18/21 Days of Prayer & Fasting
PSALM 39 (NIV)
I said, “I will watch my ways
and keep my tongue from sin;
I will put a muzzle on my mouth
while in the presence of the wicked.”
So I remained utterly silent,
not even saying anything good.
But my anguish increased;
my heart grew hot within me.
While I meditated, the fire burned;
then I spoke with my tongue:
“Show me, Lord, my life’s end
and the number of my days;
let me know how fleeting my life is.
You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
the span of my years is as nothing before you.
Everyone is but a breath,
even those who seem secure.
“Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom;
in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth
without knowing whose it will finally be.
“But now, Lord, what do I look for?
My hope is in you.
Save me from all my transgressions;
do not make me the scorn of fools.
I was silent; I would not open my mouth,
for you are the one who has done this.
Remove your scourge from me;
I am overcome by the blow of your hand.
When you rebuke and discipline anyone for their sin,
you consume their wealth like a moth—
surely everyone is but a breath.
“Hear my prayer, Lord,
listen to my cry for help;
do not be deaf to my weeping.
I dwell with you as a foreigner,
a stranger, as all my ancestors were.
Look away from me, that I may enjoy life again
before I depart and am no more.”
I read in a book recently, that one day your life will be summed up into one sentence. I understood exactly what the writer meant when my family and I visited an old cemetery in Savannah, Georgia. On each headstone there was usually one sentence. “Loving mother and devoted wife.” “Preacher of the gospel and pioneer of the faith.”
There were several that only had dates from birth to death. The only thing that held their story was the dash between the two dates. When David says “to number your days,” he’s not being morbid. He’s just letting you know that life is shorter than you realize. He’s saying that one day, your life may be summed up in a sentence or a dash between the day you were born and the day you passed. It’s a reminder to make the sentence great and to make the dash count.
Lord, thank you for my life. Thank you for each moment. Help me to live my life each day making a difference in others. Help me to make the world a better place and most importantly to share Jesus with the world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.