Godly living in an ungodly world.
At the end of one year & as another begins we want to be those that end & start well. Living lives that fully honour the Lord. In Psalm 141 we see that David’s was characterised by Lifting his hands in prayer, Guarding his lips & mouth, Watching over his heart, Looking up to the Lord. These are all spiritual practices & disciplines that will enable us to end 2023 well & begin 2024 with momentum. Today we will focus in upon lifting our hands in prayer.
LORD, I cry out to You;
Make haste to me!
Give ear to my voice when I cry out to You.
Let my prayer be set before You as incense,
The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
Psalm 141:1-2 NKJV
As so often in David’s life we see him turning to the Lord in prayer. The lifting of the hands is a prayerful posture (1 Timothy 2:8). It is one of the most ancient forms of prayer & worship. Like David it is crucial that we develop regular rhythms & patterns of prayer & praise. Turning to & seeking the Lord in all of life’s circumstances.
David calls upon & cries out to the Lord. Through prayer David is constantly opening up his heart & life unto the Lord. That is what prayer does. We see David’s energy & earnestness, alongside emotion, as he enters into prayer (cf: James 5:16-18). These are key dynamics that we must learn to bring to prayer. David’s deep desire is that his prayer & praise rise before the Lord as incense – a sweet smelling offering. Again, it is important that our motivation & desire is to be always seeking to please the Lord. David sees his prayer as bringing a sacrifice unto the Lord. There will be a cost if we are to be fully committed to prayer. SELAH
Charles H. Spurgeon (the great 19th Century Baptist preacher) refers to prayer like this — ‘Prayer is the slender nerve that moves the muscle of omnipotence ‘. Prayer carries power to change things. It produces change in us & it produces change in people, places & this planet. If we want to change ourselves & this world we must be people who have embedded prayer in our lifestyle. Without it we will really struggle to be living in a Godly way in this ungodly world. With it all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). SELAH
May we end 2023 in prayer & begin 2024 with renewed energy & godly desire to be people of prayer throughout 2024.
- How effective is my rhythm & pattern of prayer?
- In what ways do I bring energy, earnestness & emotion to my prayers?
- Meditate upon prayer as a lifestyle.
A song related to this theme:
Thank you that You are attentive to my every prayer,
That in Your great mercy You always hear & answer prayer.
Jesus thank you for Your example of a life saturated in prayer,
And that you taught us a wonderful model & framework for prayer.
Holy Spirit help me to bring energy, earnestness, fervency & emotion to my prayers, To pray in the spirit equipped & empowered by You.
This I ask in the mighty Name of Jesus.
Written by Gareth Jones