O for a thousand tongues to sing, my great Redeemer's praise, The praise of my God and King, the triumph of His grace. This is LeSary Bradley Jr. welcoming you to another broadcast of the Baptist Bible Hour. We continue in Psalm 119 with the section we've entitled, A Lesson on Prayer. Oh, there's so much to be learned about prayer in the Psalms. And I trust that this message will be a help to you today. If it is, please drop us a note, let us know about it. And if you can help with the support, we'll certainly be thankful for that.
Our address is Baptist Bible Hour, Box 17037, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. And so he prayed, save me. Save me because I'm weak.
I'm not able to save myself. Save me from mine enemies. David's frequently talking about his enemies in these Psalms. In the 150th verse, he said, They draw nigh that follow after mischief.
They are far from thy law. So he's saying the enemies that turn from the law of God, these enemies that do wicked things, they draw near to me. But notice what else he says, verse 151, Thou art near, O Lord, and all thy commandments are truth. He says the enemies are near, but God is near also.
So it doesn't matter how many there are in the camp of the enemies, and how forceful they appear to be, if God is near, then everything is still under control. And I'm praying, Lord, save me. Save me because of my enemies. Save me from my sin. He says in verse 145, I cried unto thee with my whole heart, Hear me, O Lord, I will keep thy statutes. In other words, it's not just a prayer, Lord, get me out of my miserable situation, save me from my enemies, save me from my troubles, save me from my inconveniences, save me from my sicknesses, save me from my problems, Lord, save me so I can keep thy statutes.
That's what I'm concerned about. I want to be saved for my sin. I want to be saved so that I'm able to live in such a way that it will be to thy glory.
You see, his motive was right. His desire to be delivered was that he might live a life of obedience. Lord, save me, deliver me, and the result will be I will keep thy statutes. Verse 146, the same thing, I cried unto thee, save me, and I will keep thy testimonies. See, he didn't just ask for help in a crisis in order to relieve the pain and discomfort of the moment with the idea that once the trouble passed, I'll go back business as usual.
Oh, how sad to see those who follow such a pattern. Somebody becomes seemingly so humble in their spirit, so desirous of prayer, so concerned to get through this very dark, difficult situation in life. A person that maybe hasn't been very regular in coming to church, all of a sudden, I'm going to do better.
I'm going to be there. And you see some momentary improvement, and then the crisis is past, and they're right back, drifting once again to the things of the world, showing no real transformation, no change in their life. That wasn't David's concern. My concern is, he says, I want to keep my commandments, and I'm praying that they will deliver me for this reason. David had no understanding of salvation, no view of salvation that would allow him to continue in sin, rebellion, disobedience, or even error.
He's praying for deliverance, that he might keep the statutes of God. And that principle is very forcefully brought to view in the book of I John. I John chapter 2, verse 1 says, My little children, these things write unto you that ye sin not.
And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. I'm writing to you. I'm exhorting you. It's a message of love from the aged apostle, my little children.
I write these things to you. I admonish you, do not sin. He's acknowledging, though, that you're not going to reach a state of sinless perfection, because it said in the preceding chapter, if any man say that he has sinned, he deceives himself, and the truth is not in him. But I, at the same time, admonish you not to sin. But if you fail, you do have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. Then in chapter 3, verse 6, Whosoever abideth in him, sinneth not. Whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Now that might be a little puzzling to somebody who says, well, what does that mean? Does that mean if I'm truly a child of God, I'll never sin?
No, if you go back to chapter 1, there's that which puts it in perspective. If a person says, I have no sin, he's deceiving himself. He doesn't even identify and know what sin is, because we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. We say, we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
And what does it mean? Whosoever abideth in him, sinneth not. The tense of the word indicates that a life of sin is not the ongoing pattern that's to be observed in the life of the child of God. If any man be in Christ as a new creature, old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new. Does that mean we never stumble and fall? No, it certainly doesn't. Does that mean that some of God's children never wander far away and stay for a period of time?
No, it doesn't mean that. But it does mean that when there has been a transformation, when there's been an experience of grace, there is now a new nature by which you're made to hate sin. A child of God may for a time find some temporary pleasure in sin. Moses chose to suffer affliction with the people of God, suffer reproach with them, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.
But if a person has been born of the Holy Spirit of God, they're not going to be content and happy to stay on a sinful course. In fact, he says, Whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth, and if you be without chastisement whereof all the partakers, then you're bastards and not sons. The evidence that one belongs to the Lord is the Lord goes after him. The rod of chastisement is put upon him. He's made to be miserable in his rebellious and disobedient state.
Little children, let no man deceive you. He that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that commiteth sin is of the devil, for the devil sinneth from the beginning.
For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. One that continues perpetually in a course of sin. There's no genuine repentance. There's no turning from it. It gives no evidence of having had an experience of divine grace. So David is praying in harmony with that truth. Lord, save me.
For what reason? Just to make me feel better? Just so I'm not so stressed out and burdened?
No. Deliver me so I will keep thy commandments, so I may walk in a righteous path, so that I may glorify thy name. Our interest ought to be identical with that of the Apostle Paul when he spoke in the first chapter of the book of Philippians as to what his life was about. In verse 21 he says, For to me to live is Christ. And then it goes on to say, And to die is gain. That gives Christians a different outlook about death. Death is not a final tragedy for the child of grace. To die is gain. We certainly want to live here as long as it is God's pleasure to give us life and breath that we might glorify his name. But when the time does come that we're called to be with him, to die is not lost but gain for the child of God. But for me to live is Christ.
How many of us can say that tonight? For some people, they'd have to say, For me to live is complain. Because that's about all they do is complain, complain, complain. Some would say, For me to live is to be entertained. That's their whole life. They've got to be entertained. They've got to be going to some event.
They've got to be sitting in front of the television or doing something to be entertained. Some people, For me to live is to spend money. I'm feeling a little depressed.
I'm going to go out and spend some money and add to the big balance I've already got on my credit card. What can you say? For me to live?
What can you say? For me to live is Christ. That's what's on my mind. That's what's on my heart. That means that when I go to work, I'm going to recognize I'm not there serving with high service as men pleasers, but as unto the Lord. When I go home, whatever I do, I want to do in the name of the Lord. I want Him to be honored.
I want Him to be praised in all that I do. For me to live is Christ. First Corinthians chapter 10 verse 31 says, And whatsoever you do, whether you eat or drink, do all to the glory of God. Now that seems like a mundane issue. You say, well, everybody eats and drinks. Well, some people sin even in that process.
Eat too much or drink too much or drink or eat the wrong thing. A variety of things can come into play, but the point that's being made is that if we are to glorify God even in what we eat and drink, then it certainly reaches out to every detail of life. Every detail of life. You talk about something that will make a real transition, a real vital change in the way you live your life is that in each instance, each undertaking, each activity, you ask yourself the question, can I do this to the glory of God? And you don't have to ask for somebody's legalistic record of what they consider to be right and wrong.
You can just determine for yourself there are a lot of things that you might have tried to defend or justify and say, well, I don't know. There doesn't seem to be too much harm with this. Can I do it to the glory of God?
And a number of things will easily become eliminated from the list of activities. Now the next thing we observe about this prayer in verse 47 and 148 is that it was a continuous prayer. I prevented the dawning of the morning, and mine eyes prevent the night watches.
What is he saying in this? He prayed before daybreak. I prevented the dawning of the morning. Before the sun got up, I got up and prayed.
How many of us can say that we've been serious enough about some of our needs to do that? How easy it is to put off our prayer time. Well, I'm terribly rushed in the morning.
I've got schedule to keep. I'll pray this evening. And by the time you're ready to pray in the evening, you're weary and prayer doesn't amount to much. The psalmist says, I was earnest enough about my prayer that I got up before daybreak to pray. Said in Psalm 5 verse 3, My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord, in the morning, while I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up. You might say, well, that's certainly not practical for me to get up before daylight.
That may be the case. But he said, I prayed in the morning. At least the thought is presented that I'm going to start out my day with prayer. Before I go anywhere, before I do anything, I'm going to pray.
I'm going to seek God. And then we have Jesus as the example. You know, if Jesus was the perfect man, which we believe that He was, and was the God-man, which the Scriptures reveal that He was, it might be assumed, well, He surely wouldn't have to pray because He didn't have the weaknesses that I have. Why should He pray? But He did. And if Jesus prayed and set the example for us, if He prayed, how much more do we need to pray?
How much more diligent should we be? Mark chapter 1, verse 35. Speaking of Jesus, it says, And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, He went out and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed. Rising up a great while before day, and Jesus prayed.
What an example for us to follow. Prayer, then, is to be a vital part of the Christian life. In Luke chapter 18, when Jesus gives a parable, He says that the purpose of this lesson is that men ought always to pray and not to faint. Talking about, then, continuous prayer. It doesn't mean that you pray 24 hours a day, but you're always in an attitude of prayer, in a spirit of prayer. And prayer is, in fact, a crucial part of your daily activity. Start out the day, whether it's before daybreak or in the morning hours, and you continue in a spirit of prayer. 2 Thessalonians 5, 17 says to pray without ceasing.
It talks about praying with hope. I cried unto the Lord in the morning, and I hoped in Thy word. He expected that God would keep His word.
He had confidence in it. And praying for what God has promised is an appropriate prayer. Somebody may say, well, if God's promised this, why do I need to pray? Because it's through prayer that God is determined to bring that blessing to us. Paul said, my God shall supply all your needs.
But how's that going to happen? As you pray, Lord, supply my needs. Say, why pray that? The Lord said, I'll do it.
Because it pleases God for you to come before Him and show your dependence upon Him. The Lord said, I will never leave Thee nor forsake Thee, that you may boldly say, The Lord is my Helper. Have you ever prayed, Lord, don't forsake me?
I have. There have been times I felt like He probably ought to, seeing my own failings, and I just prayed, Lord, don't leave me. Don't forsake me. And that's a proper prayer, because we're praying something that we know is in harmony with God's will because it's already revealed it in His word. And then he prayed, talked about the watches. Mine eyes prevent the night watches. The Jews divided the night into three different watches, talking about the soldier that would be on guard, watching through the night. And he says, during these night watches, I opened my eyes that I might meditate on Thy word.
So not only did he pray sometimes before the sunrise and pray in the morning, but he woke up in the middle of the night and prayed. I dare say that at least a few of you here have awakened in the night and worried. You thought about things that troubled you. You thought about things that might happen, most of which never did and never will. But you know, you can work up a pretty good little fury of activity if you start thinking about all the potential things that could happen and might happen.
What would I do if this didn't happen? And what about this situation? It's something that you absolutely cannot control. There's not a thing you can do about it.
And you can easily start to worry. I remember one year, I think it was around Christmas time, that our family was scattered all over the country. I don't even remember now where everybody was, but they were in several different states. All of a sudden there was this little sense of anxiety that came over me that thought, they're all scattered all over the place, and that kind of worries me. And I thought, even if they were all at home, what could I do to protect them that God can't do for them where they are?
It doesn't matter what state they're in or how widely we're separated at the moment, we're still in God's hand. So for me to be fretted and worried about them is sinful. Worry is a sin. But David says, when I was awakened during the night watches, I meditated.
I didn't worry. I thought about the promises of God. I thought about what God said in His Word.
I gave myself to those things that would be edifying and beneficial. And then in verse 149, we find that this is a biblical prayer. Hear my voice according unto thy loving kindness, O Lord, quicken me according to thy judgment. This is according to thy loving kindness.
In other words, Lord, I'm coming to thee, not claiming any merit, not making any demands in myself. I'm coming on the basis of your loving kindness, which is your mercy. I know that I need mercy because I am an unworthy, undeserving sinner in myself, but I need thy mercy. And that brings us to that wonderful passage that I read to you, quote to you frequently from Hebrews chapter 4 verse 16. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in the time of need. You see, that is a biblical prayer.
That's a biblical approach. God has invited you to come boldly, not coming as though you are able to make demands and say, Lord, look at my record, look what I've done, bless me because I've been so successful in trying to render service now. I come boldly, but the reason I'm bold is because I don't come in my own name. I come praying in Jesus' name. I come to the throne of grace. I come to the throne to find mercy. Lord, I'm undeserving, but give me mercy. Give me grace to help in the time of need.
He's saying, Lord, bless me according to thy loving kindness. According to thy loving kindness. Renew me according to thy judgment. Quicken me. Quicken me according to thy judgment. Enliven me.
Wake me up. Renew me, Lord. I have drifted.
I've had struggles. I may have grown cold and indifferent in many ways, but I pray for quickening. I pray that you will enliven me, but make it according to thy judgments or according to thy law, according to thy truth. Once again, we see that it's not a selfish request. It's not asking for something that's preposterous, but he says, I want the blessing, but I want it in harmony with your word. I expect it, Lord, in keeping with what you've already promised, in keeping with what you have already indicated in your word is right and good.
Not expecting anything beyond that or outside of that. In other words, the basis of it, I want it to be to your glory. To your glory. So if we would be asking God to bless when we are rebellious, disobedient, insisting on going down the wrong path, that would not be blessing us, quickening us, according to his judgments or his truth or his law. Lord, I'm seeking that blessing, but I'm seeking it on the basis of asking you to do what's in harmony with your revealed will in your word. And then finally, verse 152 says, concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou has founded them forever. We see it as a trusting prayer. It's not just a prayer of idle words, it's a prayer that indicates confidence.
He says, concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old, thou has founded them forever. I've got confidence in your word, in your testimony, as he said back in the 89th verse, forever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven, and therefore I have confidence in your promises. As I come pleading your promises, as I come seeking your face and asking for your help, I'm trusting. I've got faith in you.
I've got faith that you are faithful and will fulfill what you have promised. But even in that, we sometimes find ourselves in the very same situation described in the Gospel of Mark, chapter 9, where a man seeking God's blessing had to acknowledge his own weakness and need in this regard. Mark chapter 9, verse 22. Here's a man coming to Jesus who is asking for his blessing and says, speaking of his son, speaking of his son, and oft times it hath cast him into the fire, talking about him being possessed of a spirit that would tear him and would cause him to fall on the ground, wallowing and foaming. And he says, oft times it's cast him into the fire and into the water to destroy him.
But if thou canst do anything, have compassion on us and help us. And Jesus said, if thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out and said with tears, Lord, I believe, help thou my own belief. And have you not had to say that? Lord, as I come to thee in prayer, I come believing your word, I believe in your faithfulness, I believe in the faithfulness of your promises, but help thou my unbelief.
Because even as I believe, I sometimes falter and sometimes have moments of doubt. May we learn something about our own prayer life, what it should be, how it ought to function from this wonderful example, a lesson on prayer by the psalmist. It was an earnest prayer.
He cried. It was a proper prayer. It's directed to the Lord. It was a continuous prayer. He prayed even before the sun was rising and at the various watches of the night. It was a biblical prayer because he was pleading not his own merit but the mercy of God. And it was a trusting prayer because he had confidence that God's word being established was sure, reliable. He could count on it and God would do what he said he would do. Oh, surely all of us would acknowledge we need to be more diligent in prayer and to pray always that God will cure us for Jesus' sake and the glory and praise of his great name. If you would like to help with the support of our broadcast, you can make a donation by going to our website at BaptistBibleHour.org. Till the same time tomorrow, this is a Sarah Bradley Jr. beating you goodbye and may God bless you. Thank you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-28 00:37:19 / 2022-11-28 00:46:56 / 10