Summary: Sermon on prayer
There was once a missionary went to Venezuela for the first time, struggling with the language. He visited one of the local churches and took a seat in the front row.
So as not to make a fool of himself, he decides to pick someone out of the crowd to imitate. He decides to follow the man sitting next to him in the front pew. As they sing, the man claps his hands, so the missionary recruit claps, too. When the man stands up to pray, the
missionary stands up, too. When the man sits down, the
missionary sits down. Everything seem to be going well.
Later in the service the pastor says some words and the man next to him stands up, so the missionary stands up, too.
Suddenly a hush falls over the entire congregation. A few people gasp. The missionary looks around and sees that no one else is standing. So he meekly sits down.
After the service ends, the missionary greets the preacher. "I take it you don’t speak Spanish," the preacher says.
The missionary replies, "No, I don’t. It’s that obvious?"
"Well yes," the preacher says. "I announced that the Acosta family had a new-born baby boy, and I asked the proud father to please stand up.”
It just goes to show that you need to be careful who you follow. Many many years ago, it was not uncommon for artists to have apprentices. Most of the great masters had apprentices. Young painters were very anxious to study under these great artists. They realized that they would more easily attain excellence by looking to one who had already attained it.
I believe that if we are to attain excellence in our prayers, we would do well to study the masters. One of the great masters of prayer that we see in the Bible is David, the author of many of the psalms. So well did David understand how to pray to and praise God that those prays and praises have been looked to for thousands of years by folks who desire to know God better. Of course David had a some help in writing the psalms as He was filled with the Holy Spirit, and these are not so much David’s words but God’s. But apart from the Lord Jesus there is perhaps no man whose writings have shown us how to pray, David indeed is a great master of prayer.
I would like you to turn with me to our passage this morning which is Psa 70:5. That is page 503 in your Pew Bibles. Psa. 70:5. There we have a prayer of David. “But I am poor and needy; Make haste to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O LORD, do not delay.”
Here we have in this passage a prayer of pleading. There are four aspects of this prayer that I want us to take a look at this morning. First we have plead of confession, second a soul pleading, thirdly a plea of urgency, and finally a pleading soul grasping God.
Let us first look the plea of confession. Notice the first part of this verse, “I am poor and needy.” When we go to God in prayer we must strip away any thought of self sufficiency, and stand naked as it were before God. We must confess our need before God, for that is what prayer essentially is.
I like that way A.W. Pink puts it, “Prayer is not designed for the furnishing of God with the knowledge of what we need, but it is designed as a confession to Him of our sense of need” Let me repeat that.
That is what David does here. He confesses His need of God. David certainly knows that God knows all things,
Listen to what David states in Psa. 139 “O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.”
David knew that God knows all things, including David’s needs, yet me confesses his sense of need to the Lord. Like wise so such we.
First and foremost confession is necessary for the sinner when he first comes to Christ. It is not possible for us to be saved until we recognize the think which we need to be saved from, and that is our own sin. Salvation is bearing our hearts to God, confessing our sins and acknowledging our need of Saviour, who is Jesus Christ. If you have never confessed your sinfulness to God, you are not saved! If you have never confessed your sin and claimed the blood of Christ to cleanse you, you do not have eternal life.