The Prayer That God Hears

christians-in-pakistan-prayers

Psalms 86:1-17 (KJV) A Prayer of David. Bow down thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I am poor and needy. [2] Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee. [3] Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily. [4] Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. [5] For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee. [6] Give ear, O LORD, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. [7] In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me. [8] Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works. [9] All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name. [10] For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone. [11] Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name. [12] I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore. [13] For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell. [14] O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them. [15] But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth. [16] O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me; give thy strength unto thy servant, and save the son of thine handmaid. [17] Shew me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, LORD, hast holpen me, and comforted me.

Two wives sat in the laundry mat waiting for their clothes to wash. As they sat there they were each mending their husband’s pants.

One wife said, “My husband is so miserable. Nothing goes right at work, and he can’t find anything good on television. Our home is a place of despair. When we go to church, the song leader is terrible and the pastor is an idiot”.

The second wife said “My husband is always happy. He looks forward to Church services, and loves the Pastor and his sermons. Our household is joyful, and we enjoy one another and others.”

It got very quiet in the laundry room as the women continued sewing their husband’s pants. The first wife was patching the seat of the pants, whereas the second wife was patching the knees.

Prayer makes a difference. God’s presence – or absence – in your life makes a difference. Today we’re going to talk about the Prayer God hears.

The Book of Psalms is often called The Hebrew Hymnal. But if you read Psalms (and I suggest you do) it is jam packed with prayers. Of the 150 Psalms there are five Psalms that are marked by the Psalmist as PRAYERS. There is one Prayer “For The Afflicted” (Psalm 102), one Prayer of Moses (Psalm 90), and three Prayers of David (Psalm 17, 86, 142). In our text today we see why King David was “a man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22), and why God spent so much time with David.

1 The Prayer That God Hears Comes Not From The Perfect, But The Poor, The Broken, The Humble. David prayed:

Psalms 86:1-3 (KJV) Bow down thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I am poor and needy. [2] Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee. [3] Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily.

When many pray, they pray expecting God to be in the room. It is as if they think that God is the Heavenly Servant and Man is the Earthly Almighty. They make demands of God, or else pray without seeking God’s face.

When you pray, you are speaking to God. You are speaking to God as His creation, His child, His servant. You are speaking to the King of Kings Who is under no obligation whatsoever to hear you. David prayed

Bow down Thine ear, O LORD, hear me

I am so low that you must bow down to hear me. I am unworthy. God, please hear me.

If God is not in the room your prayer has no effect.

As Spurgeon once said, “If you are not speaking to God, what are you doing? I should say that a prayer would do as much good repeated backwards as forwards, if it is not spoken to God.”

When you’re talking to an empty room you’re talking to YOURSELF!

Throughout every prayer of David he begged God to be in the room with him.

Psalms 4:1 (KJV) … Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.

Psalms 17:6 (KJV) I have called upon thee, for thou wilt hear me, O God: incline thine ear unto me, and hear my speech.

Psalms 27:7-8 (KJV) Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me. [8] When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.

David did not take the Presence of God for granted.

God does not exist to meet my needs.

Many of us pray like the little boy did at the foot of his bed. His mother heard him say:

Thank You for the baby brother, but I think you got confused God …
because what I prayed for was a puppy.”

That’s how children are, but not how Children of God should be.

God does not exist for our pleasure.

God is.

God is so much higher than I am, and God will hear my prayers.

But God is not my Waiter, my Doctor, my Banker.

He is God.

He is, as David often called Him, YAHWEH, the Eternal and Ever Present God.

When David came to God He cried out:

Bow down thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I am poor and needy

David came to God with empty hands, not with threatening demands.

Though David was King over Israel and had any material thing that he wanted at his disposal he still cried “I am poor and needy”. David realized that even with all his blessing, only God could give him what he needed.

Preserve my soul; for I am holy

 David was afflicted on every side by enemies. When you walk without God you will have enemies. When you walk with God, you will have more enemies. David walked wit God. He said “I am holy”. That word “holy” has often been misinterpreted. The word “holy” is the Hebrew חָסִיד châçîyd (pronounced khaw-seed’), which is translated into the King James as “Saint, Holy, Godly”. The self righteous interpret “holy” as “being without sin”. That’s not true. Holy doesn’t mean to be sinless. Holy means to be set apart as God’s own, the possession of God”. What David is praying is:

Preserve my soul, O Lord,
For I belong to YOU!

God is under no obligation to preserve the soul of someone who does not belong to Him,
no more than I am under obligation to feed and care for your child or grandchild.

I am under obligation to care for my own. David prays “preserve my soul, Lord … I am YOURS”. Now God knows that David is his child, but God wants US to know it. The Bible tells us that God is under NO OBLIGATION to answer the prayer of the wicked:

Isaiah 59:2 (ESV) but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.

Proverbs 15:29 (ESV) The LORD is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous.

Micah 3:4; Jeremiah 14:10-12; and Job 35:12 tell us that God isn’t interested in listening to the prayers of the unrepentant and lost. God will hear the prayer of the sinner seeking salvation, just as He heard the prayer of the tax collector who cried:

Luke 18:13-14 (ESV) ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ [14] {Jesus said} I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

God will forgive whosoever will if they come to Him through Christ surrendering to Him as Lord and Savior. And God will hear the cries of His people. He delights to hear the cries of His people. This is why David calls on the Lord as His child, His servant, His possession.

O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee.
David did not demand from God on the basis of past acts that he himself did.
He did not demand God hear his prayer as King of Israel.
Lord, I am your servant.
Lord, I trust in You.

David trusted in God, not in himself or in his friends. David found hope in his Sovereign King, the Father Who Is In Heaven.

Psalms 18:2-3 (ESV) The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. [3] I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.

Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily.
David did not just cry out to God when life was at its darkest.
David cried out to God daily.
We are to take up our Cross DAILY.
We are to follow Jesus DAILY.
We are to cry out to God DAILY.

Enemies abound for those who are God’s Children. David placed his faith not in man but in God.

Jeremiah 17:5-8 (ESV) Thus says the LORD: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD. [6] He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. [7] “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. [8] He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

We who are God’s have an enemy, a fearful enemy (1 Peter 5:8). Our adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. He watches for those sheep who wander off from the Great Shepherd. We do not wrestle against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12), but a dreadful enemy who will destroy us if he can. The devil despises you because you, dear Christ follower, belong to God. And only God can preserve you, protecting your souls from the onslaught of this fallen angel and his demons! Each day David prayed for protection to the Only One Who …

Jude 24-25 (ESV) … is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, [25] to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

2 When God Hears Our Prayers He Gives Us Happiness And Joy. David prayed for JOY.

Psalms 86:4-6 (KJV) Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. [5] For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee. [6] Give ear, O LORD, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications.

Marshall Segal wrote: “Humans were not created just to be rescued from sin, but to be flooded with joy in the Rescuer. Sin disrupted God’s ultimate plan for you; it didn’t create it. Jesus is not only a get-out-of-jail card, but a get-into-eternal-joy Savior and Treasure. God made you to demonstrate his worth by making you happy in him — not just by placing you in heaven, but by giving you himself.”

Americans are fixated on happiness, on being happy, on pursuing happiness. Our Declaration of Independence has the well known phrase:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence at the request of the other representatives from the 13 colonies. He believed that God gave us the right to pursue happiness – and that is true. So Americans pursue happiness. As a people we pursue happiness and shun unhappiness and pain. We are a comfort seeking people, and we are obsessed with safety and ease. We have more stuff, but find in it less and less happiness. That is because there is no true happiness, nor joy for that matter, to those who look for it in things. Things can only bring temporal happiness.

God wants us to pursue happiness in Him

God made us to be happy and joyful only in Him. He is to be our greatest Possession. Our relationship with Him will bring us the greatest blessing. The Bible declares:

Psalms 144:15 (KJV) …. happy (אֶשֶׁר ʼesher) is that people, whose God is the LORD.

Proverbs 16:20 (KJV) …. whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he.

  • A Jet Ski or Four Wheelercan make you happy for a time, but then the new wears off and it becomes common place.
  • A fancy car or truckcan make you happy for a time, but then the new wears off, and it’s just ho-hum.
  • The new baby brings happiness until it learns to walk and break things.
  • A new relationship makes happiness until you come to know that person and find out that they – like you – are broken beings.

The only place you can find fulfillment, true joy, and yes even happiness is in a growing relationship with your Creator and Savior.

When unhappiness and trials come the Presence of the Lord – unlike the lesser presence of your new toy or your new relationship – will comfort you and draw you back into blessing.

thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive

Is there a better companion than our God? The greatest pursuit you can have is in seeking God’s face, getting to know Him better.

Psalms 32:10-11 (ESV) Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the LORD. [11] Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!

Philippians 4:4 (ESV) Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.

Where is rejoicing found? IN the Lord! Where is gladness? IN the Lord!

Give ear, O LORD, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications

The same God Who hung the stars in space, who is still even today creating the Heavens and making planets without number is the same God Who loves us and loves to hear our prayers. We come to Him with supplications, with requests, the request of His child.

Throughout his prayer David spends a lot of time praising and magnifying God. He prayed …

Psalms 86:8-12 (KJV) Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works. [9] All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name. [10] For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone. [11] Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name. [12] I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore. 

David prayed unite my heart to fear your name. He did not want to have a divided heart, but a heart solely committed to his Creator. This is where power is found.

  • David was able to kill Goliath with one stone and a sling shot because his heart was focused on God. But when David divided his heart between honoring God and satisfying himself he brought death and destruction into his household. Remember Bathsheba?
  • Elijah was able to rain fire down from Heaven and kill the false Prophets of Baal while his heart was focused on God. But when Elijah let Jezebel frighten him he fell into depression and suicidal thoughts.
  • Peter was able to walk on water while his focus was on Jesus, but once he looked down – splash!
  • Enoch walked with God, never taking his attention from the Lord. And God took him!

We need to stop telling others how BIG our PROBLEMS are.
We need to start telling our PROBLEMS how BIG our God is!

3 God Is Able. God Is Able. God Is Able. Only God Is Able!

Psalms 86:14-17 (KJV) O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them. [15] But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth. [16] O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me; give thy strength unto thy servant, and save the son of thine handmaid. [17] Shew me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, LORD, hast holpen me, and comforted me.

Sometimes the Old English of the King James causes us to stumble a bit in our reading. For instance, the word “holpen” in the last sentence literally means “to help”. But it really means more than that. The Hebrew עָזַר `azar literally means “to surround so as to help, to lift up”. The sense of what David is saying is “Help, Lord, I’m surrounded and overwhelmed. I need you to surround me so that those who surround me cannot get to me”. Then he uses another word “comforted”, which is the Hebrew נָחַם nacham “to be a Comforter”.

David wants to be embraced by God, to be wrapped in God’s arms as a young baby would be swaddled and wrapped in the arms of his mother.

I heard a story once of a king who was in his throne room, holding a council with his advisers, noblemen, and high ministers of state. Suddenly there was a bang and a clatter at the door of the throne room. All eyes turned as the door burst open and a young boy ran into the room. One of the king’s royal guardsmen tried to stop the boy. “Hold there, lad!” he said as he reached out to grab the child. “Don’t you know you’re disturbing the council of the king?” The little boy said “He’s your king, but he’s my Daddy!”. With that, the child scrambled up the throne and into the arms of his father. A child of the king always outranks any nobleman, adviser, minister, ambassador, or dignitary. That is the position we have with God. That is the access we have to His throne room.

Let Him wrap His arms around you. Let Him embrace you as you go to Him in prayer!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. I am looking for the Church. Most of what I see today is not the Church, but clubs, where members sit in padded pews and drink deeply of self. I am looking for a people willing to be righteous not self righteous, serving not served, In short, I am looking and praying for a people who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. I hope I find this people before it's too late.
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