Daily Devotion, 6-16-2020 - How to Pray

Pastor: Connie Belmore

Devotion: June 16, 2020
Reading: Psalm 28
How to Pray

Over the years I have been taught many prayers and many methods of praying. Each relationship with God is unique and personal and so how a person prays will vary depending on the person and also on the situation. I typically use the ACTS method for prayer: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication. This is just a good pattern for me so that I always remember to acknowledge the greatness and majesty of the Lord first. However, sometimes we are so distraught and so much in need of God’s intervention that we may need to go straight to our plea for help (supplication). And that is okay. King David illustrates this method for us in Psalm 28.

In verses 1-5, he immediately makes his petition known. He is so distressed and in need of mercy he starts by asking God to deliver him from those who are wicked, asking God to repay them for their actions. This prayer for vengeance may seem odd to us but God is all knowing and all powerful and is the only One who can fairly take care of our enemies. David does the right thing by getting this off of his chest at the very beginning of his prayer.

David then thanks God for listening to his request for mercy and acknowledges all that God is to him as his shield, strength and protection. David is not necessarily concerned with a particular order in this prayer because he is crying out to the Lord in a time of great need and so he goes back and forth between this pattern of supplication (petition) and giving thanks. And that is okay. David was the king and the shepherd of God’s people and knew that the Lord is the ultimate shepherd and ruler.

Sometimes we need God’s intervention so immediately that we just cry out to the Lord. At the conclusion of the Psalm, David illustrates his complete trust in the Lord to save God’s people, to bless them as God’s prized possession, to shepherd them and to carry them forever. David does ask for vengeance upon the wicked. To us, this may seem contrary to what Jesus teaches us which is to pray for our enemies. However, David is so distraught about the wicked that he knows that he must turn his anger over to God to deal fairly and justly with the wicked instead of trying to deal with it himself. And all of this is okay. It illustrates for us what prayer is; it is when we communicate with God exactly what is on our mind. God already knows but this illustrates our trust in God to handle every situation and circumstance.

During this time of great turmoil in our country, instead of allowing ourselves to become angry and distressed with situations and people, let us not worry so much about how to pray but rather go immediately to God in prayer with our needs and ask him to restore us to celebration and thankfulness (v. 7) as David did.

Dear God, we cry out to you today acknowledging that You, O Lord, are the only one who can deliver us from the mess our country is in right now. Help us to turn over to you all of our anger, frustration, worry and different reactions to all that is going on in our lives. Help us to acknowledge that you alone are the only One who can change the hearts and minds of all of us and then, to give all of our concerns to you. In the name of your Son, Jesus, we pray. Amen.

 
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