Several years ago, while preparing to teach a class on prayer, I decided to write the materials rather than use a published study. “There’s nothing new under the sun.” states King Solomon in Ecclesiastes 1:9. Many excellent study books on prayer line bookstore shelves. Why write, yet another study, on prayer? I desired to lay a foundation for prayer which had dimension, yet was fun; to provide practical how-to steps which were simple and easy to comprehend. I’ve been told I tend to think outside the box; hence my perspective might be just a tiny bit different then main-line writers. I hoped to mature my own prayer life into something radical and life-changing along the way.
The other day while sorting through my files I came across my study. Not sure what I will do with it at this point, maybe I will send it off to a publishing house or two. Who knows? In the meantime let’s look at a few tidbits on prayer over the next few months.
Welcome to “Knee-Down” Wednesday’s
We begin by looking at Praise as a form of Prayer.
Praise is a way of giving thanks through recognizing who God is; his attributes and his character. What better way to start then by taking a look at “the book of Psalms” (a collection of songs). The Psalms were composed by several writers of the time; the majority written by King David. These Psalms are rich with emotion. In them you find expressions of praise, anger, thankfulness, love, joy, peace, etc. Name a human emotion and you will likely find it expressed in one of David’s Psalms. David’s a great role model for truth, honesty and realness in prayer; for letting it all hang out.
Let’s take a look at Psalm 3. David wrote this song while fleeing from Absalom, who was seeking to kill him.
“O Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me!
Many are saying of me, ‘God will not deliver him.’
But you are a shield around me, O Lord;
you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.
To the Lord I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill.
I lie down and sleep; I awake again, because the Lord sustains me.
I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side.
Arise, O Lord! Deliver me, O my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked.
From the Lord comes deliverance, may your blessing be on your people”.
In this Psalm we see David laying his concerns before God in the midst of his praise to God. David recognizes God’s attribute as protector, warrior and deliverer. He recognizes its God who will deliver him from the hand of his enemy. He knows God hears his cries and will answer. As a result, David is able to lie down and sleep in peaceful slumber knowing God’s faithfulness.
I love the words, “I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side”. This part of David’s prayer touches me. David is expressing his fear, yet at the same time, choosing to not let fear rule. I often find myself feeling afraid. David does not allow fear to rule because he is trusting God for the outcome He has placed his faith in God whom he knows will deliver him from his enemy; his enemy sadly is David’s very own son, Absalom.
How does David possess complete assurance? David’s confident because he has spent time, lots of time, with the Lord. David trusts in God because he knows his character. David’s confidence comes through experience; through doing life together with God at his side.
Until next time,
“I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.” Psalm 18:3