If you missed Kim’s post to start off our 2018 journey into Psalms please check it out here. I too am glad that our Bible Reading Plan starts us off here. As we read through Psalms, Kim and I will give some historical and theological background but we will also focus on personal and corporate application of what we are reading. As we read, we all should pray that God will give us understanding and wisdom. Jesus expects us to do this and is ready to help us like He did His disciples, “Then he said, “When I was with you before, I told you that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.” Luke 24:44-45 (NLT)
Psalm 5:3 is a verse worth memorizing, “Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.”(NLT) There are a few takeaways from this that are important to keep in mind. First, when we pray it ought to be specific. Otherwise, I will not have a way to know if God has responded. “God bless Ralph” is wide open. But “God please help Ralph find a job that is a good fit for him” is specific and clear. Second, when we pray we should do so expecting God to act. This is what a country preacher called “pray and duck!”
One thing to keep in mind is that God doesn’t do things just because I ask. He will answer my prayer along the lines of His values and purposes but there are things that God will not do unless I specifically ask. We see this taught in the New Testament book of James, “ You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. 3 And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.” James 4:2-3 (NLT)
Let’s join the Psalm writer and be people who are getting to know God better and learn to pray, expecting to see God at work.