The Summons

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Embedded in the heart of Psalm 68 is a simple lyric compelling me to beg God to unleash his power on my behalf. Read it carefully:

Summon your power, O God,

the power, O God, by which you have worked for us.

It has become for me one of my most treasured prayers. Let me share with you just a few of the things that come to mind when I think about this important verse.

First, this verse celebrates God’s faithfulness in the past. That we are invited to consider the manner in which God has “worked for us,” gives us pause, allowing us an opportunity to reflect thoughtfully on the many ways in which God has proven himself faithful. He has been good. He has been swift in his care. He has been tender. On and on we may go exploring the ways in which God has unleashed his favor upon us. We can never thank him enough, and we can never exhaust the list of ways he has expressed his grace. Just as he has been available and faithful in the past, so will he today, tomorrow, and beyond.

Secondly, this verse highlights my complete and total dependency upon God right now. By asking God to unleash his power in my midst I am declaring my weakness and need. That I am approaching him with this request implies that there is no better place or person to which I should turn. Uttering this prayer is a tangible demonstration of my need of him right now in my life.

Thirdly, this verse acknowledges that his might is above all things. It is clear that he is powerful. Indeed, the psalmist repeats this notion with the twice affirmation: your power, O God. It is power that belongs to God! He provides it. It is his. It belongs to no one else. The psalmist could hardly contain himself. Power . . . power . . . is found with God; with God alone!

Lastly, this verse reminds me of God’s precious receptivity regarding my petition toward him. He never, ever turns a deaf ear my direction. Or yours. He is totally receptive to hearing from his children; he wants to hear from us. That I can be so bold and even tell him to summon his power for me reminds me that he is more than available to recieve me in my weakness and desperation. He is that good.

Let this prayer be yours, no matter what your situation is. Call on him. Trust him. He is good. He listens. And he unleashes his power on our behalf!

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