ASAPH - INTERCESSION IN ACTION
Taken from Psalm 77 - 84
When read in sequence, Psalm 77 - 84 give an example of a man who is struggling with the dealings of God on his sinful nation. Fortunately, he is persistent in prayer and is willing to work through his own “stuff” until he is at a point where worship musicians can help him further. Fortunately for us, he recorded his progress step by step so that these psalms give an accurate view of how God often works with and through intercessors. Then, the worship of Psalm 84 is fortuitous as the conclusion of this sequence.
THE PROGRESS OF ASAPH’S INTERCESSION
1. Asaph cries out to God in his distress and desperation. Psalm 77:1-9
2. He decides to build up his faith by remembering what God has done in the past. Psalm 77:10-12
3. Asaph reviews the dealings of God with his nation. Psalm 77:13-78:72 (Notice that one of the sins he lists is that the people limited God. Vs. 41)
4. With his faith now built up, he once again prays concerning the current circumstance. Psalm 79:1-7 This time, he simply states the facts without the “wringing of hands” or the desperation.
5. He pleads for the only thing that can help - God’s mercy. Psalm 79:8-9
6. He is now more concerned for God’s name, God’s reputation, and how God has been reproached than he is for the people. Psalm 79:10-12
7. Asaph prays for help so that the people can give praise to God, not just so they won’t suffer. Psalm 79:13 - 80:7
8. God gives him a vision to help him know how to pray. Psalm 80:8-13
9. Asaph prays in line with his vision. Psalm 80:14-19
10. He receives victory within his own spirit that his prayers have been heard and that he has touched the heart of God. Psalm 81:1-5
11. God reveals His heart and His perspective. Psalm 81:6-14
12. Asaph understands what the bottom line for the past was. Psalm 81:15-16
13. He understands the “bottom line” of the current situation. Psalm 82
14. With jealousy for the Name of God, Asaph gets angry at the real culprit - the enemy and prays with authority. Psalm 83 He is no longer crying or whining or pleading but is wielding the sword of the Spirit.
The sons of Korah take him into high worship where all he wants is God ONLY. Psalm 84 He is totally focused on God the Lord