Let us continue our study of Psalm 119 and see what God has to teach us about praying on the basis of His word.
“I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word.” Vs. 147
Consider a businessman facing a crisis in the business. Perhaps it is a cash flow crisis. (Have you ever had one?) Perhaps a key customer has gone elsewhere. Perhaps a key employee has left, or the bank has called the note. (Any of these sound familiar?) This passage tells us to first rise before dawn to cry for help. Why before dawn? How do we communicate to God that the issue is serious, and we desperately need His assistance and rescue? By focusing on Him and sacrificing the thing most important to us – our time. At dawn, there are no interruptions. Dawn is well before the business activities get underway (in most businesses). By meeting God at dawn, we are giving Him the best time of the day, and making our time with Him the foundation for the rest of the day.What is the basis for our cry for help? We cry because we have put our hope in God, through His word. It is not the Scriptures that save us. It is God working through His Scriptures. So we place our hope in His Word, because our hope is in Him. Our cry for help is a means for expressing our faith and trust in Him. If we trust Him, we will cry out for help. If we do not trust Him, but rather trust ourselves, then we will not pray and not cry out to Him. And He has no obligation to help us.
”Hear my voice in accordance with your love; preserve my life, O Lord, according to your laws.” Vs. 149
We remind Him of His incredible love for us, and ask Him to listen to us on the basis of that love. We claim His promises (such as Matt. 6.33 and James 1.5) and base our prayer for rescue on those promises. It is according to His laws (His Scriptures) that we are asking Him to preserve our lives. We need to know what His Scriptures promise, so we can claim those promises in our requests.So when trouble and difficulties strike (and they will), rise at dawn, before anything else gets underway. Have read His word, and know some promises -this know them well. Place your hope in them. Believe them to be true. Prepare for the meeting with God, as you would for any other important meeting. Put your hope in God through His word. Then cry out to Him. Ask Him to rescue you. Trust Him to do as He has said. Trust Him to hear you, in accordance with His incredible love for you. Cry out to Him. Expect (trust) Him to preserve you according to (consistent with) His word. Then meet Him the next day, and the next day, and the next. Make it a lifestyle, and come to know Him by experience in ways you never would have otherwise. Watch Him rescue you, and praise Him for it.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
"People do not/ will not drift towards holiness apart from grace driven effort. People do not just gravitate towards prayer and obedience to scripture. Instead we drift towards disobedience and call it freedom, we drift toward superstition and call it faith, we cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation, we slouch into prayerlessness and delude ourselves with thinking we have escaped legalism, we slide away from Godliness and convince ourselves we're liberated."
D. A. Carson
D. A. Carson