The Psalms and Prayer – Psalm 142, 34April 17, 2016
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Speaker: Jerry Cisar
Paul instructs us, “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people….” (1 Timothy 2:1) How do we make petitions? What do prayers and intercession look like? The Psalms can teach us how to do these things, and move us beyond some of the repetitions, may I say, boring, prayer requests that we often find ourselves repeatedly going back to.
Eugene Peterson comments that the Psalms are where Christians have always learned to pray— until our age! Today, it is it is often assumed that we already know how to pray; we just need to do more of it. The disciples certainly didn’t make that assumption (Luke 11:1). The fact that we have 150 psalms, hymns and prayers, in our bibles should indicate to us that we do not know how to pray on our own.
The psalms both restrict and expand our language for prayer. There are many things which, if left to ourselves we might never say, but need to be said. The psalms teach us to say them. The psalms also restrict our prayers. By teaching us how to approach God in prayer, they reveal some things that we ought not do.
Join us as we explore two psalms so they might teach us how to pray. The first, Psalm 142, models a petition. The second, Psalm 34, is a thanksgiving prayer and also demonstrates what the psalmist in 142 promised to do when his prayer was answered.