Anatomy of a Prayer – Part 3

As we walked through the anatomy of prayer together over the last two days, we have examined multiple aspects to this spiritual discipline. We’ve talked about the quality, content, persistence, and humility of our prayers. Today, we will look at two last aspects to prayer.

Wholehearted Devotion

David’s “all-in” heart was evidenced by his absolute trust in God. A trust which found its foundation in God’s unchangeable character and word. Hebrews tells us that God is a God who never changes, but is the same yesterday, today, and forever. David knew this truth through his intimate knowledge of God’s word. He was able to rest in God’s ordinances and statutes because he knew something we often forget. God’s word promises justice and salvation.

The Urgency of Prayer

As we learned in our last post, we must approach God in humility, with a heart like David’s. A heart that cherishes God’s word and turns away from sin. We read within 1 Peter 3:12 that God will hear our prayers when we walk before him with an “all-in” heart. Humility reminds us that God responds to us from his own lovingkindness, not because of how lovable we are. And Jesus own words invited us to a life of persistent prayer and constant communion with our Father.

Today we’ll look at two final pieces, the urgency of prayer and the hope of prayer. Our text for the urgency of prayer is found in Psalm 119:150. At first glance, this verse doesn’t quite seem to fit with the others. Let’s take a look.

Those who follow after wickedness draw near;

They are far from Your law.

Why would the wicked draw near? Didn’t we just see in 1 Peter that only the righteous will be heard? What did David say next? “They are far from your law.” As we read this, we realize there is something curiously missing.

There’s no confidence of salvation for the wicked. This isn’t David telling us that the wicked draw near to God. Rather, it’s David recognizing what is happening around him as his enemies draw closer to him.

Why is this an important point? Because God isn’t intimidated when we take a look around and realize scary things are getting closer. He doesn’t turn his face from us because we acknowledge reality.

David was still looking for justice and salvation even in the midst of a situation that looked bleak and dark. David was running through the dark to his Father, crying out with urgency for the only One who could fix his situation.

The beautiful reality here is that God didn’t turn David away for being a faithless man. No, he did the opposite. He pulled David close and nestled him under his wings.

David was still looking for justice and salvation even in the midst of a situation that looked bleak and dark. David was running through the dark to his Father, crying out with urgency for the only One who could fix his situation. Click To Tweet

Security During Dark Times

God will do the same for us. As darkness surrounds us and trouble presses in, we should do as David did and admit reality. It’s okay. God is not intimidated. Then we must run to him. Urgently press close. Let our Father draw us under his wings and nestle us close to his heart.

When we run to God with this “all-in” urgency, he is there to meet us. This is a historic time. Many worry about health and finances, job and future, tyranny and oppression. But God is not intimidated by our worry or by our circumstances.

Go to him with fears. Be honest about the situation. Admit you don’t know what to do. Vent to the Lord before you vent online or to friends and family. Someone out there is looking to you as their example. Be an example like David. Show them your “all-in” heart.

Run to God first before you run—and share—fear or anger with everybody else. No matter who you are, somebody is watching you. When we share our fears, angers, and concerns with God, his commands and statutes will comfort us. His word will settle our hearts when we dive into its depths to search for answers.

This is a historic time. Many worry about health and finances, job and future, tyranny and oppression. But God is not intimidated by our worry or by our circumstances. Click To Tweet

The Hope of Prayer

The final piece we will look at is the hope of prayer. Hope is the heartbeat of our prayers. Look at Psalm 119:151-152.

You are near, O Lord,

And all Your commandments are truth.

Of old I have known from Your testimonies

That You have founded them forever.

These are the verses that immediately followed David’s cry for help. In his urgency, David ran to God and God sheltered him. “You are near, O Lord.” How well David knew God’s faithfulness.

And here in lies our hope. God is near. His commandments are truth. His character will never change. Yes, our situation may look bleak and dark, but God is near so what do we have to fear?

Everything God says is true. If God said he will never leave us nor forsake us, if God said there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ, if God said those who keep their minds on him will have perfect peace, then we can rest in those truths. That is hope.

In his urgency, David ran to God and God sheltered him. “You are near, O Lord.” How well David knew God’s faithfulness. Click To Tweet

The Peace of God

We have a shortage of peace in this world because our minds are on the wrong things. Where was David’s mind? On God’s commands, truth, testimonies, statues, ordinances, and laws. Why? Because they are true. Because they give hope. Because they bring salvation.

Look at David’s wording, “Of old I have known your testimonies.” From old David knew who God was. How? By dwelling on God’s testimonies. By ruminating on the stories he had read. By remembering the faithfulness of God to his forefathers.

Look at David’s next words, “That you have founded them forever.” What is the duration of God’s truth? Forever. It never fades. It doesn’t have an expiration date. In light of this, peace washes worry away.

There may be a lot of confusing things happening right now. Everywhere we turn, people are fighting and scared. Where do we stand within it all? We stand on hope. We dive into God’s word. We run to him with urgency and rest under his wings.

We let the unchanging character and word of God reign over our worry.

The Lord is near to all who call upon Him,

To all who call upon Him in truth.

He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;

He will also hear their cry and will save them.

The Lord keeps all who love Him,

But all the wicked He will destroy.

My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,

And all flesh will bless His holy name forever and ever. Psalm 145:18-21

Look at the hope we have. The Lord is near to all who call upon him in truth. He will fulfill the desires of those who fear him. He will bring justice. He has founded these testimonies forever.

Read his testimonies. Teach them to your children. In doing so, you will be building a firm foundation that will withstand any storm of life. Don’t take my word for it. Practice the spiritual discipline of prayer.

When fear closes in, run to God and rest under his wings. Let his unchanging character and word reign over worry. #biblestudy #prayer Click To Tweet

The Anatomy of our Prayer

  • Bring quality prayer to the Lord, praying with an “all-in” heart. Pray with all your heart and soul and mind and strength.
  • Examine the content of your prayers, crying to God for justice. Come to him with an attitude of “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.”
  • Be persistent, taking our Lord up on his invitation of a consistent two-way communion with him.
  • Approach him in humility, remembering that whatever God does, he does in accordance with his lovingkindness, his word, and his character.
  • Run to him with urgency. Be honest about concerns. Our Lord isn’t intimidated by reality.
  • And don’t forget the heartbeat of prayer. Hope. God’s faithfulness is recorded through the stories of old. They are true forever. He never changes. We can rest in that hope.

We are to be a people of prayer always. Instead of fighting and arguing, instead of pushing our opinions and agendas, we must pray. Yes, there is a time to talk about everything, but not until we have first brought everything to God.

Let the world know us as a people of prayer, and trust, and hope. Let them see us running to God instead of fighting with each other. We alone are a people who have a God who never fails so let’s start trusting him.

We are to be a people of prayer always. Instead of fighting and arguing, instead of pushing our opinions and agendas, we must pray. Click To Tweet

Let’s Talk

Are you bringing your concerns to God during this time of chaos and upheaval? Is your heart truly “all-in”? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment below or email me at nathan@nathanfranckhauser.com.

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