The Leader Declared Praise to God

There was a pastor who had a parrot. All the parrot would say was, “Let’s pray, let’s pray.” The pastor tried to teach him to say other things but to no avail. He learned that one of his deacons had a parrot. His parrot would only say, “Let’s kiss. Let’s kiss.” … More

Prayer

In this passage the psalmist tells the congregation that God responded to his prayer and delivered him (vv. 16-20). However, it would not have happened that way if he had clung to sin. From Old Testament history we know that in the matter of Hezekiah’s illness God did something for his body, but at the same time he did something for his soul. He strengthened his faith, broadened his hopes, deepened his love, revitalized his joy, and gave him a peace that passeth all understanding.

God allows problems to come and go in our lives so that we can see Him solve them and so we grow in grace and increase in the knowledge of God. In every critical situation in our life God wants to do something for our soul. In his hour of desperate need, Hezekiah did not pout, he prayed. He did not point fingers, he cried to God (v. 17). Our confession of sin must be continual because we continue to do wrong. But true confession requires us to listen to God and to want to stop doing what is wrong.

Looking back over his experiences in life, the psalmist discovered three basic principles of prayer.

  1. Guilt hinders prayer (v. 18). If God convicts me of some sin in my life and that sin remains unconfessed, then my prayers are in vain.
  2. God hears prayer (v. 19). Once our sins are confessed, God hears and He is always more ready to hear us than we are to come.
  3. Grace helps prayer (v. 20). Mercy is the usual Old Testament word for grace.  In all of God’s dealings with mankind He administers grace.

Application

True confession requires that we stop doing what is wrong. I need to be quick to confess my sin on a continual basis because in the flesh I continue to do wrong. (I John 1:9)

Psalms 66:16-20 (English Standard Version)


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