Sunday, 7 August 2021
“Blessed be God, Who has not turned away my prayer, Nor His mercy from me!” –Psalm 66:20
Prayer for a Christian is a natural practice. We can pray to God anytime, anywhere, about anything that concerns us, with the confidence that He hears us. But there are guidelines on prayer that we can glean from our reading on Psalm 66. The Psalm is an exultation of praise and thanksgiving to God on answered prayer as the Psalmist’s heart wells up with gratitude to God.
Though many associate prayer with taking our concerns to God, it is vital to understand that prayer involves a lot of other important aspects:
A Call to Praise (Vs.1-4)
The Psalmist’s comprehensive call involves all the earth to worship God. Why? His name is to be honoured! His works are awesome! Great is His power! When we appreciate the greatness of God, we comprehend the One to whom we pray! The Creator of the ends of the earth who flung the stars into space and calls them each by name (Ps.147:4), who upholds all things by the Word of His power (Heb.1:3)- the ALMIGHTY GOD is the One to whom we pray! We lift His name in praise when we pray!
A Contemplation of His deeds (Vs.5-12)
Dwelling on God’s wondrous deeds on behalf of His children is a boost for mitigating the present crisis you are in. The Psalmist looks to the past events of God’s deliverance of His people from impossible situations. Though they had passed through dire situations of testing, God had preserved their lives and brought them to spaciousness! The Psalmist does not complain about the fiery trials but understands its worth for our purification.
It takes great courage to see our crises as those God has put in our lives to purify us and make us better. As the Psalmist understood and stated: “Our lives are in his hands, and he keeps our feet from stumbling.” (V9) Let us trust while we wait for His deliverance in those dark valley situations. He has our best on His mind!
A Checkpoint of our lives (V18)
“If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” This is crucial for any prayer to be answered. Sin in our lives prevents God from directly interfering in our situation. Isaiah 59:1,2 [NLT]: “Listen! The Lord’s arm is not too weak to save you, nor is his ear too deaf to hear you call. It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore.” So confess any sin that stands as a hindrance from the Lord listening to you.
Those who have not yet established a personal relationship with the Living God through Jesus Christ, our prayers have no basis for answer. Jesus says in John 15:7: “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” When He lives is us through His Spirit, we learn to ask according to His will.
A Commitment to fulfill (Vs.13-17;19-20)
The Psalmist had made a commitment to honour God by offering sacrifices at His temple as an answer to prayer. He was determined to fulfil those vows. Ps.66:16 talks about telling others about the goodness of the Lord- what He had done for Him. When we honour God, we testify of how God delivered us in certain tough situations; His name is lifted up when we speak of His goodness in our lives. Besides we can speak of His salvation in our lives and direct others who don’t know to Him. All this brings glory to His name!
Brothers and sisters, may we learn to pray aright! May our prayers answered, honour God and make His praise glorious!
Quote for the Day:
“Prayer should be the key of the day and the lock of the night.”
~ George Herbert
Listen: ‘To our GOD we lift up one voice’