Psalm 28:7 “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.” (NIV)
As we work our way through the Book of Psalms, I have a Bible study challenge for you. I ask that every time you see answered prayer or a reference to answered prayer in a psalm, you put an “A” with a circle around it in the white space of your Bible. What you will find at the end of this exercise are many “A’s” with circles around them. In fact, for me devotionally speaking, one of the Book of Psalms greatest, most comforting themes is the one of Answered Prayer. As a Christian, prayer must be a mindset of who we are at the core of our very being. Remember, prayer cannot be a mindset unless it is a habit, and it cannot be a habit unless it is our spiritual practice. For the Christian, prayer cannot be a sometimes thing, it is an all the times thing; as Paul taught us in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to “pray continually”.
So it is a thrill to come to Psalm 28, a passage that many scholars feel has as its historical antecedent Absalom’s rebellion against his father David, when the security of the nation was in doubt. This was at the very lowest point of David’s life, when he saw his own beloved son rebel against his authority and him personally. David deserved this scorn from his son, for he had made a public mockery and wreckage of his personal and family life, and now was reaping the whirlwind. But the theme of the psalm is to get over our own follies and mistakes, and move forward calling on the Name of the Lord for his grace and help at our point of need. Do you see that? Can you grasp the essentiality of praying when the world is falling apart around you? Please, Christian, don’t grow bitter, indifferent, or become a person of self-pity; but get on your knees and appeal to God for his grace and help, just as David did in this great Psalm 28!
Friends, we cannot fall into the trap of the “wicked mind” that shows no regard for what the Lord has done in the past, and how he can assist with our present relief (Psalm 28:5). When we fail to take our troubles to God, we “show no regard for the works of the Lord and what his hands have done”. Now compare that with the joy of receiving answered prayer in our devotional verse. Go ahead and put an “A” with a circle around it to signify answered prayer at verse 7. Now notice what an appropriate response to answered prayer produces in the life of the Christian from our devotional verse:
- First, we will build trust in God. God’s help in our lives through answered prayer always produces more faith. You want to starve your faith? Then don’t pray for specific things and outcomes!
- Second, we will experience true joy in our lives. Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit of God, and it is an attitude that we should have always (1Thessalonians 5:16). Listen, you don’t have to feel good, happy, or well to experience joy, because joy is a gift from God and not the circumstances you find yourself in. The mindset of prayer is crucial to the joy of the Christian.
- Third, we will praise God with thanksgiving because he has answered prayer in our lives. Never let a blessing go without praising and thanking God and sending it on to another needful soul. God blesses us so that we might be a blessing to others.
TODAY, FATHER, I WILL DEDICATE MYSELF TO THE PRACTICE OF PRAYER, FOR I KNOW IN SO DOING THAT I WILL BUILD MY FAITH, EXPERIENCE JOY IN MY LIFE, AND LEARN TO PRAISE YOU MORE. THANK YOU, FATHER, FOR ANSWERED PRAYER!
Article by Mike White @ Summit church of Christ