A Prayer
for the

Psalm 72:1-15

Good News Translation (GNT)

   By Solomon.

1 Teach the king to judge
  with your righteousness, O God;
  share with him your own justice,
2 so that he will rule over
  your people with justice
  and govern the oppressed
  with righteousness.
3 May the land enjoy prosperity;
  may it experience righteousness.
4 May the king judge
  the poor fairly;
  may he help the needy and
  defeat their oppressors.
5 May your people worship
  you as long as the sun shines,
  as long as the moon
  gives light,
  for ages to come.
6 May the king be like rain
  on the fields,
  like showers falling
  on the land.
7 May righteousness flourish
  in his lifetime,
  and may prosperity last
  as long as the moon gives light.
8 His kingdom will reach
  from sea to sea,
  from the Euphrates to
  the ends of the earth.
9 The peoples of the desert
  will bow down before him;
  his enemies will throw
  themselves to the ground.
10 The kings of Spain
   and of the islands
   will offer him gifts;
   the kings of Sheba
   and Seba(b)
   will bring him offerings.
11 All kings will bow down
   before him; all nations
   will serve him.
12 He rescues the poor
   who call to him,
   and those who are needy and neglected.
13 He has pity
   on the weak and poor;
   he saves the lives of
   those in need.
14 He rescues them from
   oppression and violence;
   their lives are precious to him.
15 Long live the king!
   May he be given gold from Sheba;(c)
   may prayers be said
   for him at all times;
   may God's blessings
   be on him always!

   Psalm 72:10 Sheba was toward
   the south in Arabia
   and Seba was on the
   opposite side of the Red Sea.

   Psalm 72:15 See 72.10.

 Taken from the
  supplied by
  Scripture Union

A Prayer for the King

Psalm 72:1-15

At the coronation of
Queen Elizabeth II,
the service included prayers
for her reign.

In today's psalm,
we have a prayer that was
possibly used
at a royal coronation,
focusing on the relationship
between the king
and the people and,
by extension,
the outworking of that
relationship on the
fruitfulness of the land.

The psalm provides insight
into how Israel understood
the ideal relationship
between king, God and people.

As God's representative,
the king is required to show
God's justice to the people
and defend the rights
of the poor (vs 1-4).

Through this action,
the earth is itself blessed.
The people pray for
the king's life,
compare the effect of the
king on the nation
with that of rain on
fertile soil (vs 5-8)
and ask that the king's
influence will extend beyond
the borders of the nation
(vs 9-11).

The essential characteristic
of his reign is his care
for the poor and needy
(vs 12-15)
and the people pray again
for the fertility of the land,
linked as it is with the
reign of the king
(vs 16-20).

In this idealised portrait
of the king's rule,
the land and people
experience a shalom
that embraces all creation.

Of course,
the reality in Israel
did not meet the ideal,
but the hope for it never died out,
leading, in part,
to the development of the
hope for the Messiah.

In Jesus, we know that this
ideal king has come.
Our prayer is that the dynamism
of the relationship between
king and people in this psalm
is lived out in our
relationship with
our king so that,
as the people prayed,
the world is changed.

The challenge for us is
whether we believe
this can happen and whether
our relationship with Jesus
has that dynamism.

Just imagine what could happen!

Other versions are available here

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