance God's purpose.
RESPOND: When we're lonely, suffering or in trouble, why should we not isolate ourselves or remain silent, and what should we do instead? (See 142:1-7 note.) What relief can we find by going to God (143:1)? How can considering God's works from the past help you when facing desperate times (143:5)? How does God teach you to follow His purposes (143:10)? Why and in what ways must you rely on God's character when facing trouble, opposition and persecution (143:11-12)? In what way is God a "Rock" (144:1)? (See 144:1-15 note.) What does it mean that the Lord "trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle"? (See 144:1 note.) How do you get this training, and what does it enable you to do? (See 144:1 note.) How often did David praise God, and how is this an example to you (145:1- 2)? (See 145:2 note.) Why is it important for one generation of believers to talk to the next about God's goodness and power (145:3-7)? How does it benefit us that "the LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love" (145:8)? According to 145:18-19, to whom is God near, and whose desires does He fulfill? (See 145:18 note.)
PRAY: Bring your needs and frustrations to God and trust Him to give you His peace in place of these things. Give God thanks for teaching you His desires and purposes through the time you spend in His Word and prayer.
ACT: Do something practical to encourage someone who is struggling, hurting, lonely or in need. Perhaps you can tell him or her about a time when God helped you. Then volunteer to pray for them about the situation.
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