Psalm 65 on Prayer

Psalm starts with “Praise.” The most critical component of the life of prayer. 

1Praise awaits you, our God, in Zion; to you, our vows will be fulfilled.

Our first inclination in times of need is to pray for help (and, truth is, He is honored by our petitions). But our first inclination in prayer ought always to be praise and worship.

Chris Christian: When you’re up against the struggle that shatters all your dreams, When your hopes have been cruelly crushed a Satan’s manifested schemes

And when you feel the urge within you to submit to earthly fears

And the faith you’ve been standin’ ni just seem to disappear, Praise the Lord

He can work through those who praise Him; praise the Lord

For our God inhabits praise, Praise the Lord

For the chains that seem to bind you

Serve only to remind you, that they drop powerless behind you. 

When you praise Him.

All people will come to the One who hears prayer – the God of big ears. 

2All humanity will come to You, the One who hears prayer.

Maybe this is true for this reason – they see us pray to God, He responds to it, we testify to His action and reaction toward us, and thus the world comes to Him. People are attracted to a God who hears and responds. But even more than this

– Who we pray to matters because what we adore, we become like. And people are attracted to Christlikeness. Illus. Great Stone Face.

When sin assails, He forgives.

3Iniquities overwhelm me; only You can atone for our rebellions.

Sometimes, people wait until they have their act together to praise and pray. But we dare not wait. There is no getting better until we pray. We admit our shortcomings, ask for grace to repent then turn to Him.

When we are far away, He brings us near.

4How happy is the one You choose and bring near to live in Your courts!

Illus.: Dykes to Haiti to pick up Danny.

When we are dissatisfied, he quenches our desire with goodness.

4bWe will be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, the holiness of Your temple.

Ever been dissatisfied? He brings the ultimate Satisfaction. Lot of adopted kids like this – we choose YOU to come live in OUR house.

When we yearn for righteousness, He answers with awesome works. 

5You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds, God our Savior,

Ex. 13:18: “So God led the people round about, by way of the wilderness at the Sea of Reeds. Now the Israelites went up chamushim out of the land of Egypt.” Wait —what? The Jews went out of Egypt how? What does “chamushim” mean? It is generally translated as “armed,” but nearly all commentaries note that its definition is, in fact, uncertain.

Into this breach arrives the legendary medieval Torah commentator Rashi, with a startling assertion. After acknowledging the “armed” option, Rashi offers, with casual sangfroid, another idea: That “chamushim” relates to the Hebrew word for five, and the text should be understood to be saying that only one-fifth of the Jewish people chose to leave Egypt.

Shemot Rabbah: adds this – “There were sinners among the Jews who had Egyptian patrons, and they had wealth and honor there, [so] they didn’t want to leave.”

In other words, they liked the good life in Egypt. We do know in Scripture that some complain that they want to go back to Egypt.

Also, in Shawshank Redemption, some are not so sure they want to leave a life they have grown accustomed to, but one of the characters says, “Get busy living, or get busy dying.”

Those who want to live today…God answers with awesome works…out of Egypt..and out of YOUR slavery.

When we are hopeless, He shows us His power.

(You are) the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas, &who formed the mountains by your power, having armed yourself with strength,

Tonkel: Faith, hope, and love…the greatest is love, but the hardest is hope. But what if you knew the Power and Strength were written across nature and were yours?

The people of praise and prayer are refreshed and overflowing.

8Those who live far away are awed by your signs; you make east and west shout for joy. 9You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly. The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain, for so you have ordained it. 10You drench its furrows and level its ridges; you soften it with showers and bless its crops. 11You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance. 12The grasslands of the wilderness overflow; the hills are clothed with gladness. 13The meadows are covered with flocks, and the valleys are mantled with grain; they shout for joy and sing.

Want to be refreshed and your life overflowing regardless of life’s circumstances? Pray to this God. Praise this God. Regularly, daily, as one of the fundamental disciplines of your life.