Let Us Pray

15 September 2012

“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” (Psalms 19:14)

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The 19th division of the psalms is a prayer of David. He begins this prayer with praise. Then he extols the glory of God’s creation, and notes the importance of God’s word. He closes his prayer on a more personal venue: “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” That is a good request for us all.

The reason I say it is a good request for us all is because the words of our mouth are not always what they should be, not even in prayer. David knew it, and sought acceptance.

James mentions two challenges, common to all who pray: (1) “…ye have not, because ye ask not. (2) Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” (James 4:2,3).

The first challenge James mentions is our lack of commitment to prayer: “ye ask not.” We are not praying. The Lord has some blessings for us, but we never asked for them. What is bothering you? Pray!

The second things he notes is that we are asking for the wrong things: “Ye ask amiss.” That means our prayers are missing the mark. We are asking for the things we want for ourselves, and not the things that God wants for us.

Yes, all prayerful people struggle in knowing what they should be praying for. Even the apostles came to Jesus with this request: “Lord, teach us to pray.” Paul even wrote: “we know not what we should pray for as we ought.” If they were struggling, we should not be surprised when we do as well.

Without divine assistance, we really don’t know how, or what to pray for. So, I made up a little acronym that I use that helps me cover the bases, and remember some of the things that I believe are God-honoring. The acronym is a word we all love, easy to remember. It is H-O-P-E. Where there is hope, there is encouragement, there is strength, and there is a vision.

The H stands for Home. After praise, pray for your home. Remember your children, grandchildren, your husband, wife, parents, those you love the most. The home is the nest, the place where we should find the greatest peace. Pray for peace in the home.

The O stands for Others. Let our petitions extend to those around us who may be suffering. This includes our friends, our brethren, and others who have touched our heart.

The P stands for Personal. Surely, we need a lot of help in this area. Even David wrote in this very psalm: “Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.”(Psalms 19:12). If David didn’t understand his own heart, if he had some secret sins, we can be sure we do as well. In this personal category let us also remember to thank the Lord for the many blessings He has bestowed upon us.

The E stands for the Everlasting Kingdom of God. Pray for the church. Pray for revival. Pray for your pastor. Pray for your brethren. Pray for the messages. Pray for those who are in bondage to sin. Pray for God to send laborers into the kingdom.

There is a lot to be praying about. So, let us pray. Let our hearts meditate upon the things we should say. Then, let us pray…believing!- NMP

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