LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY
Last week we looked at a couple of the stories of David and we found that he is most known for what is recorded in Acts 13:22 - David became the “a man after My (God’s) own heart, who will do all My (God’s) will.”
We also noted that David’s life was not a perfect life.
David’s life was no different than any of ours.
His life was filled with blessings and failures, good times and not so good times. He learned early on in his life how to cry out for God’s mercy when he was lost and lonely, rejected and afflicted. God had taught David to pray and how to pray. We need the Word of God to teach us to (not only) pray, but how to pray.
David’s life was filled with lots of emotions. Many times he would declare God’s goodness, and the next day he would ask God where He had gone.
David’s life is an example for all of us not just with his experiences in life, but (as well) his experiences in prayer.
David wrote many of the Psalms about his life and the blessings of God. Many of these Psalms are (actually) prayers. As an example consider the 34th Psalm:
I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make its boast in the LORD...
My point is that we need to pray
PRAYERS THAT RECOGNIZE GOD.
Today we should rejoice in all that God has blessed us with. In faith, we know that God can/ will deliver us from the pain of any struggles we might face.
We have the choice to look in one of two directions:
A) REGRET - We can look back at all of life’s disappointments. That is not God’s plan.
B) We can begin to look forward to the expected glory of God’s promises. HOPE
One of David’s prayers was for Recognizing God.
Text: Psalms 103:1 4(a)
The passage, this morning, tells us that God does it all for each of us. Everything - we hope for, or have need of, is found only in the Lord.
Our prayer life can and will realign our thinking and give to us a better perspective of the reality of Jesus Christ.
We need to know the Truth.
According to what the world tells us, only a small percentage of people will ever be happy.
You see the world says if you don’t hit the lotto, or get an inheritance from a rich relative, your just out of luck.
What we have to look forward to is found in Phil 4:19,
“And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
Look at it this way….
Jesus, without a doubt, is still the wealthiest man this world has ever known. When you allow Jesus to become your Lord and Master, you instantly become an heir to His inheritance. He has all of the RICHEST OF RICHES.
But we know (for sure) that Jesus does not need a bag full of money. Now we may think we do, but Jesus does not…
What is near and dear to Jesus are all of His benefits.
From our text, I want to tell you about of those benefits.
1. His Forgiveness -
This is the first of six of the Benefits David lists in Psalm 103. God has forgiveness for each of us and for everyone in the world. The problem is many people are not looking for forgiveness these days.
The mere mention of forgiveness makes some people angry.
Regardless, ever since the Garden of Eden, man has been told he needs God, and that he needs God’s forgiveness.
Man may choose to ignore God, or deny God, but it won’t change anything as far as God is concerned.
Man is desperately in need of God! And His forgiveness!
Unfortunately, there is a thinking among many people that man doesn’t need God, much less any of His forgiveness.
What if I told you that –
1. Forgiveness is the core of man’s relationship with God?
2. Forgiveness is the greatest concern God has for man this morning.
3. Forgiveness takes priority over anything else...
4. Forgiveness is still the best thing about knowing the Lord.
5. Without God’s forgiveness we can receive nothing else from Him.
6. Forgiveness is the cornerstone of our relationship with God.
• Try to attach himself to a greater power, or a greater force, or philosophy.
• Want help from God (occasionally) with the his disappointments, and heartaches, but not want anything to do with the forgiveness of God.
• Have a desire to have a deeper relationship with God, and yet he will deny his desperate need for forgiveness. (Just to know of God is not enough.)
• Think that his philosophy and intellect is the answer, but God’s Word tells us the Truth.
The Truth is - Man must accept God’s forgiveness or face God’s judgment! Man must pray for and declare God’s forgiveness.
Let me tell you of how God sees it:
• Rom 3:23
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”
• Rom 5:19
“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience (that is Christ) many will be made righteous.”
• Rom 5:21
“...sin reigned in death, even so (nonetheless) grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Our only hope for forgiveness and eternal life is found only in Jesus Christ. Jesus is our cornerstone.
God wants us to pray and to declare His forgiveness in our lives. As well, we must pray and declare this forgiveness into the lives of our loved ones.
This prayer is urgent! I cannot teach you a more important prayer…
Man will not find forgiveness anywhere else but from the Heavenly Father through His Son Jesus Christ.
Our text (Psalms 103) tells us that this is a blessing and a benefit from God.
More importantly, we must know and understand that forgiveness is a requirement from God.
Many of the other prayers that you may be praying may not be all that important if you have not prayed and asked for forgiveness.
Jesus spoke to all mankind when He spoke to Nicodemus, and said,
Assuredly, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
"Do not marvel that I said to you, ’You must be born again.’
When people come to you and ask you to pray for something in particular in their life, what they may very well need to get from God first may be forgiveness.
Folks, Jesus was adamant. He made this very clear to Nicodemus. We must pray, because our loved ones “must be born again.”
My friend, this is not an option as far as God is concerned.
Rather, forgiveness is a benefit from God, (if you want to have eternal life).
It is God’s best and most important benefit.
2. God’s Healing -
Verse 3 assures us that it is God “who heals all of your diseases”.
My heart aches whenever I visit the sick.
To see all of the pain and the suffering there.
I am thankful for good health, good doctors, good nurses, good medicines and high tech hospitals.
It almost goes without saying how important these people are. Doctors and nurses can and do make a difference in all of our lives.
I received a phone call last week from my brother in law, in Florida. Fourteen years ago his heart stopped beating and it became necessary to put him on a pacemaker….
God has miraculously healed my brother in law, Pat, of his heart disease.
Many times we pray for healing and expect something in 30 seconds, but if we don’t…we just give up praying.
When we stop praying for that healing, we stop declaring our healing.
Will we wait for God’s timing for our healing?
The Bible tells us in James 1:16 17,
“Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights...”
That’s right. The perfect gift of a healing miracle will come from above. Think about it, any kind of healing must come from somewhere. So then, is it, or is it not, God Who brings us all of our healings?
Church, many in our congregation are in need of a miraculous healing in their lives this morning.
We must pray and declare healing from God into our lives and into our loved ones!
We need to be telling our families and friends that God has healed us of all of our diseases.
It is God “Who heals all of your diseases”.
We can look most anywhere in the four gospels and find where it was Christ Who healed the people.
He instructed His disciples to do the same then, and He is teaching us today to do the same.
Pray and declare healing...
It is God Who heals all of your diseases!
James 5 tells us,
“Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up.”
It is God Who heals all of your diseases!
3. God Redeems -
It is God Who redeems your life from destruction. NIV=”pit”.
The Hebrew meaning of this word “destruction” is actually corruption, a ditch, a pit, or a grave. This is where we can see the corruption of man.
Let me tell you, the corruption of man is not a pretty sight. If it were not for God we all would be living in the ugliness, and hopelessness, of the corruption of man.
Some of us have seen only samples of how corrupt man can be (when given the chance).
We need to understand that when man is without accountability to anyone higher than himself, he will naturally sink to his lowest (level).
We must pray and declare that God will redeem us from destruction.
You and I have seen corruption in our community, and it may be bad.
I have seen it far worse in many of my travels.
In larger cities, I have seen the devastating results on the homeless and the degenerate.
I once saw a man in front of a high rise bank building (on the streets of New Orleans) who thought he was a dog while he ate bread crumbs off of the sidewalks. And just a few feet away, the Gospel of Christ was preached.
We are very fortunate to live here in the safety of a country that has laws to protect us. We have the law of the land that governs the corruption of many. Thank God we live in this land that is civil and safe.
Nonetheless there are people who are living in total destruction because of sin.
As an example…
Gang violence is proof to us this morning of the absolute destruction of the corruption of man.
You may be thinking right now, Pastor I could never do anything like that. I would hope you wouldn’t. Regardless, every one of us needs God to redeem us and to conquer the corruption in our lives, and in our community.
If it were not for God redeeming us from the pit of destruction, any one of us could fall into it…
Let us pray and declare that God will redeem our land.
It is God Who redeems your life from death and the grave. I thank God that He has redeemed our lives from the destruction of the pit and the grave!
So why is all of this so important?
I want this body of believers to know how to declare and experience the benefits of God as David did.
If the Lord should tarry and not return before your natural physical death, remember it is God Who has redeemed your life from the grave.
1. You have been forgiven of your sins.
2. You have been healed of your diseases
3. You have been redeemed from the destruction of the grave.
When we give God our praises, we must be grateful of the mercies He has given us. We should never forget all of His benefits. Praising God and remembering what He has done for us are one in the same.
If we make a habit to give the Lord thanks for these benefits, we will not forget them.
The act of praise and the awareness of our blessings are one in the same. Personally I’m not so sure you can have one without the other.
God’s Word tells us, “...forget not all of His benefits.”
Don’t forget how He forgave you of all of your sins and iniquities. Or, how He has healed you from all of your diseases. Or, how He has redeemed you from destruction.
It is good to simply come to God’s house and worship Him and rejoice with all that God has given us.