We’ve been looking at a pattern in Scripture, where God says:
You are my people!
And His people reply:
You are my God!
This is the heart attitude
we are to have all day long, no matter what life brings.
We find it again in one of my favorite psalms: Psalm 5. Things are not going well for David, and he is so troubled he tells God he doesn’t even know how to pray, but He asks God to consider his groaning, to hear his cry for help for He is:
My King and My God
It reminds me of the scene from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe when the children realize Aslan is a lion, and wonder if He could be “quite safe.” And this is the answer:
As you may know, I was in the Texas prisons all week. As always, it is a time of wonder at the joy He puts in these sisters’ hearts, who have had everything this world values taken from them. It is also a time of intense spiritual warfare. At times it is easy to feel, as I know our dear Laura felt last week, like the enemy is winning. On the day I was to speak to the biggest group of women, we had warfare from beginning to end. When we arrived, they couldn’t find our permits to come. Then when we finally got to the room, the women weren’t there and we didn’t know why. Dear Linda did her best to persuade the guards. Finally about 1/4 of them filed in and so we began — they were so hungry, hanging on every word, soaking up God’s truth about heart idols. But when I was half-way done, suddenly they were all ordered to leave immediately. Even the guards felt badly, but it had to be done for the numbers didn’t add up and someone might have been missing. (It’s usually mis-numbering, but of course, they have to make sure.) The women were so very disappointed, and yet, also, (as such a witness to me!) they trusted God, knowing He had allowed it and that He only gives Satan enough rope to hang himself.
You may remember the little gal named Lucy, who had such a powerful testimony on the impact of The Song of Songs:
Lucy was to be released recently, and had been accepted into a wonderful halfway house to help her with reentry, but she was kidding around one day, said something foolish that was overheard by an authority, and her sentence has been extended. Yet Lucy owns her wrong, and has accepted this severity of consequence with the same attitude of trust we see in Psalm 5. Lucy’s God is her King, and whatever He allows is best. God’s ways are mysterious, but using the Lewis metaphor, we thought we were being made into a decent little cottage, but He is making a castle, tearing down walls, and it can hurt abominably,
The Psalms not only show us how hard life is,
they show us how the righteous live
in “the muck of life.”
That’s a title of an excellent little
commentary on the first ten psalms:
Psalm 5 is one of my beloved psalms, yet Davis gave me new insights I’m eager to share with you. It’s going to be a week that can truly help your prayer life to be powerful and effective. I also have a sermon for you on Psalm 5 by Ralph Davis I think will be a blessing.
On a personal note, please pray for the filming of the promotional The Jesus Who Surprises, today. Though the weather prediction is rain, God can bring the sun, though I will be tired, God can give me energy and anointing, and indeed, there may be spiritual opposition — in fact, if there is not, it may be evidence that what I’m doing doesn’t matter to Satan — so I want to face it with prayer, the shield of faith, and the sword of the Spirit. Thank you so much for all of your prayers. I really cannot express how much they mean to me.
1.What stands out to you from the above and why?
2. What hard thing are you facing that you can trust God with, because He is “Your King and Your God?”
Monday: Cry out for help in praying!
Prepare your heart with this:
Lord, listen to me and understand what I am trying to say,
My God and King. Psalm 5:1-2 (ERV)
David says, “The best posture for praying is to realize we need help in praying.” How wise to begin each “morning prayer” with “Lord teach me to pray.” And then be still before Him before you pray…you are not praying to a distant stranger, you are praying to “My God and My King.” Davis says we too often begin just by rambling, and says, “I do not advocate eloquence in prayer, but I want to reject thoughtlessness.”
3. Meditate on Psalm 5:1-2
A. What do you see?
B Now, begin your morning prayer with a request for help in praying. Be still before Him. What
does He show you should do first? .
David is facing danger, so the first thing he does is list things he knows about God. This is a great way to begin prayer not only with praise but with a way to, as Davis says, “supply the basis for David’s expectancy in prayer.”
4. Meditate on verses 4-7 and explain what David knows to be true of God. Find the gospel in this as well.
5. Now, you pray some things you know to be true about God that will bolster your confidence in His help.
6. David says Psalm 5:5 disagrees with the belief that God hates the sin but not the sinner. I’ve pondered this — but I also realize that may not hold true for us, for our judgment is often faulty. Thoughts?
Tuesday: Make Your Request
Davis says we might expect David to contrast he superiority with the evildoers, but that is not what he does.
7. On what basis does David make his request according to verses 7-8?
8. Now, make your request in the same way.
9. 1 John tells us there is no fear in love. How do you reconcile that with verse 7? (Truthfully, I’m not sure of this answer and are eager to hear your thoughts.)
Wednesday-Thursday: Declare Your Confidence
Davis says that though we may be hesitant to pray like this against God’s enemies, the truth is, “God’s people cannot enjoy security and safety unless God’s enemies are taken out of the way.” This is interesting to me in light of the Kavanaugh hearings. By now there be a decision — but I have been praying for justice to be done, for God’s enemies to be defeated, whoever they are, and for the righteous to be upheld. We should also pray this for our brothers being persecuted. We should pray this for our own lives, for we have spiritual enemies, we battle not against flesh and blood. All the things in this psalm are relevant — to ask for help in praying, to come humbly and in confession, to list what we know about God, and then to pray with confidence.
10. Read Psalm 5:9-12
A. What does David request concerning God’s enemies? (9-10)
B. Why? (11-12) And how do you see praise closing this Psalm?
11. Now, apply this to your own life and pray.
Friday: Sermon on Psalm 5 by Dale Ralph Davis
12. Share your notes and comments
13. What is your take-a-way and why?