14/21 Days of Prayer & Fasting
PSALM 35 (NIV)
Contend, Lord, with those who contend with me;
fight against those who fight against me.
Take up shield and armor;
arise and come to my aid.
Brandish spear and javelin
against those who pursue me.
Say to me,
“I am your salvation.”
May those who seek my life
be disgraced and put to shame;
may those who plot my ruin
be turned back in dismay.
May they be like chaff before the wind,
with the angel of the Lord driving them away;
may their path be dark and slippery,
with the angel of the Lord pursuing them.
Since they hid their net for me without cause
and without cause dug a pit for me,
may ruin overtake them by surprise—
may the net they hid entangle them,
may they fall into the pit, to their ruin.
Then my soul will rejoice in the Lord
and delight in his salvation.
My whole being will exclaim,
“Who is like you, Lord?
You rescue the poor from those too strong for them,
the poor and needy from those who rob them.”
Ruthless witnesses come forward;
they question me on things I know nothing about.
They repay me evil for good
and leave me like one bereaved.
Yet when they were ill, I put on sackcloth
and humbled myself with fasting.
When my prayers returned to me unanswered,
I went about mourning
as though for my friend or brother.
I bowed my head in grief
as though weeping for my mother.
But when I stumbled, they gathered in glee;
assailants gathered against me without my knowledge.
They slandered me without ceasing.
Like the ungodly they maliciously mocked;
they gnashed their teeth at me.
How long, Lord, will you look on?
Rescue me from their ravages,
my precious life from these lions.
I will give you thanks in the great assembly;
among the throngs I will praise you.
Do not let those gloat over me
who are my enemies without cause;
do not let those who hate me without reason
maliciously wink the eye.
They do not speak peaceably,
but devise false accusations
against those who live quietly in the land.
They sneer at me and say, “Aha! Aha!
With our own eyes we have seen it.”
Lord, you have seen this; do not be silent.
Do not be far from me, Lord.
Awake, and rise to my defense!
Contend for me, my God and Lord.
Vindicate me in your righteousness, Lord my God;
do not let them gloat over me.
Do not let them think, “Aha, just what we wanted!”
or say, “We have swallowed him up.”
May all who gloat over my distress
be put to shame and confusion;
may all who exalt themselves over me
be clothed with shame and disgrace.
May those who delight in my vindication
shout for joy and gladness;
may they always say, “The Lord be exalted,
who delights in the well-being of his servant.”
My tongue will proclaim your righteousness,
your praises all day long.
Life can be hard, and there are people that come into your life and make it even harder. I love this Psalm because we see David praying about his enemies. He knew that God was his defender so he cried out to God. I wish this was as easy to do as it is to say, but it’s not! I once had a boss that was so hard on me! It didn’t matter how hard I worked, it was never enough. I began to hate the job I once loved. One day, my wife and I were talking about the situation and she said, “I think we should pray for your boss.” I said, “You mean pray that he gets a raging case of hemorrhoids?” She said, “No… We should bless him”. Those were the hardest prayers I had ever prayed. I started praying blessings over his life every single day, and you know what? I went from having him as an enemy to having him as a friend.
God can turn people’s hearts and He can change people’s minds if you will pray for your enemies. Give them to God. God is your defender.
God, right now I lift up my enemies. The people that have been mean, harsh, and hard on me. I forgive them and I release them now! Your word says to bless the people that curse me so I ask that your blessing be upon them and that you will surround them with your love and your goodness. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
(I want to add a note that this devotional does not apply if you are in a physically abusive relationship. If that’s you, please seek help. You need to leave and get to a place of safety. God doesn’t want you to “endure” physical abuse. You can pray for them while they are in jail and you are safe.)