Shout For Joy

A photo by Kristopher Allison.

READ: Psalm 98: 1-12

A NEW SONG: The psalmist commands us to sing a new song to the Lord (v1). Let's share some of the things we have to rejoice in that are new to us. It is good to tell each other such things but it is also important to make them known to the Lord. Maybe now is not the moment to actually sing about them but at least we can make a commitment to the Lord to sing to Him more often in our own prayer times.

VICTORY IS THE LORD'S: The Lord has not only gained victory for us, He has also gained the victory for Himself (v1). Obviously the Lord was never about to suffer defeat but it is important to see that the attack was aimed in His direction. Let's pray for an ability to see things more readily from God's perspective.

THE LORD'S CONCERNS: It could be argued that, as far as the Lord is concerned, the battle was all about making His salvation known and letting His righteousness be seen by the nations (v2). Itis not hard to understand why the devil was contesting on these two points! Let's praise God for His specific triumph in these areas, realising that as we do so we are inflicting real pain on the enemy who hates being reminded of his utter lack of success.

COVENANT COMMITMENT: God's commitment to us is so complete that we are never going to run out of new songs to sing about it (v3). All of the Lord's people can testify that His covenant mercy, loving kindness and grace are new every morning. Let's commit ourselves to dealing more ruthlessly with indifference in our lives. We have so much to rejoice about and to praise God for.

WORLDWIDE REVELATION: It is hard to take in what the psalmist says about all the ends of the earth having seen the salvation of our God (v3), but we have to accept it. Here is an opportunity to pray that the people inhabiting all the ends of the earth will register what has already been revealed. Let's pray for a boldness to go, a boldness to declare and a boldness to believe for dramatic results. Let's mention the nations that we have on our hearts, then pray for them.

STIRRING UP JOY: The psalmist does not expect to rejoice on his own and neither should we (vs 4-6). The whole earth and everything in it has been made to praise the Lord and to acknowledge His Kingship. Here is our chance to pray prophetically. Let's pray for the specific areas that we represent in our groups. Let's command our own localities to start bowing in submission and getting joyful about the mighty works of God. Let's be as specific as we can, turning our local knowledge of shops, pubs, factories, offices, schools and people into specific prayer requests.

EXCITED BY JUSTICE: Many of us will have registered surprise at the cause for rejoicing, identified by the psalmist at the end of this psalm. We need to rediscover a love for justice and evenhandedness that the Lord's return will bring (v9). When it comes to these things it seems that the whole of creation - sea, rivers and hills - is all about to burst forth in joy before the Lord. Let's make sure that we are not outdone when it comes to being joyfully provoked by such a theme. It is a good time to get excited about the end of particular injustices we see.