ONE MORE LESSON ON PRAYER
Sunday, 4 August 2019
“Hear my prayer, O LORD, Give ear to my supplications!....” -Psalm 143:1
In the entire life of David, if there is one lesson we can learn from, it is his “Prayer Life.” From the time he was a shepherd boy, to the time he was running for his life from Saul and even when crowned a king, his communication with the Lord in prayer has encouraged all believers right through the centuries. Men and women over the years have used these prayers, when words failed, to raise their voices to the Lord in their times of distress.
The one reason David was able to pray such passionate, soulful prayers was because of his deep, intimate relationship with God. Bible scholars are not sure of the background of this Psalm of prayer but we know from David’s life that it wasn’t easy and ‘prayer- was his lifeline’ to bring him out of every difficult situation.
In this Psalm there are 3 key points we need to remember when we enter into our prayer closet.
Come with the understanding that Only God is Righteous and no other- [Psa.143:2] David understood this truth right at the beginning of his prayer. He did not come to God as a leader who had it all right. He came fully understanding his lack and God’s completeness. As disciples of Jesus, each of us could trust our own Christian practices to get God to hear our prayers. It is to such as us that Jesus tells the parable of ‘The Pharisee and the tax collector’ emphasizing that the one who humbled himself went home justified- his prayer was heard! So let us come always into God’s presence with an attitude of humility so that God would hear and answer us.
Cried out to the only One who could save and no other- [Psa.143:7-9]- In the past David had many experiences of crying out to God— be it to save his sheep from the paw of the lion and the bear or to save the nation of Israel as he faced Goliath . In each of these circumstances God saved him. So in this Psalm he once again declares the Lord’s goodness by
Hoping in His loving kindness (Psa.143:8) – that never failed him even after his grave sin of adultery and murder. As he declared in Psalm 36:5 ‘His loving Kindness extends to the heavens.’ So David was sure God’s love would see him through.
Believing in His leading (Psa.143:8)- Even in the most distressing time of internal strife, deeply hurt and broken at the uprising against him by his favourite son, David knew that God would lead him as 2 Sam.15:25 says “If I find favor in the LORD's eyes, he will bring me back and let me see it and his dwelling place again.” His confidence was in the Lord’s plans over his life.
Trusting Him to fight his battles (Psa.143:9)- David had many enemies, many of whom he could never defeat. But he knew that no one could penetrate through the defense that God had put around him. Every time Saul caught up with him, David thought that was the end. But God proved that He was sufficient for him.
Committed to do His will because there was NO OTHER GOD – Psa.143:10 Every trial is a time of rededication and surrender. David was not looking to God just to fix his issues and for temporary blessings. He was seeking God Himself. Very often as Christians, we tend to love the gift (whatever we were praying for) more than the Giver. God is calling us into an intimate relationship just as David had. This begins with us following the example of Jesus in the garden who prayed: ‘Thy will and not my will.’
Though we don’t know how God answered David’s prayer, one thing is very clear, he got to know his God better. May God use every trial in our life to seek Him more as a child who longs for its parent.
Quote for the Day:
“Prayer humbles us as needy and exalts God as wealthy.”
Listen- ‘Unto to thee O Lord’
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