Prayer: “Holy God, speak to all that keeps me from listening. Speak to me an Advent message. I sit expectant to hear. Word of God, speak. Amen.
Scripture Reading: Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19
As I read this Psalm there is a list of petitions: “give the king your justice, may he judge your people with righteousness and your poor with justice, may there be prosperity for the people, may he defend, deliver and defeat, may peace abound.” In these words we are privy to what Solomon desires. It is a prayer for himself. (As you open Psalm 72 you will notice a superscription that reads “Of Solomon.”) This psalm is a prayer of petition. A prayer of petition is when one asks God for things one needs — both spiritual and physical needs. As the King, Solomon asks God to give him a reign of justice, righteousness, peace and prosperity. These are characteristics of an effective and healthy king and kingdom.
Justice is rooted in the concept of righteousness. Justice means “to be put or made right or righteous.” Righteousness is one of the chief attributes of God. Biblically, righteousness has little to do with behavior that follows an ethical, legal or religious norm. Rather, righteousness has to do with fulfilling the obligations of being in relationships with others. Every relationship is unique and warrants attention to the demands, and fulfilling those demands is what makes one righteous. Peace and prosperity complete the petition. Peace is to be whole and complete. Prosperity originates out of peace and it is often translated as “Shalom.”
Let justice, righteousness, and peace be on your list during this Advent journey. Pray that God will do wondrous things in your life and throughout the world.
What does a reign of justice, righteousness, peace and prosperity look like to you?
What are the most significant obligations in the relationship you have with others?
What wondrous things is God doing in your life?
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