Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing, my great Redeemer's praise, Thou forest of my God and King, Thou triumphs of His grace.
This is Lecerre Bradley, Jr., welcoming you to another broadcast to the Baptist Bible Hour. Now in my praise, eternal King, be all my thoughts employed. While of this precious truth I sing, cast down, but not destroy. Cast down, but not destroy. Cast down, but not destroy. While of this precious truth I sing, cast down, but not destroy.
Of the united powers I've held, my soul has sore annoyed. And yet I live this truth to tell, cast down, but not destroy. Cast down, but not destroy. Cast down, but not destroy. And yet I live this truth to tell, cast down, but not destroy.
In all the past through which I've passed, one mercy I've enjoyed. And this shall be my song at last, cast down, but not destroy. Cast down, but not destroy. Cast down, but not destroy. And this shall be my song at last, cast down, but not destroy.
When I with God in heaven not fear, then shall I him adore. Destroyed shall be my sin and fear, and I cast down no more. And I cast down no more. And I cast down no more.
Destroyed shall be my sin and fear, and I cast down no more. I'm glad that you've joined us. I want to remind you that we depend on our listeners for support to keep this program on the air.
If you can help us at this time, we'll certainly be grateful for it. Our address is Baptist Bible Hour, Box 17037, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. Our study today is entitled, A Lesson on Prayer. We continue working our way through Psalm 119. We're ready for verse 145. Psalm 119 verses 145 to 152. I cried with my whole heart, Hear me, O Lord, I will keep thy statutes. I cried unto thee, Save me, and I shall keep thy testimonies. I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried, I hoped in thy word. Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word. Hear my voice according unto thy loving kindness, O Lord. Quicken me according to thy judgment.
They draw nigh that follow after mischief. They are far from thy law. Thou art near, O Lord, and all thy commandments are truth.
Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them forever. We see here a lesson on prayer by the psalmist. Jesus gave us in the Sermon on the Mount what is referred to as the model prayer. I suppose that this could be called a model prayer from the Old Testament, because there is much in it that sets an example for what a prayer ought to contain. First we see that it is an earnest prayer.
I cried. And that doesn't necessarily indicate that all of his praying was praying aloud. I believe it's possible for one to cry out from their heart, and the Lord know the anguish that's being felt deep within. But the fact that he repeats that in verse 145, 146, 147, he says, I cried, I cried, I cried. And there are other places in the Psalms when he talks about the tears that he shed. So we can't help but believe here that he literally did cry. He was so earnest in his prayer that it wasn't just the repetition of well-worn phrases. It wasn't just going through a routine. He felt deeply his need. And so he says, I cried. He was not complacent. He wasn't looking at a situation and saying, well, I don't suppose there's anything that can be done about it.
What's the use? Things never quite work out to my liking anyway. I've prayed in the past, but I didn't get an answer, so I don't suppose it'll do any good to pray now. Have you ever had a few thoughts like that cross your mind? There must be something terribly wrong with me.
I must not know how to pray. So, he cried with his whole heart. Not indifferent, not complacent, not making excuses.
He's crying with his whole heart. He was not double-minded, he was not distracted. It wasn't a half-hearted effort, but with his whole heart. You know, the first commandment is to love the Lord our God with all our mind, heart, soul, and strength. And in the weakness of our human nature, we can find that to be extremely difficult. So whether it's loving God, serving God, praying to God, to do it with our whole heart, we find challenging.
But it's not impossible. And we need to be praying for divine grace that even as we pray, our prayer may be of this sort, that we are praying with our whole heart. James chapter 1 speaks of the problem of being divided in our thinking. Verse 5 says, If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him.
Wow, that's a wonderful promise, isn't it? If any of you lack wisdom, have you sometimes complained about the fact that you saw that you were lacking in wisdom? You made some rather foolish choices. You seem to be perplexed about a variety of problems. Say, I need greater wisdom. So what did you do about it?
Feel sorry for yourself because of what you lacked or complained because you didn't have what others seemed to possess? What are we supposed to do? If any man lack wisdom, do what? Let him ask of God.
God giveth liberally. He doesn't upbraid you. He doesn't condemn you for praying this prayer.
He doesn't resist you. It shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering, for he that waveth is like a wave of the sea, driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. A double-minded man. One that's wavering. At one moment taking a stand here and at the next moment being tossed about by the winds and is over here somewhere else. We must ask in faith.
Lord, I'm acknowledging. I need wisdom. I need wisdom to know how to apply my word. See, this doesn't mean that the Lord is going to give you a new revelation, something that's not already in his word.
But the wisdom that you need about how to utilize it, how to apply it. Not resting the scriptures, not distorting them, not seeking to conform them to your preconceived ideas, but the wisdom to understand what God indeed has said in his word as it has been given us by divine inspiration. So we must ask in faith. If we're asking in faith, then we're crying with our whole heart. Furthermore, if we're asking, crying unto God, sincerely, fervently, earnestly, with our whole heart, then it's not going to be a greedy, selfish prayer. James chapter 4 verse 3 says, Ye ask and receive not because ye ask amiss that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Any prayer that's designed just for our personal advantage with no thought to the glory of God, we just consume it because of our own sinful inclinations. Here's something I've seen and I want it and I ask God to give it to me, but I haven't prayed. Lord, I want this to your glory.
If it's not in keeping with your will, I want to be submissive to what's pleasing in your sight. We just know in advance that this is a prayer God will not hear. Any time it's selfish, self-focused, no thought given to the glory of God, you know in advance God will not answer that prayer.
And then in chapter 5 of this same epistle, James chapter 5 verse 16, He says, Confess your faults one to another and pray for one another that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. What kind of a prayer? Not just a routine prayer, not just the repetition of certain words and phrases. In fact, Jesus said you must know that you're not heard for your much speaking. I can't assume that if I can stretch out this prayer and make it long enough, then God's going to be particularly obligated to hear it. Or because I've been very articulate in this prayer, surely God is going to hear it and when I stumble at some other time, He may not hear that.
That's not the basis on which we're going to be heard. But an effectual fervent prayer. You're praying with your whole heart, you're fervent in it.
And He gives an example. Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again and the heavens gave rain and the earth brought forth her fruit.
Here's a man of God that prayed earnestly. God heard his prayer. When he prayed first that the rain might be withheld, that there might be a drought coming as judgment upon the people, God answered the prayer. Then when he prayed later that God would send the rain, he sent it. He sent his servant out, said, do you see a cloud? He comes back, saw nothing but a clear sky. I think maybe it was six or seven times he sent him and finally said, I see a cloud the size of a man's hand.
He says, get ready, the rain's coming. And it did come and it was a downpour when it came. Here was a man that earnestly prayed, fervently prayed, and God heard his prayer. So, a prayer that's going to be answered, a prayer that's going to be pleasing to God, is going to be an earnest prayer. The second thing we would observe about it is it was a proper prayer.
It was proper, first of all, because it was directed to the Lord. It wasn't just a prayer. Have you ever heard somebody say, oh, I am a firm believer in prayer. I believe prayer is a good thing. It's like prayer is an entity out here unto itself. Someone will say, prayer really does you a lot of good. It relieves some of your tensions.
It makes you feel better. And in some of the self-help organizations, they say we believe in prayer and it doesn't really matter to whom that prayer is directed. You pick your God. I don't know if something will go to such an extreme to say it's important that you believe in something and if nothing else, just believe in that chair or believe in that table, just believe in something.
We're not talking about just believing in something. We're not talking about just prayer for the sake of prayer. We're talking about prayer directed to the one and only one that can hear and answer us and that's to the Lord. I cried unto the Lord. And there's only one way to approach Him. We learn that there is but one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus.
It's the only way we can be heard. Somebody says, oh, it doesn't matter really what God. There's a lot of Gods. Just pick one. And if you want some assistance, you can pray through the name of a certain saint.
They'll be of great help. No help to be found there. There's but one mediator, one intercessor for us and that is Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, the Son of God, our Lord and Savior, the only one. I know that seems terribly narrow and some say that, how can you be so dogmatic? How can you say that you are right and somebody else is wrong? I don't take a position that I am right, but I take a position the Bible is right. And when the Word of God says there is but one mediator, that settles it.
There is but one. And Jesus Christ is that mediator. So His prayer was directed to the Lord. None could save Him but the Lord. He's praying, Lord, save me and it doesn't matter what kind of salvation you're talking about, the salvation of your soul, salvation from your enemies, salvation from trouble, salvation from sickness or whatever it is.
There is but one that can deliver and so He's calling to the one that could help Him. Psalm 69 verses 1 and 2. Save me, O God, for the waters are come in unto my soul.
That's such descriptive language. You know, in the book of Isaiah, the Lord promises, when thou passest through the waters, they shall not overflow thee. It's one thing to be taken to the hand of God and led through the waters, but when the waters are coming in unto your soul and you feel like you're about to drown, that's something else.
How are you going to survive that? Have you ever been there where you felt like I've had more than I can take? I've been through one trial after another. I'm distressed. I'm worn out.
I'm discouraged. The waters are coming in unto my soul. I'm troubled with doubts and fears. I sink in deep mire where there is no standing. I'm coming to deep waters where the floods overflow me. I am weary of crying.
My throat is dried. Mine eyes fail while I wait for my God. Who can deliver you from such a state as that? So he says, Save me, O God.
Psalm 70 verse 1. Make haste, O God, to deliver me. Make haste to help me, O Lord. I'm in deep trouble, Lord.
I can't make a request for some future date. I've got to have help now. It's a proper prayer when it's directed to the Lord. The One who can indeed help us. And that is coupled with the thought that we believe then if we are calling upon God to help us that we believe He can. By the way, you hear some people describe their thoughts about God today. You would feel that He is perpetually frustrated, disappointed, man putting some obstruction in his path, God having to wait for the movement of man's will and being disappointed because He doesn't get the cooperation He wants. If you believe in a God who's trying but can't, you're not going to have much confidence in praying in His name, praying to Him. But if you believe in a God who is sovereign, a God who is omnipotent, a God who is working His will in the army of heaven, you've got confidence to believe Him. Look at Psalm 93. The Lord reigneth. He is clothed with majesty. The Lord is clothed with strength, wherewith He hath girded Himself. The world also established that it cannot be moved. Now, a lesson like that builds confidence.
Not self-confidence, not confidence in yourself, but confidence in God. The Lord reigns. He is King over all. He is on the throne of the universe. Thy throne is established of old.
Thou art from everlasting. The floods have lifted up, O Lord. The floods have lifted up their voice. The floods lift up their waves. The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea.
Thy testimonies are very sure. Holiness becometh thine house, O Lord, forever. Read that Psalm or many others like it in the Scripture, and it gives you confidence, confidence that God is able to do something.
He's not at a distance. He's not unwilling to hear, and when He does hear, He has the power necessary to accomplish whatever the need of the hour may be. This is a proper prayer because not only is it directed to the Lord, but He's praying, Save me. The very expression is an acknowledgement, I cannot save myself. Whatever my problem, I'm in such a state that I must have God's help.
I must have Him to deliver me. Now that prayer is not complex. That prayer is not lengthy. Very short prayer, but a very effective prayer. One that God delights to hear. Two words, Save me.
Save me. It makes us think of the time that Peter prayed that prayer. You remember the disciples were in the ship on the sea and had been rowing hard, trying to get through the storm.
The winds were blowing fiercely, the waves tossing the little ship about. They were already full of fear. And then they looked out across the water and here comes a figure moving toward them, which they were unable to identify. They now are very much alarmed, but discover that the one who moves toward them in the darkness is Jesus. Now I love every time I talk about that story to make this point because it's one that so many people get confused about. There are people who make the assumption today that if you are in the center of God's will, things will basically go smoothly for you.
You shouldn't expect any great obstacle or opposition or difficulty. And so if you've got trouble, you're out of the center of God's will. Now we see two examples in the scripture. One in the case of Jonah.
He was disobedient. He was trying to run from God and God sent a storm and He sent it because He was dealing with His disobedient prophet. But in this case where the disciples were in the ship, you know why they were there? Jesus was the one who put them on board and bid them farewell. Do you think that Jesus was surprised that this storm arose?
No, He wasn't. Because since He was the God-man, He knew in advance what they were going to encounter. He obviously had a purpose in them being on board the ship at the time the storm arose. There were some lessons for them to learn. And so just because you are facing storms in your life doesn't mean that you are disobedient.
And of course the classic example is the apostle Paul himself. Read his life story. Trouble, trouble, trouble. Suffering, persecution, imprisonment, beatings. To say this man was not serving God correctly?
To the contrary. Mighty servant of God, but constantly facing difficulty and affliction. Matthew chapter 14, in the 27th verse.
Well, let's go back a little before that. Verse 25. Matthew chapter 14, verse 25. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit, and they cried out for fear. And that shows us again how wrong we can be. That they were crying out for fear when help was on the way.
And sometimes we cry out for the wrong thing. We're full of fear when we ought to be rejoicing that God is at work in our life. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer, it is I, be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid.
See, when he was looking at Jesus and talking to Jesus, he had confidence he got down out of the boat and was actually walking on the water. But when he looked at the wind, he was afraid. And beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. He didn't have time for a lengthy introduction.
There wasn't time to try to think of some nice, pleasant words to use. He was in deep trouble. If it had taken him as long to get started in prayer as it does some people, he'd have been six feet under before he prayed. But he prayed, Lord, save me.
I've got to have help, I've got to have it now. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand and caught him and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were coming to the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshiped him, saying of the truth, thou art the Son of God.
What a wonderful experience. O give little faith. How many times that needs to be addressed to us. We read the Bible, we read about our great sovereign God, we believe he's the Creator, we believe that he's ruling and reigning, and then some problems arise in our lives and things that we can't effectively deal with immediately and we're troubled and we doubt. And the Lord might well say to us, O ye of little faith, look at how many times I've rescued you, how many times I've saved you, how many times I've lifted you up, and here you are doubting. 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. Praising my Savior. Praising my Savior. Praising my Savior. Alleluia!
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