I will praise You, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things You have done. I will be filled with joy because of You. I will sing praises to Your Name, O Most High.
My enemies retreated; they staggered and died when You appeared. For You have judged in my favor; from Your throne You have judged with fairness. Psalms 9:1-4 (NLT)
Experience teaches us that if anyone is engaged in a work in which he is not wholehearted, he will seldom succeed. Just think of a student, or his teacher, a man of business, or a warrior. He who does not give himself wholeheartedly to his calling is not likely to succeed. And that is still more true of religion, and above all of the high and holy task of intercourse in prayer with a holy God and of being always well pleasing to him. It is because of this that God has said so impressively: “Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). When you seek the Lord wholeheartedly in prayer, you find Him.
In our text today, the Psalmist prayed for a sound heart. Is that your prayer today to seek God with a sound heart? Come along with me to discover more:
A Sound Heart
“Let my heart be sound in thy statutes: that I be not ashamed.” Ps. 119:80
We may regard this inspired prayer as containing within itself the assurance that those who keep close to the Word of God shall never have cause to be ashamed of doing so.
See, the prayer is for soundness of heart. A sound creed is good, a sound judgment concerning it is better, but a sound heart toward the truth is best of all. We must love the truth, feel the truth, and obey the truth, otherwise we are not truly sound in God’s statutes. Are there many in these evil days who are sound? Oh, that the writer and the reader may be two of this sort!
Many will be ashamed in the last great day, when all disputes will be decided. Then they will see the folly of their inventions, and be filled with remorse because of their proud infidelity and willful defiance of the Lord; but he who believed what the Lord taught, and did what the Lord commanded, will stand forth justified in what he did, then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun. Men much slandered and abused shall find their shame turned into glory in that day.
Let us pray the prayer of our text, and we may be sure that its promise will be fulfilled to us. If the Lord makes us sound, He will keep us safe. God will always hear the cries of the righteous.
Jesus in his prayer life he manifested two things: first, that the word supplies us with material for prayer and encourages us in expecting everything from God. The second is that it is only by prayer that we can live such a life that every word of God can be fulfilled in us. And how then can we come to this, so that the word and prayer may each have its undivided right over us? There is only one answer. Our lives must be wholly transformed.
Never think that He had abandoned you for He said “I will never leave you nor forsake you” and His Words are infallible. Hear this:
“Unto Thee will I cry, O Lord my rock; be not silent to me: lest, if Thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit.” Psalm 28:1
A cry is the natural expression of sorrow, and a suitable utterance when all other modes of appeal fail us; but the cry must be alone directed to the Lord, for to cry to man is to waste our entreaties upon the air. When we consider the readiness of the Lord to hear, and His ability to aid, we shall see good reason for directing all our appeals at once to the God of our salvation. It will be in vain to call to the rocks in the day of judgment, but our Rock attends to our cries.
“Be not silent to me.” Mere formalists may be content without answers to their prayers, but genuine suppliants cannot; they are not satisfied with the results of prayer itself in calming the mind and subduing the will—they must go further, and obtain actual replies from heaven, or they cannot rest; and those replies they long to receive at once, they dread even a little of God’s silence.
God’s voice is often so terrible that it shakes the wilderness; but His silence is equally full of awe to an eager suppliant. When God seems to close His ear, we must not therefore close our mouths, but rather cry with more earnestness; for when our note grows shrill with eagerness and grief, He will not long deny us a hearing.
What a dreadful case should we be in if the Lord should become for ever silent to our prayers? “Lest, if Thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit.” Deprived of the God who answers prayer, we should be in a more pitiable plight than the dead in the grave, and should soon sink to the same level as the lost in hell.
We must have answers to prayer: ours is an urgent case of dire necessity; surely the Lord will speak peace to our agitated minds, for He never can find it in His heart to permit His own elect to perish.
Do you not feel that a change must come in our work? We must learn from Peter to continue in prayer in our ministry of the word. Just as we are zealous preachers, workers or laymen and women, we must be zealous in prayer. We must, with all our power, constantly like Paul, pray unceasingly. For the prayer: “Come, breathe on these slain” (Ezekiel 37:9), the answer is sure.
Be diligent in prayers and do not forsake the assemblies of the righteous and it shall be well with you. Our father will surely answer to your prayers today, Amen!
Remain blessed in the Lord.