Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Confessions of a Prayer Warrior

Prayer Lessons from the Psalms 
"David composed many of them., the Israelites sang them, the church has recited them, and they all point to Jesus. Ultimately, they are all His songs." 

Edwards T. Welch , “Depression a Stubborn Darkness”

If I were given the assignment to write about prayer and was allowed the use of only one book of the Bible, I would choose the Psalms. Most of the Psalms are prayers. I have written two Bible studies on the topic of prayer which can be purchased from Lulu. I will attach the link in this blog. These two studies only cover the Old Testament. I hope to someday have Bible studies about prayer from the New Testament on this site too.
I will be posting short excerpts from my studies on my blog from time to time. Today’s is drawn from the section on the Psalms and is about praise and thanksgiving – an important part of prayer. One of my favorite praise passages is found in Psalms 69:30-31.
“I will praise the name of God with a song: I will magnify Him with thanksgiving. This will please the Lord…”

What makes these verses unique is the context in which they are found. Psalms 69 is a chapter where the writer is in great distress. He says things like, “Save me. O God! I am weary with my crying out. Deliver me…Answer me. I am in despair” Then, he writes,

“I will praise the name of God…This will please the Lord.” When read in context, this verse brings tremendous clarity to certain aspects of praise.

 Praising God is a behavior we can choose, no matter how we feel. It is always appropriate regardless of our circumstances and is not based on our circumstances. Praise is about God and who He is, instead of us and how happy or comfortable we are. Praise pleases God. It is always appropriate, especially when we are desperate for God to hear our prayers. It is no coincidence that the last verse in all of Psalms says, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!”  (Psalms 150:6)

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