A Prayer of Joy and Gospel Dancing
You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever.Ps. 30:11-12
David danced before the LORD with all his might.2 Sam 6:14
Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with timbrel and harp. Psalm 149:3
Dear Lord Jesus, David wasn’t just a man after God’s own heart; he was also a king who, apparently, loved to get on the dance floor. His victory over Goliath was the inspiration for singing and dancing by many in Israel (1 Sam. 21:11). When the ark was returned to Jerusalem, he danced before the Lord with all his might, and very little modesty (2 Sam. 6:14). It’s obvious he wrote this psalm (Psalm 30) as a dancer for other dancers—as a vehicle for God’s people to express their uncontainable joy when the temple was dedicated.
But, actually, King Jesus, you are the real Lord of the Dance. Though David didn’t realize it, his work and joy simply prefigured yours. Only you can turn the wails of our sin and brokenness into the dance of hope and joy. By your cross, you’ve removed the filthy garments of our unrighteousness that we might be clothed us with the white robe of your perfect righteousness (2 Cor. 5:17-21). Astounding, astonishing, and so very true.
As we ponder the riches of grace and love we have in you, how can we not sing and make music to you in our hearts? How can we possibly remain silent and still, in response to who you are and everything you’ve done for us?
By the Holy Spirit, enable us to hear the Father speaking to us right now in the gospel: “Son (and daughter), you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours” (Luke 15:31). Forgive us when we, like the elder brother, remain smugly on the outside—off the dance floor of God’s grace and joy (Luke 15:25). Help us to realize that you still pray that we, your disciples, might know the fullness of your joy (John 17:13).
One day, King Jesus, we will give thanks to you with all our might. All personal inhibitions, cultural prohibitions, and sinful limitations will be gone. We will be free at last! May that coming Day of unfettered, irrepressible joy greatly shape how we live this very day. So very Amen we pray, in your grace-full and gladsome name.