Prayers of The Bible
We’ve just started a four-week teaching series on prayer and the Christian life. Each week we are learning from a particular prayer or passage on prayer from the Bible, both Old and New Testaments. This last Friday we walked through Psalm 25 as Pastor Asa encouraged students to learn how to pray from the example set by David seeking God’s help in the midst of his trouble.
In Psalm 25 we see David expressing his worries in regards to two threats to his faith, and he makes three requests of God in particular. The first threat is in the form of literal enemies who seek his life and mock his God. David has no one to turn to besides God, who has rescued him before and will rescue him again. David’s ultimate concern is that he would not be put to shame as a result of being abandoned by God, which would lead to his enemies proudly triumphing over David and feeling justified in their rejection of God in their life. In light of the weight of these matters, he chooses to trust in God and remind himself that God is faithful. He boldly states, “O LORD, I give my life to you. I trust in you, my God! Do not let me be disgraced, or let my enemies rejoice in my defeat. No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced, but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others” (vv.1-3, NLT).
The second threat to David’s faith is the remembrance of his past sins. The guilt and shame associated with the sins of his youth haunt him. His heartfelt request is that God would again minister forgiveness to his heart and teach him the path he should walk. “Remember, O LORD, your compassion and unfailing love, which you have shown from long ages past. Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth. Remember me in the light of your unfailing love, for you are merciful, O LORD” (vv.6-7, NLT).
In response to these enemies and sins weighing David down, his prayer is that God would forgive him, teach him, and protect him. Pastor Asa encouraged us to see this as a prayer for us to pray even today. We all have an enemy in some form or another, whether that be the evil spirits of the world, Satan, or those who hate God and seek to silence or destroy his people. We also have all sinned and are reminded of those sins from time to time, which means we repeatedly wrestle with feelings of guilt and shame. We can also face temptation to continue to sin, even as Christians. Whatever it is that we find ourselves dealing with, we must all seek God for forgiveness of sins and protection from our enemies. Don’t be discouraged if that protection isn’t always physical, because God promises above all to give us his peace which protects our hearts and minds from attacks (Philippians 4:6-7).
On top of forgiveness and protection, you and I need wisdom from God to live the way he wants us to live. David acknowledges that the only way for him to live a godly life is by the help of God himself. Unless God, in his love and grace, teaches us his ways and his paths, we would never know them or want to obey him. The encouraging thing about God’s wisdom is that he loves to give it. James 1:5 tells us, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.” David knows this, and so he asks for God’s wisdom. You and I can do the same thing.
And just before we think that’s it, God reminds us through David’s prayer that it is only the humble who find forgiveness, guidance, and protection in God. Verse nine tells us that the LORD leads the humble in doing what is right. Humility is key when we come to God in prayer. “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6, NLT).
Let’s all learn to bring more and more of our concerns to God, whom we can confidently approach because Jesus Christ has made a way by taking our punishment for sin and cleansing us and making us righteous. Let’s live out the words of 1 Peter 5:6-7, “So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”
- Teaching Series: This Friday, grade 12 student Judah Legaree will be teaching from Matthew 6:5-14. In this passage, Jesus is preaching to crowds about prayer and he even gives us insight into how we should pray. Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to hear from one of our very own.
- Special Event: Join us from 6:00-9:00pm, Friday, October 5, for a combination board game/movie night. Location not yet determined, but stay tuned for those and other details. Anticipate an “entry fee” of some sort of light snack or drink to share. We’re lengthening the evening to more fully enjoy this social time together. Invite a friend, as well, as this is a good opportunity to introduce them to youth leaders and other students.