Summary: Looking at prayers from the Bible which are very revealing.
June 5, 2016
For the past 8 weeks we’ve been talking about conversations with God. Another name for that is - - prayer. We are now moving into our final 3 weeks on prayer. We’ve looked at a number of different aspects of prayer, how to talk to God and how to listen to God have been crucial. What I want to talk about over the next few weeks are prayers which are not really safe prayers. Is there such a thing?
These are not necessarily the easy prayers we’re accustomed to. Most of us prefer the safe prayer route. We often pray - - - God bless us. God help us. God protect us. God do this . . . God do that!
Now listen carefully - - - Those are not bad prayers! They are good prayers, but they are also safe prayers, because for the most part - - - and this is crucial, it allows us to keep our distance from God.
The prayers we’re going to look at will take us out of your comfort zone. They will be prayers where we’re asking God to do more than just keep us safe. They’re intimate prayers, which if we pray them will open ourselves much more to God.
So, that’s my introduction! Sounds fun! Right? Today, we're going to look at a prayer David prayed in Psalm 139. David prayed this after his enemies and God's enemies were on the attack, accusing David of having wrong motives. Instead of fighting and defending himself, David turned to God and said a prayer which could be very dangerous - - he asked God to SEARCH HIS HEART!
We are going to look at the last 2 verses of Psalm 139. David prayed this ~
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my anxious thoughts!
24 And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! — Psalm 139:23-24
What makes this an unsafe prayer?
To get there I want to break this prayer down by sections. The hope is that when we’re done, you’ll have greater confidence and a desire to come before God - - - intimately and ask Him to search you, as well.
The first thing David prays is ~ 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart! You may wonder “why would we ask God to search our heart. He already knows it.”
Actually, we need to understand that without Christ, we don’t have a good heart. We often make this statement about people - - - ‘Oh, they have a good heart.’ Actually, if we want to be truthful, they don’t.
Jeremiah said this ~ 9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? — Jeremiah 17:9
That’s pretty condemning! That explains a lot. It doesn’t give us license to sin, but it helps us to understand our hearts are wicked and incurable. And even with Christ, we still struggle . . . but this prayer may help us to uncover more about ourselves, which is why it’s not so safe.
We easily deceive others and most often, ourselves. For example, and here’s a dangerous question - - - How many of you have told a lie, even since you’ve been a Christian? Raise your hands. Leave them up for a second. Look around. We’re all guilty. None of us are innocent. That’s why we need Christ.
You see, we lie to ourselves. When we’re in the midst of sin, we tell ourselves it’s not so bad. Everyone else is doing it, nobody will know I did it. I can stop after 1 drink, I’m not full of pride, I’m just better than everyone else. I don’t lust, I appreciate God’s creation, I am not materialistic, I just like nice things. I’m not a gossip, I just want to pass on prayer requests.
Above all things the heart is deceitful. So . . . when we pray to God and say,
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart! That’s not a safe prayer! It’s actually dangerous. God already knows your heart is not pure. This gives God the opportunity to show you some things about yourself which can bring you into a more intimate relationship with Him. The hope is that the Holy Spirit will transform you more and more into the image of Christ. It’s not safe, but it can make you so much closer to God.
Now David prays, 23 . . . Try me and know my anxious thoughts!
David’s asking God to examine him, test him, try him and while you’re at it God, know my anxious thoughts. How many of us are really willing to say that to God and have Him open us up and really reveal what’s in our heart.