Sermon Overview & Prayer: "To Behold His Face"

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TO BEHOLD HIS FACE – PRAYER POINTS
C.J. Mahaney  |  Psalm 11  |  2.27.22
These written prayers are intended to fuel your meditation on this passage and your enjoyment of God in prayer

To the choirmaster. Of David.

In the Lord I take refuge; how can you say to my soul, “Flee like a bird to your mountain, for behold, the wicked bend the bow; they have fitted their arrow to the string to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart; if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord’s throne is in heaven; his eyes see, his eyelids test the children of man. The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence. Let him rain coals on the wicked; fire and sulfur and a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup. For the Lord is righteous; he loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold his face.
Psalm 11:1-7

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, all around us, we see the shaking and destruction of the moral, spiritual, and relational foundations of our nation, and of this fallen world. I admit that unbelief in my heart can tempt me to fear, to self-righteous judgment, to despair, to passive resignation, or to flee. Please draw me to your Word where I find the promises of your sovereignty and faithfulness. Remind me of your ever-present grace to walk in faith and faithfulness and not flee, that I might treasure and display the peace of knowing that you rule and reign over all.

PRAYER: Lord, when I am tempted to passive indifference, believing that any effort to bring change is futile, open my eyes to the plight of those all around me that are truly and ignorantly lost and without hope. Compel me with a compassionate confidence that here, something can be done.  Prompt me with caring questions or gestures of kindness. As I take an interest, open doors to sharing the hope of the gospel. May a love for the lost keep me from a paralyzing fear of rejection or even hostility; and keep me moving toward, and not away from the helplessly lost.

PRAYER:  Holy Spirit, as I read the Word of God, capture my heart with the wonder of knowing the living God...by name! Help me to pause and meditate on the power of God’s every name, each of which proclaim the perfection of your beauty, your glory, your majesty, your righteousness, and your supreme authority. I cannot fully grasp the mystery of your perfect love and mercy, and yet your righteous judgment and wrath. We simply bow our hearts with love and adoration as we call you LORD!

PRAYER: Lord God, your final judgment – a lake of fire, weeping and gnashing of teeth, the horror of eternal punishment – speak of your infinite righteousness and justice. When I question the severity and eternity of a final judgment, remind me of my deficient view of your awesome glory and holiness. And while I trust that I will never delight in the plight of the wicked, may I likewise never question your perfect and righteous judgment.

PRAYER: Father, Lord Jesus, Holy Spirit, we thank you for innumerable and wonderful ways that we behold your glory day in and day out! Your Word, your church, your creation, your comfort, and your guidance, all give us glimpses of your awesome beauty and majesty. We are never apart from your presence. Thank you! May that truth and reality compel us to live lives of humble faithfulness and joyful faith. May a desire to please you with lives that display the work of the gospel inform our every thought, word, desire, and deed!

PRAYER: Lord, the promise and assurance of one day seeing you face to face floods our hearts and minds with visions that exceed our imaginations! As we groan in this life, remind us that we will know only joy in the next. But please stir our yearning and anticipation to be fruitfully active, not selfishly passive. Empower us to live lives that reflect the righteousness, peace, and joy of your kingdom now, in preparation for your eternal kingdom then!

 

OVERVIEW OF THE SERMON:
Psalm 11 provides us with an opportunity to consider our future in God’s presence, as well as find courage now in God’s ultimate triumph over the world. The Psalm starts with David’s temptation to flee from the world’s slander, but he instead finds refuge in our loving and righteous God. The Psalm ends with David’s anticipation of the day when we will see God’s face!

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  1. How does Psalm 11 help you view God’s righteousness and/or God’s love in a different way?
  2. Verse 4 mentions the Lord’s throne and the Lord’s temple. The throne and the temple are pictures of God’s power and presence. How do these pictures encourage you when the world seems out of control?
  3. How are you currently tempted to find refuge in something other than God? How do David’s words in this Psalm motivate you to make God your refuge instead?
  4. What are specific ways you can thank or praise God for the immense privilege of being able to see his face one day?
  5. Verse 6 describes the cup of God’s wrath that the wicked will have to drink. How does the reality of the coming judgment change how you seek to love nonbelievers in your workplace, community, or family?