11 June 2018

1 Corinthians 7

Psalm 61

What is prayer?

Why do we pray?

When do we pray?

Who do we pray to?

How do we pray?

As one reads this Psalm these are some questions we may ask of the text and questions that are answered from the text.

Prayer is crying, pleading, speaking to God. It is thrusting a dependency on God. It is acknowledging that we cannot be independent of God. We pray for help, refuge and protection – things that this world cannot give. We pray when we become overwhelmed with life ‘as my heart grows faint’ (verse 2) and when there is an enemy to contend with (verse 3). We pray to no one other than GodSo we pray because there is one who listens. We pray because there is one who answers.

Therefore our confidence is not in our ability to pray – but in the One we pray to, the One who becomes our refuge, the One who hears our vows. The result is a fresh commitment to ‘ever sing praise’ (verse 8) i.e. proclaim His name by our words and our behaviour. It also results in a commitment to ‘fulfil our vows’ (verse 8) i.e. to be motivated and determined and intentional about living a life that is pleasing to God.

As Christians the way we offer our prayers is always through a mediator, Jesus Christ, who is the way, the truth and the life. The one without whom no one can approach God.

This Psalm, as well as the next two Psalms (62 and 63) remind us of this wonderful means of grace we have. We do not need to make an appointment, or go to a special place, or go through various rituals. Not at all!! Prayer is just a moment away. For example, as I am typing these words, I am praying for each one of you who will read this – praying that the Lord will encourage you to take full advantage of this means of grace and speak to Him right now about your joys and sorrows, about your difficult relationships, about your fears and worries. And the amazing fact about praying to God is that He hears, He answers, and He works as we pray.

What a friend we have in Jesus
All our sins and griefs to bear
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer
Oh what peace we often forfeit
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer…

Take hold of this dear Christian…and pray!