Psalm 126 – A Prayer for Our Year

Fr. Steve Williamson
Cathedral Dean

Dear people of Resurrection,

Church of the Resurrection is in the midst of praying through Psalm 126 through the end of calendar year 2020. During this season of uncertainty, praying with the Psalmist can help to ground us, unify us as a church, and focus our hearts on what the Lord is doing. At our October RezFast, my homily unpacked the three sections of Psalm 126: following the Psalm’s structure, we prayed thankful prayers, tearful prayers, and hopeful prayers. You can view the recorded RezFast here.

As we look to the last few months of 2020, let’s renew our efforts to pray Psalm 126 as a community. This prayer guide is meant to be a resource for your prayer times. Starting with the words and structure of Psalm 126, apply them to your situation and join Resurrection in praying thankfully, tearfully, and hopefully.

Psalm 126 models thankful prayers (vv. 1–3)

Thanksgiving is always a part of the Christian life, especially in hard or dangerous seasons. Give thanks for what God has done for you, your family, and your community. Proclaim the Lord’s goodness. Take a moment to write down all the ways that God has blessed you in the past 5 years—you’ll be amazed at his abundant goodness! Stuck? Here’s a short list of thankful prayers you can start with:

  • Thanksgiving for what God has done in your life (personally, relationally, practically, spiritually, physically)
  • Thanksgiving for what God has done for Church of the Resurrection
  • Thanksgiving for financial provision, for yourself and for Resurrection
  • Thanksgiving for a legacy of faithful leaders at Resurrection, leading to our recent leadership transition
  • Thanksgiving for the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ

Psalm 126 models tearful prayers (vv. 4–5)

In the driest places in your life, ask God for streams of living water (“streams in the Negeb”). Ask God for the compassion to intercede for those who are suffering around you. During this season of suffering, here are a few tearful prayers that you can pray:

  • For the physically vulnerable
  • For the anxious and lonely
  • For those in painful family circumstances
  • For the poor and the marginalized
  • For those suffering from various forms of hate and discrimination
  • For the division and contentiousness in our nation

You can also ask God for a deeper heart of compassion in your prayer life. Ask Him to give you tears for the broken things in our lives and world.

Psalm 126 models hopeful prayers (v. 6)

As we sow in tears, we will reap a harvest in the Lord. There will be a harvest of fruit in this life, and in the life to come! Pray for the harvest to come, earnestly asking the Lord for restoration and revival. You can start by asking for a harvest in the following areas:

  • Healing in your life (personally, relationally, practically, spiritually, physically)
  • Revival in the life of Church of the Resurrection
  • The growth of localized, personalized mission at Resurrection
  • The deepening of Resurrection’s prayer life; for a church that is more connected to the Lord in prayer
  • Revival in DuPage County, the Upper Midwest, our nation, and the world

I pray that you are encouraged by praying with Psalm 126. The Psalm reminds us that a harvest is coming. COVID won’t last the rest of your life. And even if it does, this season of sowing in tears will end, and the eternal season of reaping with shouts of joy will come. So regardless of what we lose—more special events, our jobs, or even our lives—we have hope. We know that nothing can separate us from the love and presence of the Lord. He is present to us now, in our tears and thanksgiving, and he will be present to us eternally when all things are made new.

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// Church of the Resurrection