Hear My Voice According to Your Lovingkindness

Text: Psalm 119:145-152

Nineteenth stanza of Psalm 119 – This lesson is about the help that we can receive from God. Much of the emphasis is on prayer. However, as we should expect by this point in this psalm, we cannot appeal to God without regard to His word.

Prayer is Important for God’s People (v. 145-147, 149)

  • Prayer is to be directed to God (v. 146) – what Jesus taught (Matthew 6:9) and what others practiced (2 Corinthians 12:7-9); no authority to pray to angels, saints, or anyone else
  • Prayer must be from the heart (v. 145) – Jesus taught against using “vain repetitions” (Matthew 6:7, KJV); we should not mindlessly recite prayers, nor should we ramble thoughtlessly; prayer must be from the heart (1 Samuel 1:12-15) or else we are just praying to ourselves, not to God (Luke 18:11)
  • Prayer must be a priority in our lives (v. 147) – first thing David would do on a given day; God has not given specific times to pray, but it must be a regular practice (1 Thessalonians 5:17; cf. Matthew 6:5-7)
  • Prayer is to be offered with appreciation for God’s kindness (v. 149) – thought expressed earlier (Psalm 119:124); pray “with thanksgiving” (Philippians 4:6; Colossians 4:2); recognize God as the source of every good thing (James 1:17)
  • Prayer must be offered with the understanding that God hears us (v. 149) – He hears the righteous (Psalm 34:15-17)
  • Prayer must be offered in faith that God will answer (v. 145) – He can do more than we can imagine (Ephesians 3:20); this does not mean He gives us whatever we ask for in prayer, but what is according to His will (1 John 5:14-15)

Prayer Should Be Part of an Obedient Life (v. 145-147, 149)

  • Remember, God hears the righteous, not the wicked (Psalm 34:15-17) – God’s word is righteous forever (Psalm 119:144); to be righteous, we must follow His word; if we want out prayers to be heard, we must be obedient
  • We must be committed to obeying God (v. 145-146) – not an accident; determination (2 Peter 3:14)
  • We must value God’s words (v. 147) – wait/hope (KJV) for God’s word; more valuable than anything of this world (Psalm 119:72; 19:10)
  • We must seek life that is in harmony with His teachings (v. 149) – many see grace and law as conflicting; yet God’s lovingkindness and His ordinances are related (cf. Acts 20:24; Titus 2:11-12)
  • More than just grudging obedience – desire the life that God desires for us, not what we desire (Philippians 3:7-8, 12)

Prayer Goes with Meditating on God’s Word (v. 148)

  • Both prayer (personal) and meditation have to do with taking advantage of quiet time (cf. Psalm 119:15)
  • Life is full of distractions (Luke 8:14) – do not allow that reality to choke out the word

Nearness of God and the Wicked (v. 150-151)

  • The wicked were in close physical proximity to David (v. 150) – we cannot escape the world (1 Corinthians 5:10); often we will be persecuted (2 Timothy 3:12); the wicked hate to be exposed (John 3:20; Hebrews 11:7)
  • God was in close spiritual proximity to David (v. 151) – God is always with us, no matter who is against us (Romans 8:35-39; Hebrews 13:5-6)

God’s Testimonies Have Been Established (v. 152)

  • God’s word is “forever…settled in heaven” (Psalm 119:89) – we pray in hope because God does not change (cf. Malachi 3:6); we obey in hope because God’s word does not change (cf. Galatians 1:8-9)
  • We have confidence as we practice righteousness (1 John 2:28-29), which is found in His word (Psalm 119:144; Romans 1:16-17) – since His word is settled (Psalm 119:89), we can have confidence that He will receive us if we obey (Psalm 119:149)

Conclusion

  • Prayer is an important part of life for God’s people – but it must be connected with a life of obedience
  • We must strive to fill our hearts and minds, and therefore our lives, with the word of God

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