Lord, Teach Us to Pray – Part 5
Praying with Moses – Psalm 90
Crosspoint – Dave Spooner – May 29th, 2022
- The man who wrote the first five books of the Bible and who is referenced more times in the New Testament than any other Old Testament figure. He is legendary and revered. In all that Moses did and said, he only wrote one psalm: Psalm 90. With all of his background and experience, what would this man say? What would be his prayer?
- The first part of this psalm is focused on God: His consistency, His care, His preeminence, His power, His supremacy, His sovereignty, His justice, and His judgments. Listen to how the first part of this psalm reads:
Psalm 90:1-11 (NIV) – A prayer of Moses the man of God.
Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. 2 Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
3 You turn people back to dust, saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.”4 A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night. 5 Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death—they are like the new grass of the morning: 6 In the morning it springs up new, but by evening it is dry and withered.
7 We are consumed by your anger and terrified by your indignation. 8 You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence. 9 All our days pass away under your wrath; we finish our years with a moan. 10 Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.11 If only we knew the power of your anger! Your wrath is as great as the fear that is your due.
- After reflecting on the greatness, the grandeur and the glory of God in light of all these things, Moses makes his requests to God. Pay careful attention to what he prays, and make these requests your own. I actually have them taped up on the back of one of my doors along with a whiteboard that reminds me of my mortality where I keep track of my days. These things help me to focus.
The requests to God
Psalm 90:12 (NIV)
Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Here is the first request: Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
- In knowing that we have a very limited time on earth and are given just a handful of days, we then see that each day has immense value. With this knowledge, we are to use wisdom in deciding the best way to spend each day. Ask your Father to give you His guidance as to how to best spend this day. Time is too short for complaining, for bickering, for squandering. Use this day in gratefulness, for good and for what has eternal value.
Psalm 90:13 (NIV)
Relent, Lord! How long will it be?
Have compassion on your servants.
- Next, Moses asks that God would: Pity us, have compassion on your servants.
- Relent, have mercy, have compassion, have pity on our weak, temporary, and pitiful condition. Turn from your anger and give to your people compassion, and mercy and help. (We see Jesus responding this way in the gospels.)
Psalm 90:14 (NIV)
Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
- Satisfy us with your unfailing love that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
- We are all looking to be satisfied and we can only find our satisfaction in His unfailing love. This is the only place where we will find our satisfaction. He loves us and His love is unfailing. Moses is asking for a renewal of this every day and that we would start our day in satisfaction instead of living our day trying to find it. This is a profound request.
- When we are satisfied in Him, He gives us a song of joy in our hearts and brings us gladness in all of our days. This is how you want to live.
Psalm 90:15 (NIV)
Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
for as many years as we have seen trouble.
- Then Moses asks that we would be glad during our lifetime, even though each day has trouble and toil. Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us. This is in recognition that all good things come from God, and He is the one who can give us gladness in our hearts.
Psalm 90:16 (NIV)
May your deeds be shown to your servants,
your splendor to their children.
- He says, “God, let us see your deeds, may your splendor be seen by me and my family. Show us your deeds and your splendor!”
- Moses wants to see the glory of God in the things that He does! Show me your handy work, show me your power, show me your goodness, show me who you are and what you can do! This is a great request and one that is not only for himself but extends to his family and those who he cares the most about. He is praying for himself, but also for the generations to come, that they would know and see the goodness of the Lord.
- He ends his requests and his prayers with this.
Psalm 90:17 (NIV)
May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us;
establish the work of our hands for us—
yes, establish the work of our hands
- Father, grant us your favor, let it rest upon us. God, favor us with your hand, guide us, direct us, touch us with your presence. Grant us your favor and may it be with us in all things. Will you favor us, will you bless us.
- Establish us in the work of our hands. May the work of our hands be established, may it count for something, may it add up to something. And may we be seen for who we are by what we accomplish in the work of our hands.
The requests of Moses the Man of God (Psalm 90)
- Teach us to number our days so that we may gain a heart of wisdom
- Pity us, have compassion on your servants
- Satisfy us with your unfailing love that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days
- Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us
- Show us your deeds and your splendor
- Grant us your favor; let it rest upon us
- Establish us in the work of our hands
- You would be wise and really well served to meditate on who our Father is, the one who is to be “hollowed.” Make this psalm your own. Place these requests in your Bible, in your place of prayer and pray them, request them and turn to them to guide your prayers and enrich your life.