the Psalms (63)'

Saturday Reflection

10th October 2020

'...according to his will, he hears us ...'

'And this is the boldness we have in him,
 if we ask anything according to his will,
 he hears us.'

1 John 5:14

How do you usually pray?
Do you have a special place?
What do expect to get from it?
Do you feel prayer is an obligation,
taught from childhood?
If you don't pray much,
what are the things that put you off praying?

Praying can often be difficult, can't it?
I think all of us struggle
to find the right words at some time or another.
Even the disciples felt the need
to ask Jesus for help when,
after being aware of his prayer life,
they said to him,

'How should we pray?'

Jesus gave them advice
and an example by using what we call today,

'The Lord's Prayer'.

When I am feeling troubled,
or feel at a loss for words,
the Lord's Prayer is my go-to prayer.
It encompasses everything needed,
and God knows what's going on in our hearts;
God will see and hear.

When we have problems finding the right words,
the solution is simple.
Just open the Bible at the centre
and there we find a treasure trove
of hymns and prayers to God
in the Book of Psalms.

The Psalms express the whole range of emotions,
anything that we could possibly feel.
We can change and add words
to make them more personal
or omit outdated language
to make the prayer relevant to our situation.
But it is somehow comforting
to know that people,
around 3,000 years ago,
were feeling the same frustrations,
anger, joy that we are still feeling today.
The world, and people,
have not changed that much
since the days of King David.

Longing for God
and not sure how to find him?
Try this example from Psalm 63(TLB)

1 O God, my God! How I search for you!
  How I thirst for you
  in this parched and weary land
  where there is no water.
  How I long to find you!
2 How I wish I could go into your sanctuary
  to see your strength and glory,
3 for your love and kindness
  are better to me than life itself.
  How I praise you!
4 I will bless you as long as I live,
  lifting up my hands to you in prayer.
5 At last I shall be fully satisfied;
  I will praise you with great joy.
6 I lie awake at night thinking of you
7 of how much you have helped me -
  and how I rejoice through the night
  beneath the protecting shadow
  of your wings.
8 I follow close behind you,
  protected by your strong right arm.
9 But those plotting to destroy me
  shall go down to the depths of hell.
10 They are doomed to die by the sword,
   to become the food of jackals.
11 But I will rejoice in God.
   All who trust in him exult,
   while liars shall be silenced.

David was in the wilderness of Judah
when he wrote this Psalm.
We are in a time when it feels as though
we are in a wilderness,
in a time of unrest and turmoil.
God's presence assures us
of his protection and provision
as we try to come closer to him.

If you cannot seem to find the words to pray,
try using the Psalms.
They are not outdated;
there's some really good
and helpful stuff in them
which is applicable to today.