INTRO: Although there are many other brief prayers to be found in the 119th Psalm, I am going to conclude this series with this last section of the great chapter. It is my hope the lessons in this series have been thought provoking lessons ... both about prayer and our relationship with God. There are so many wonderful places in scripture to learn more about prayer. The little book of Nehemiah is one such place. And, of course, we learn much about prayer from our Lord Jesus Christ. But I commend the 119th Psalm to you as a place for study and meditation about the lifeline of relationship with God ... prayer. In this last study we hear the psalmist in prayer with five lets.
1. We begin, though, with a great confession - v. 176
a. I have gone astray like a lost sheep
b. it is against the background of that confession that these lets are prayed
c. again, we are left to wonder just what prompted such a confession
d. but the important thing may be for us to see the brokenness of this man of God as he contemplates his life before God
e. Isa 53:6 - ...we have turned every one to his own way...
f. 1 Pet 2:25 - what one of us has not been in this situation - and/or have recognized the lostness of which the psalmist speaks?
g. seek thy servant - Lk 19:10 is our confidence!
2. Let my cry come near before thee - v. 169
a. several times in Davids psalms we find this word cry
b. my thought is that this prayer, then, is truly heart felt - from deep within
c. the life of prayer is the cry of the heart - are our prayers such cries?
d. Lk 22:44 - And being in an agony he prayed...
e. we want our prayers to come near before the Father
f. question: is anything blocking the way of our prayers?
g. Isa 59:1,2 - are carelessness, neglect, inattentiveness, outright sin keeping our prayers from coming near before Him?
3. Let my supplication come before thee - v. 170
a. one commented that David always saw himself as the supplicant
b. in supplication there can be no pride ... no presumption
c. supplication is suggestive of the request made in prayer - the petition
d. Davids supplication comes from the depths of his being!
e. in this verse his supplication is in the words deliver me
f. Heb 5:7 - are we able to sense the depth here? I cannot help but wonder if our prayers are far too much ritual ... far too little feeling
g. am I far afield in thinking of what is happening here as pleading? pleading with God Who can change things?
4. Let thine hand help me - v. 173
a. oh, how David could personalize the Father - the Fathers hand
b. I recall so often holding the little hands of my children, grandchildren as we have crossed a street or have been in some uncertain situation
c. feeling their little hands in my much bigger hands - what do they think? is there security in such a feeling?
d. or, those times when my hands have helped the children with what would have been an impossible task for them ... without my hands
e. Heb 4:16 - ...and find grace to help in time of need
f. Lk 23:46 - ...into thy hands... - if not His, whose?
g. I have chosen... - the psalmist had made a choice for his life - have you?
5. Let my soul live... - v. 175a
a. (this is what I. hear in these words - dont give up on me!)
b. but we must also consider that we need to correct our relationship with God ... then we are in a position to praise Him
c. Ps 51:14 - to praise Him while on a divergent course is hypocrisy
d. one more thought ... are we as concerned about the future of our souls as we should be?
6. Let thy judgments help me - v. 175b
a. in effect, let me learn from the history of your dealings with humanity
b. Ps 19:9b - Gods actions have always been absolutely right and just
c. if I study His judgments and learn from them, I will be well along the way to understanding what I must do to please Him
d. those who refuse the mistakes of history are doomed to repeat them!
CLOSE: As I read, studied and meditated on this very prayerful section of the 119th Psalm, I found myself thinking that this had been, for me, the most instructive and beneficial of my meditations from the chapter. And I found myself thinking that I long for the same disposition in prayer the psalmist possessed!
Cecil A. Hutson
May 29, 2005
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)