Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Psalm 5: A Morning Prayer

1 Give ear to my words, O Lord, Consider my meditation. 2 Give heed to the voice of my cry, My King and my God, For to You I will pray. 3My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; In the morning I will direct it to You, And I will look up4 For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness, Nor shall evil dwell with You. 5The boastful shall not stand in Your sight; You hate all workers of iniquity. 6 You shall destroy those who speak falsehood; The Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man. 7 But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy; In fear of You I will worship toward Your holy temple. 8 Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness because of my enemies; Make Your way straight before my face. 9 For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; Their inward part is destruction; Their throat is an open tomb; They flatter with their tongue. 10 Pronounce them guilty, O God! Let them fall by their own counsels; Cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions, For they have rebelled against You. 11 But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; Let those also who love Your name Be joyful in You. 12 For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as with a shield.
I love love love the end of verse 3, 'And I will look up.'  Everything looks different when you lift your gaze especially when your focus is on the Lord.  You can breath easier for one because you are not constricting your throat, which is usually tight when you are upset.  Also, you shift from zeroing in on a pinpoint to surrendering to a huge God when you seek him in an upright posture.

This psalm is about how we must approach God, if we are to be heard by Him, and what we can expect of him when we do.  This is the life of prayer.  This is a morning prayer.  This prayer is not only for protection from the wicked, but it is also a prayer of protection from becoming like them.  The first 3 verses are an appeal for God to listen.  Do you have any doubts about whether you are approaching God rightly?  Notice what the first 3 verses teach us:

1.  The spirit in which we should pray has an urgency expressed, "give ear, consider, and listen".  This is not a ritual or routine that David is praying.  He is intensely serious!  James 5:16b says, "The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much."  Be zealous, attentive, zoned in when you pray, it's a privilege!  
2.  Prayer is persistent.  Like the widow in Luke 18:7, keep coming to the Judge, day after day, to appeal your heart's desires.  Keep at prayer even if, for reasons unknown to us, the answer of God is delayed.  God will not refuse to act forever.  Luke 18:1 Jesus spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart.  God's timing is not always our timing.  After all, God is not American!
3.  Have an expectant spirit.  Pray in faith having laid your requests before God.  David expected God to answer.  James 1:5-6 reminds us, "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind."

There are three different types of prayers that we pray: words, in articulated prayers or sighing, and crying.  Usually we express ourselves in a well-reasoned manner.  Sometimes in our anguish our prayers are only desperate cries for God to help us.  At other times there are no words adequate for the situation but our sighing and sending up a 'prayer-flare' of a sigh is enough for God to understand and have compassion upon us.  Romans 8:26 reassures us that when we "do not know what we ought to pray...the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express."

Notice the relationship we are to have with God that David demonstrates; 'my King and my God'.  They show faith that is genuine and it gives his prayer firm footing!  Verses 4-6 states that God does not listen to the wicked and he has NO pleasure in them.  David distinguishes himself from the evil persons, reminding himself that he must be different if he would be heard by God-never take sin too lightly!  If we did not take sin casually we would not sin as grievously or as frequently as we do.  It's not, "How much sin can you get away with and still go to heaven?" you are only fooling yourself because you never get away with sin!  We are called to be holy and the secret to being holy is to see sin as God himself sees it.  Draw close to God and you will become increasingly sensitive to sin.

Coram Deo,


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