Thursday, October 29, 2015

Praying for the Lord Jesus

"Thou Art Worthy"
The seventy-second psalm is a prophetic prayer regarding the Millennial reign of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is the glorious, thousand-year period when Christ will reign on earth. In one of the verses, it says:

“May people ever pray for Him and bless Him all the day long.” (Ps 72:15).

Let's look more closely at that.

May People Ever Pray for Him
First of all, the Lord Jesus doesn’t need our prayers. He is fully God, and as our Great High Priest, He ever lives to make intercession for us (He 7:25).  However, we should still pray for Him and bless Him always, since the Scripture teaches to do so. Here are some ways to do so:

Pray for the riches of this earth to be given to Him. (Ps 72:15). Pray for people to bless Him all day long (Ps 72:15). Pray for the whole earth to be filled with His glory (Ps 72:19; Hab 2:14; Is 6:3). Pray to the Father in heaven, "Let Your hand rest on the Man at Your right hand, the Son of Man you have raised up for Yourself." (Ps 80:17, NIV). Pray for His kingdom to come. (Mt 6:10). Pray for His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven (Mt 6:10). Pray for the advancement of the gospel: "May Your ways be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations" (Ps 67:2). Pray that the people groups of the earth would praise Him, that all the peoples and nations would praise Him (Ps 67:3). Pray for all His lost sheep to be found (Lk 15:4), because that's what's on His heart, that sinners would turn back to Him (Ps 51:13; Lk 19:10). Pray that all His prodigal sons would come home (Lk 15:11-32).

Pray for His Body, especially that we would be perfected in unity (Joh 17:21-23), be healthy, whole, holy, pure, righteous, obedient, and functioning properly as we should. Pray especially that which He taught us to pray for His Body in the Lord’s prayer (Mt 6:9-13). For we are His Body and He is the Head (Col 1:18); the Father is in Him and He is in the Father; He is in us and we are in Him and the Father (Joh 14:20); so to pray for us, His Body, is one way to pray for Him. Pray also for His second coming. “Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Rev 22:20).

May People Bless Him All Day Long
Secondly, we ought to bless the Lord. The Psalm says, “May people…bless Him all day long” (Ps 72:15). What does it mean to bless the Lord, and how do we do it? Is it the same as praising Him? Since the Hebrew word for “bless” (barak) is different from “praise” (tehillah, or halal), we know that the expression “bless the Lord” means something different from “praise the Lord.”

Sometimes we find both praise and blessing in the same verse. One such example says, “Bless the LORD, O my soul. Praise the LORD!” (Psa 104:35b)

Praise is a laudation, a celebration, boasting in the Lord, and giving Him glory, however, a blessing means the bestowal of good. When a blessing is given, the one giving it verbally expresses the desire for the bestowal of the good designated. The one who blesses is pronouncing over another the good that he names. According to the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE), “The Creator is regarded as the source of blessing and the creature the recipient, but the order is sometimes reversed, and the creature (man) is the source and the Creator the recipient.”  

We can actually bless the Lord! There are many examples of this in Scripture, but one of them is found in the account of Abraham’s servant. He said:

"And I bowed low and worshiped the LORD, and blessed the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who had guided me in the right way to take the daughter of my master's kinsman for his son. (Gen 24:48)

There are many ways to bless the Lord. We may kneel before Him and adore Him, which is the literal meaning of the word “barak”. To adore Him is to love Him in the highest degree, and regard Him with the utmost esteem, affection, reverence, and respect. We may also say, “Bless the Lord!” However, in addition to all of these, we may also speak a blessing over Him, which is naming the good we desire for Him, such as “Thy kingdom come!” or “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven!” Other examples include, “May all Your lost sheep be found,” and “May the gospel be advanced throughout the world.”

Scripture Meditation
Here are some Scriptures that refer to blessing the Lord:

I will bless the LORD who has counseled me; Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night.
(Psa 16:7)

My foot stands on a level place; In the congregations I shall bless the LORD. (Psa 26:12)

A Psalm of David when he feigned madness before Abimelech, who drove him away and he departed. I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. (Psa 34:1)

A Psalm of David. Bless the LORD, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name. (Psa 103:1)

Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits; (Psa 103:2)

Bless the LORD, you His angels, Mighty in strength, who perform His word, Obeying the voice of His word! (Psa 103:20)

Bless the LORD, all you His hosts, You who serve Him, doing His will. (Psa 103:21)

Bless the LORD, all you works of His, In all places of His dominion; Bless the LORD, O my soul! (Psa 103:22)

Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, You are very great; You are clothed with splendor and majesty, (Psa 104:1)

But as for us, we will bless the LORD From this time forth and forever. Praise the LORD! (Psa 115:18)

A Song of Ascents. Behold, bless the LORD, all servants of the LORD, Who serve by night in the house of the LORD! (Psa 134:1)

Lift up your hands to the sanctuary And bless the LORD. (Psa 134:2)

O house of Israel, bless the LORD; O house of Aaron, bless the LORD; (Psa 135:19)

O house of Levi, bless the LORD; You who revere the LORD, bless the LORD. (Psa 135:20)

"Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, 'Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.' And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, 'To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.' (Rev 5:11-13)

"And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, 'Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.'" (Rev 7:11-12)

Putting it All Together
There is a Scriptural basis for praying for the Lord Jesus and blessing Him. As we spend time before Him in His presence, communing with God, these are some of the ways we can make the heart of God glad, bring Him delight, as well as help to establish and further His purposes here on earth.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Other Scriptures taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV®. Artwork and calligraphy by my daughter, C.V. Lacroix. For more of her work, I invite you to visit A Brush with Life.

Author's note: I invite you to visit the Main Directory for Seeking the Lord, especially The Son of Man, Is Jesus God?, Lifting Hands in Prayer, Lifting Your Face in Prayer, Praise the Lord!, Inquiring of the Lord, The Disciples’ Prayer, Who intercedes for us?Standing in the Gap, and Hearing the Lord's Voice. You may also access my complete blog directory at Writing for the Master.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission.

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