Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

A Needed Prayer

PSALM 39:4-5 – “O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Selah.”

I need today’s prayer answered in my life. Daily. You need today’s prayer answered in your life. Daily. The reasons are many but here are three.

First, we need to be reminded of the brevity of life. I know we know this but do we really know this? Acknowledgement of a truth does not mean anything unless the acknowledgment leads to application in life. A truth genuinely known is affirmed by its impact in our lives. For instance, if we claim to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, such a profession will shape every area of our lives–every. It applies here as well. If we say, “Yes, I know life is short” then the knowing is validated by our lives being directed by right priorities and wise use of time in our fleeting life. We won’t waste the only life we have; the only fleeting life we have.

Another reason why we need this prayer answered is because we are a forgetful people. We know life is short in our heads but we soon forget it in our lives. Let me test those statements. It’s Friday. How many times this week did we start the day thinking, “This might be my last day on earth. I need to live it to the fullest for Who and what matters most–the Lord Jesus and eternity”? Likely few of us did. Now I am not passing judgment. I started with me. I didn’t wake up each day this week and say, “This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice in it and live it to the fullest for His glory because it might be my last day.” Actually, that might be a very good habit to form for all of us!

A final reason for this prayer to be answered in our lives is to prevent committing the sin of presumption. Meditate on these words from James – Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil (James 4:13-16). James is telling us, “Be careful. Don’t presume upon tomorrow. Don’t be scheming, planning, and organizing for the future when we aren’t guaranteed a future.” This doesn’t mean live foolishly and not plan, but it does mean make today count because that is all we have. How foolish to be looking ahead and miss the only day we have to do the will of the Lord–today. Such missing of today by focusing on tomorrow is presumption on the grace of God.

So, a needed prayer. That is what today’s scripture provides. May the Lord help us pray it regularly, get it answered regularly, and lived out regularly!

PRAYER: “Father, help me not live my life based on the future and my plans but in the present based on Your will and Word.”
QUOTE: “Plan for the future but don’t live in the future. How sad to delay zeal for the Lord to a not promised tomorrow.”

Because of Him,
Pastor Jim