From The American Bible Society:
March 2, 2012
Psalm 80 (Good News Translation)
Come Together in Faith and Pray for One Another
Psalm 80: The first Friday in March is observed as World Day of Prayer. Today’s psalm is considered a communal lament dating quite possibly back to 722 B.C. following the fall of Samaria (in the northern kingdom of Israel) to the Assyrians (see 2 Kings 17). The psalm expresses a plea to God for the nation’s restoration.
Today’s Scripture: Psalm 80:3
Bring us back, LORD God Almighty. Show us your mercy, and we will be saved.
1 Listen to us, O Shepherd of Israel; hear us, leader of your flock. Seated on your throne above the winged creatures, 2 reveal yourself to the tribes of Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh. Show us your strength; come and save us! 3 Bring us back, O God! Show us your mercy, and we will be saved! 4 How much longer, LORD God Almighty, will you be angry with your people's prayers? 5 You have given us sorrow to eat, a large cup of tears to drink. 6 You let the surrounding nations fight over our land; our enemies insult us. 7 Bring us back, Almighty God!Show us your mercy, and we will be saved! 8 You brought a grapevine out of Egypt; you drove out other nations and planted it in their land. 9 You cleared a place for it to grow; its roots went deep, and it spread out over the whole land. 10 It covered the hills with its shade; its branches overshadowed the giant cedars. 11 It extended its branches to the Mediterranean Sea and as far as the Euphrates River. 12 Why did you break down the fences around it? Now anyone passing by can steal its grapes; 13 wild hogs trample it down, and wild animals feed on it. 14 Turn to us, Almighty God! Look down from heaven at us; come and save your people! 15 Come and save this grapevine that you planted, this young vine you made grow so strong! 16 Our enemies have set it on fire and cut it down; look at them in anger and destroy them! 17 Preserve and protect the people you have chosen, the nation you made so strong. 18 We will never turn away from you again; keep us alive, and we will praise you. 19 Bring us back, LORD God Almighty. Show us your mercy, and we will be saved.
The psalm opens with a plea for God’s help (verses 1-3), followed by a description of the nation’s plight (verses 4-7), an allegory of Israel as a vine planted by God (verses 8-13), and concludes with a further plea for God’s help (verses 14-19). Verses 3, 7, and 19 serve as a refrain to the psalm, and the refrain concludes each of the psalm’s major sections. In what way does the refrain express the tone of the entire psalm? What promise is expressed at the conclusion of the psalm (verse 18)? Is this a promise you can claim?
God of mercy, hear our prayers this day for peace throughout the world. Bring healing and restoration to wounded nations, and teach everyone to put their trust in you. Make me an instrument of your peace, and keep me faithful and rooted in your love. Amen.
Nations throughout the world embroiled in conflict
Psalm 86: A prayer for God’s help.