Learning how to pray the psalms has changed my prayer life from rowing upstream to catching the wind of His Spirit. We’re going to look at just four verses from Psalm 119 that are filled with power. It was my husband Steve who first discovered this passage. When he found Integrity had set it to music he was thrilled and we knew it had to go into A Woman of Worship. I think it is the most beautiful song on the CD and you can hear the beginning of it by clicking
The phrase “Remember the Word to your servant” is the psalmist reminding God of His promises. Charles Spurgeon says that God loves it when His children remind Him of His Word, because it shows they know and trust it. It’s the way a parent feels when his child repeats back to him something that he’s wanted him to believe and understand, but wasn’t sure he did.
For example, when Steve thought he might be dying, he was so concerned about his three youngest children — all daughters. So He reminded God of one of His promises — to be a Father to the fatherless. He asked God to remember this promise. Then Steve also asked, knowing God might have a different way of fulfilling this promise, but still submitting this request: “Would you give each of my daughters a godly husband who has a godly father? And could that father love my daughter should You be calling me home?” In the three years after Steve’s death, each of his daughters married a godly man — and each man was the son of a godly pastor. Steve certainly caught the wind of God’s Spirit.
I am also seeing how often I pray for God’s gifts instead of my character and the character of those I love. But there are so many promises that have to do with our character or with experiencing the presence of God, which is key to everything else: our character, our contentment. There are many promises right within Psalm 119, that if we prayed them, would help us catch the wind of the Spirit. What if we regularly prayed Psalm 119:18 (Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law) or Psalm 119:37-38? (Turn my eyes away from worthless things…)
Wouldn’t you like to catch the wind of His Spirit?
Let’s go sailing together!
1. Write out Psalm 119:49-50 in a version that you particularly like. Why do you like it?
2. Meditate on “Remember your Word to your servant.”
A. Why is the psalmist reminding God of His promises? Has God forgotten? Then, why?
B. Why are God’s promises more powerful than ours?
One commentator from the 1800’s put it like this: “Sue God on His Word, for His Word is His bond.” (That’s a lawsuit
you’ll never win!)
3. Meditate on “Upon which You caused me to hope” List three promises of God that could give you hope — look especially
for promises that would help you with things you tend to be anxious about or with your character.
4. Meditate on “This is my comfort in my affliction, for your Word has given me life.” Take one of the above promises and
explain why it comforts you.
5. Now, take this promise and pray it, making it yours. (I want to caution you that we can’t use these promises to
arm-wrestle God, making Him do what we want, but we can ask Him to fulfil His promise to us. For example, in the story
above, God may have chosen to have our daughters be single, but still have been a Father to them in a different way.) Find a promise to pray back, perhaps one in Psalm 119, and do it here. You can do this throughout the week with various promises.
Write your prayer here:
6. In the song on the CD, they drop down to Psalm 119:147 and sing that. Contemplate that verse as well as Psalm 119:148 and share what you see.
7. Here’s a challenge question: Find examples in Psalm 119 where the psalmist almost seems to be worshiping the word, the law, the precepts. We know we shouldn’t “worship” anything or anyone other than the LORD – so what is going on here?
8. What will you remember from this week?