Headlines from the New York Times for Monday, March 21, 2017
Trump’s Weary Defenders Face Fresh Worries – President Trump began Monday as he has started so many other presidential mornings — by unleashing a blistering Twitter attack on critics who suggested his 2016 campaign colluded with the Russians.
By the afternoon the director of the F.B.I., James B. Comey, had systematically demolished his arguments in a remarkable public takedown of a sitting president. Even a close ally of Mr. Trump, Representative Devin Nunes, Republican of California and the House Intelligence Committee chairman, conceded that “a gray cloud” of suspicion now hung over the White House by the end of the day’s hearings.
The testimony of Mr. Comey and that of Adm. Michael S. Rogers, his National Security Agency counterpart, will most likely enervate and distract Mr. Trump’s administration for weeks, if not longer, overshadowing good news, like the impressive debut of Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, his Supreme Court nominee, on the first day of his confirmation hearings Monday.
Psalm 12 for Monday, March 21, 2017
Psalm 12 is a prayer for the Lord’s saving help in a time when wickedness is dominant in society. The world seems to be populated only with the wicked, who are everywhere.
Today’s headlines highlight what is happening in our government. However, I feel the Psalm can be applied across the board to all sectors of our population. My prayer is that readers of the blog will make prayer and prophecy (the speaking of God’s revealed word) their primary means of understanding and responding to the current situation of our world’s system.
Psalm 12.1-4 – Help, O Lord, for there is no longer anyone who is godly; the faithful have disappeared from humankind. They utter lies to each other; with flattering lips and a double heart they speak. May the Lord cut off all flattering lips, the tongue that makes great boasts, those who say, “With our tongues we will prevail; our lips are our own—who is our master?”
The prevalent wickedness is characterized in terms of what has happened to language in society. Language expresses character. Hypocrites, people with a double heart, lie and deceive. The arrogant put trust in their speech as the instrument of their power.
Psalm 12.5 – “Because the poor are despoiled, because the needy groan, I will now rise up,” says the Lord; “I will place them in the safety for which they long.”
Deceptive and self-confident speech is the advertisement of a conduct and character that ignore God and subject the common person to the fate of the selfish powerful among us. The poor and needy suffer; they are left without support or advocate.
God will act for the poor and needy. The word expresses the character and conduct of the Lord, just as surely as the talk of the wicked expresses their conduct. The Lord is a God who hears the poor and needy when they cry to him.
Psalm 12.6 – The promises of the Lord are promises that are pure, silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times. You, O Lord, will protect us; you will guard us from this generation forever.
The faithfulness of God is contrasted with the false-speech of the wicked. As we learn God’s promises, we can fully rely on them in our praying. The purpose of Newspaper Prayers is to then see how God answers the prayers of his people worldwide.
Psalm 12.8 – On every side the wicked prowl, as vileness is exalted among humankind.
Verses 1-8 highlight how wickedness has penetrated society. Once again, that is our response must be to connect with God and his purposes, rather than to merely react with our own opinions.
Prayers for Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Dear God: Please rise up on behalf of the common person, who is at the mercy of the powerful. Please protect the vulnerable and guard them. Please hear their prayers and see the tears of hurting humanity worldwide. Please win the hearts of the arrogant, so that they will revere you and do your will.