How to Pray the Scripture: Psalm 96
Updated: Nov 7
Prayer for Illumination
Father, in the midst of the multitude of words that clamor for my attention, speak your eternal Word to me, that I may respond to your gracious promises with faithfulness, service and love. Amen.
Scripture: Psalm 96
This psalm affirms the reality of God’s sovereignty over all the nations. Theologian Abraham Kuyper once famously said, “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, ‘Mine!’” Considering that His sovereignty extends to all nations, it is appropriate that all nations should praise Him. We should do no less.
Using the ACTS model of Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication, read through Psalm 96 and then pray the following:
Look for anything that tells you what God is like or points to His character and give Him praise.
“Father, I praise you that you are worthy of my songs” (96:1-2).
“Father, I praise you that you are the Sovereign Creator” (96:1-6).
“Father, I praise you that you are my God of salvation” (96:2).
“Father, I praise you that your works are marvelous” (96:3).
“Father, I praise you that you are great and worthy of praise” (96:4).
“Father, I praise you that you are incomparable” (96:5).
“Father, I praise you that you are the Sovereign King” (96:7-10).
“Father, I praise you that you are a righteous judge” (96:10, 13).
“Father, I praise you that you are a God of faithfulness” (96:13).
For a video to help you pray Psalm 96, use this video:
As you acknowledge who God is and adore Him for all that He is, confession is a natural consequence. This is a moment of introspection as you ask God to search your heart for areas that displease Him.
96:5 reminds us that “the gods of the peoples are worthless idols.” G.K Beale once said that, "An idol is whatever your heart clings to or relies on for ultimate security." It is so easy to get caught up with things other than God, things that capture our loyalty, our devotion, or even just our attention. Confess to God those things that have taken God's rightful place.
This is a time to express gratitude for what God has done and for who He is. Allow the Scripture you have read to feed your thanksgiving.
In 96:11-13 we see that the heavens are glad, the earth rejoices, seas roar, fields exult, and the trees of the forest sing for joy. Everything in all creation is praising God, exalting His name, pointing to Him as He judges the earth. And in his grace, He has chosen to save us! Give thanks to Him!
Lift up words of thanksgiving as we are reminded of the salvation He has graciously given.
96:10, declares among the nations: “The Lord reigns!” He is on the throne. He is in charge of everything. God is actively watching, moving, and responding to our prayers. Offer up thanks as He unfolds His perfect plan as King of kings and Lord of lords.
In this moment, pray for yourself and others that you will be able to put into practice what you have read and heard.
96:13 says that the Lord will come to judge the earth. Knowing that God’s judgment is coming, pray urgently for family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and those in our community, that they would come to know and believe in Jesus.
Where do you see injustice or uncertainty in your life or in your community? Where have you been wronged? What worries do you have today? Present those to God, as the Lord declares in His Word, He will bring justice.
Hymn of Reflection
Sing unto the Lord a new song,
Sing to Him, O all the earth!
Bless the name of God forever;
Sing salvation's wondrous worth.
Tell His glory to the nations;
Of His wonders, anthems raise.
He is Lord of all creation,
Great, and greatly to be praised.
Other gods fade as a vapor;
There is none beside the Lord.
In His dwelling, strength, and splendor,
God exalted and adored.
Give Him glory, all ye people;
Give Him glory due His name.
In His temple, as an off'ring,
All His pow'r and might proclaim.
Worship God in holy beauty;
Bow before His throne in fear.
Now proclaim among the nations
His dominion, ever near.
By His word, the earth was founded,
That it never may be moved;
In His word is justice grounded,
That He righteous may be proved.
Let the heavens shout, rejoicing,
And the earth in joy aflame;
Let the sea in thunder praise Him,
Field and forest now acclaim.
For the Lord, the Lord is coming;
Let the earth resound again!
To His people, He is coming
In His righteousness to reign!
(Sing Unto the Lord a New Song, Words: David P. Regier © 2017)
Father, as I reach out to others with the gospel, help me never lose sight of your glory. May I proclaim your wonders without hesitation. In my words and deeds, I pray that you will be glorified. Amen.