"Let all who seek you rejoice in you and be glad;
let those who love your salvation continually say,
"Great is the Lord!""
I had never noticed what a wonderful prayer this is in Psalm 40:17. This is the prayer book version, which I came across in my reading this morning.
When I begin to read Psalm 40, I tend to get a little lost in music. "I waited patiently for the Lord," the opening line, usually kicks me into the U2 sung version of this psalm. When I get to "He put a new song in my mouth," in verse 3, I start to hear Messianic singer Marty Goetz. (Yes, two incredibly different kinds of music.) It's apparent that a lot of different people feel the need to sing this psalm.
My own heart has sung different parts of it before, but where I lingered today was in verse 17, a verse I don't remember lingering over before.
It seems to encompass two kinds of people we're privileged to pray for: "those who seek you," and "those who love your salvation." That seems to sum up a lot of my intercessory prayer. I pray for those who don't yet know the Lord or who seem to be seeking him -- sometimes consciously, sometimes not. And I pray for those who already know him to know him better, to be drawn closer to his heart in prayer and praise.
It's really the same prayer for both, just worded and shaped a little differently. We pray that those who don't yet know him will come to know and love him, that they will learn to rejoice in God and be glad in that rejoicing. And we pray that those who know him already will find great reasons to rejoice in their salvation, to dwell in his refuge and let their abiding in him well up in them in praise and adoration.
That we all may come to know God in deeper, better, more gladsome ways than we have ever encountered and known him before.
What a good song to sing!