Intention

Experiencing the Lord’s mercy first requires us to recognise our great need for Him.

Scripture

“Do not withhold Your mercy from me, Lord; may Your love and faithfulness always protect me.”
—Psalm 40:11

Reflection

Psalm 40 is a Messianic psalm which speaks prophetically of Jesus. As you read Psalm 40 in its entirety, note the great themes of this song: patience, trust, and a pleading with the Lord as we recognise our need for Him.

Jesus Have Mercy
We read of the story of blind Bartimaeus in Mark 10:47. “When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many rebuked Bartimaeus for shouting to Jesus. But Jesus heard him, called him and healed him. Remember, our Lord is the Lord who loves to show mercy.

Have Mercy on Australia
Today we remember Queensland. Compared with New South Wales and Victoria, Queensland has remained relatively free from Covid-19, although not from its impact. There have been 2,000 cases and seven deaths. As a state which relies a lot on tourism, the economic impact for many has been devastating.

Have Mercy on the World
Today we pray for the UK and the USA. The UK has had over 6.2 million cases, with 131,000 deaths. It is the first major country to have come out of Covid-19 restrictions because of the vaccines. Despite fears that opening up the country would lead to increased cases and deaths, fortunately this has not happened.

The UK has administered over 87 million doses of the vaccine, or 132 per 100 people. Around 75 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated. The US has had over 35.5 million cases and 620,000 deaths. The Delta variant has caused these numbers to increase in recent weeks. The US has administered 354 million doses of the vaccine, or 106 per 100 people.

 

Have Mercy on Your Church
The present shaking of the nations gives the church a tremendous opportunity to share the good news of Jesus. The healing of the nations will only come through Him. May churches have boldness, compassion and understanding as we seek to bring the good news of Christ to our communities.

Have Mercy on Our Families
Many will find themselves struggling with the financial situation, and this is especially true of the poor. It is generally accepted that the poor are suffering disproportionately from lockdowns and illness.

Prayer

From Peter Barnes, Moderator-General of the Presbyterian Church of Australia

Our most gracious God, we seek that we would know more of the hunger and thirst for You that we read of in the Scriptures. We know that You do not afflict ‘from the heart’, and yet You have afflicted us. We find ourselves in dry and dreary land, and with parched souls. So many of us can say that our souls are cast down and disquieted. We have yearned for better circumstances, but we ask that You work in our hearts that we would desire You first of all. We hope in You, that we might praise You again with Your people, for You are our help and our God.

We are not worthy of the least of Your mercies, so we look to Him who was always well pleasing in Your sight. For the sake of Your eternal Son, look upon us with grace and favour, grant us Your presence, turn us from evil, and enable us to delight in You. For because of Christ we have hope of our sins being covered by His perfect sacrifice, and of the last enemy, death, being overcome by His rising from the dead, never to die again, Amen.

Praise

God’s Word will not be silenced. It gets into the most amazing places. A few years ago a post-punk band from Ireland used to end their concerts by singing Psalm 40. U2 went on to become one of the biggest bands in the world, and as a result Psalm 40 was sung in some of the biggest stadiums in the world. Listen to their version of Psalm 40 (above).

Australia Prays

These devotions are brought to you by Rev David Robertson and the National Day of Prayer and Fasting (NDOPF).

Join us for Australia Prays this coming Sunday via Zoom:

DATES: 22nd August 2021
TIME: 9am–9pm (AEST)
ZOOM LINK: https://zoom.us/j/776881184
MEETING ID: 776881184
(Watch: Zoom tutorial)

Additionally, join us on our nightly one-hour Zoom prayer calls:

DATES: 16th–21st August 2021
TIME: 8pm–9pm (AEST)
ZOOM LINK: as above

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