We ask for things. All. The. Time. Sometimes we don’t even realize how much stuff we ask for. I have two sons in elementary/middle school. I am astounded at the sheer volume of things they ask for–material things, food, help, etc. Of course, I ask for my share of stuff as well.
There is often a common motivating factor behind such asking. I ask because I want. I desire that stuff. I believe that stuff will better my life. I believe that stuff will bring contentment and fulfillment. This brings us to Psalm 67. In the very first verse, we find the psalmist making a request of God.
The request is a communal one, rather than an individual one. “God, be gracious to us. God, bless us. God, make Your face to shine upon us.” This is an oft-repeated prayer throughout Christian circles. We desire God’s grace, because without it we stand before Him as filthy sinners. We desire God’s blessing because every good and perfect thing comes from Him. We desire His face to shine upon us because we find comfort in knowing that He is near. We are better off when God gives us these things.
However, in verse two, we find that the motivating factor for the author was not so that he or she would be better off. The motivation was that God’s way be known on the earth, that God’s salvation be among all nations. The primary concern is what is best for God and what is best for the rest of the world.
The remainder of the psalm is all about praising God–rejoicing, singing, and the like. The psalm revels in God’s justice and provision. And then, in verse seven, the psalm closes with an important truth: God blesses us, so that all the ends of the earth may fear Him. God blesses us for His purposes and His glory.
So pray this week for God’s blessings upon you and your loved ones. Pray for His forgiveness and for His goodness to be experienced in your life. Pray for His provision and for His protection. But check your motives. Jesus said to pray, “Hallowed be Thy name.” That means we are to pray, “God, may Your name be kept holy.” As you pray, commit to taking what the Lord blesses you with and using it for His glory!