April 24, 2019

I seem to learn better with pictures than I do with words. I just put together a bookcase that was to go in the nursery at Hilltop. There were many screws, pegs, boards and various other odds and ends. Fortunately for me there were step by step pictures that allowed me to see how everything fit together and by looking at the pictures I was able to complete the task. I believe Psalm 143 is a good picture of prayer. By looking at it I see how to put together a prayer that not only honors God but also expresses what is on my heart.

Psalm 143:1 (NLT) — 1 Hear my prayer, O Lord; listen to my plea! Answer me because you are faithful and righteous.

David doesn’t place any confidence in his own faithfulness or his own righteousness instead he comes boldly in prayer because he knows that the Father is faithful and the Father is righteous.

Psalm 143:2 (NLT) — 2 Don’t put your servant on trial, for no one is innocent before you.

He doesn’t brag about his accomplishments. He knows he has many faults and failures so he just places himself at mercy of a faithful loving Father.

Psalm 143:3–4 (NLT) — 3 My enemy has chased me. He has knocked me to the ground and forces me to live in darkness like those in the grave. 4 I am losing all hope; I am paralyzed with fear.

He doesn’t try to bluff his way through and pretend that he put up a good fight. He speaks the truth that his enemy is too strong for him. Fear has immobilized him and hope is all but lost.

Psalm 143:5–6 (NLT) — 5 I remember the days of old. I ponder all your great works and think about what you have done. 6 I lift my hands to you in prayer. I thirst for you as parched land thirsts for rain.

There was nothing about the day that could cheer him up or give him hope so he allowed himself to dwell upon the good things that God had done for him up until this time. O God I long for your goodness again. I know that what you did yesterday you can do today so I will not look to anything or anyone else to come to my rescue. I will not try to create my own light. I will wait for you.

Psalm 143:7 (NLT) — 7 Come quickly, Lord, and answer me, for my depression deepens. Don’t turn away from me, or I will die.

Things have gotten worse but David refuses to break his connection with the Lord. How many people do you know today who have left God because he didn’t answer right away when they called. David knows that God is his only source of true life so he keeps on praying.

Psalm 143:8 (NLT) — 8 Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you.

Lord let me hear you say that you love me. If I have taken a wrong turn in life show me how to get back on the path. Like a wrestler who refuses to let himself be pinned to the mat David refuses to give himself over to depression but instead by faith he puts his life in the hands of God.

Psalm 143:9 (NLT) — 9 Rescue me from my enemies, Lord; I run to you to hide me.

Again we see David’s refusal to turn his back on the Lord. To David the Lord is his only hope so he keeps right on praying.

Psalm 143:10 (NLT) — 10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.

Ever the student David is willing to follow the Lord. Even if the way leads through treacherous times he knows that his feet will be on solid ground. Yes Lord you are my God. Yes Lord lead me forward. Yes Lord I will follow you.

Psalm 143:11 (NLT) — 11 For the glory of your name, O Lord, preserve my life. Because of your faithfulness, bring me out of this distress.

In the midst of all his soul turmoil the thought on David’s mind was, “Lord I don’t want my actions to taint your name. Rescue me so my enemies won’t think that you couldn’t save me.”

Psalm 143:12 (NLT) — 12 In your unfailing love, silence all my enemies and destroy all my foes, for I am your servant.

Lord if I am going to fulfill the destiny that you have for me you will have to remove the roadblocks. David comes to the end of his prayer with his allegience to the Lord intact. He stayed connected to God in prayer and that prayer was like a funnel in which God poured his strength into David.

Be Inspired Hilltop!

 

 

Comments

  1. Mary Anne A Frank says

    Thank you for this Pastor Dan. It is so rich in wisdom.